The Echo Chamber
A Young Vic Parallel Production in response to
The Trial, by Franz Kafka
Writing Tim Cowbury
Direction Olly Hawes
Design Ana Ines Jabares Pita
Lighting Design Josh Pharo
Sound Design Amy Bramma
Movement Direction Polly Bennett
At the Young Vic, Parallel Productions are a response to the main house show, created by a team of professional makers working with a group of performers from the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. The Echo Chamber brought together me, writer Tim Cowbury - best know as one half of Made In China, and designers Ana Ines Jabares Pita, Josh Pharo and Amy Bramma and choreographer Polly Bennett and sixteen 15-21 year olds.
Franz Kafka is one of the few authors of our time whose name has becomes an adjective. ‘Kafkaesque’ has come to be associated with an enigmatic and nightmarish view of the world, where people are lonely, perplexed and threatened.
In introducing Kafka's most famous novel, ‘The Trial’, to our group of young performers, the questions I asked were: what does the idea of 'Kafkaesque’ mean to you? Does it match your experience of the world? And if it does, where lies hope? It has been the role of the creative team to facilitate the group’s response to those questions. I can only hope that the audience's experience was a fraction as moving, provoking and inspiring as our process of making the show.
The project was produced by the Taking Part team at the Young Vic, an amazong group of people who provide support guidance and insight both to the community groups they work with, but also the emerging artists they employ.
At one point, we were lucky enough to welcome documentary film maker Adam Curtis, who came and spent an evening with the group. This was a seminal moment in the development of the piece (and probably also in our lives outside of this project) - and we are very grateful to him.
Most of all, the project represented for me the most amazing opportunity: to work with a group of sixteen young performers who, in their talent, enthusiasm and quality of character show that there is reason to hope for a better tomorrow.