Identity politics is very much under theatre’s microscope at the moment. Even the West End is at it with Robert Icke’s intensely slippery The Doctor which boasts a gob-smacking performance from Juliet Stevenson. Now Martin Crimp—along with Caryl Churchill, one of the craftiest and most finger-on-the-pulse playwrights of the last 30 years, and one who always plays deliciously with form—performs his own play. The play utilises deepfake technology and in the process raising questions about authorship, representation, appropriation and what happens when the characters created by a playwright express views the author would prefer not to hear. Likely to make The Doctor seem straightforward.
Internationally renowned playwright Martin Crimp returns to the Royal Court with his new play directed by Christian Lapointe in a co-production between Carte Blanche, the Royal Court Theatre and the Carrefour international de théâtre. “If you think you know what it’s like to be me you are seriously deluded.” If a playwright’s job is to make dialogue, is there a limit to how many characters she / he / they are entitled to invent? Who can these people be? And what if an invented voice says things that even the author would prefer not to hear? With characteristically provocative humour, Martin Crimp himself performs his latest work, using deep-fake computer technology to bring 299 unique characters to the stage. “I made stuff up, I invented shit, I checked my whole family into a hotel I couldn’t afford, none of it was true.”