‘I’d like the people to know I’m not an animal. Did I cause harm? Yes. Should I be punished? Of course. But do I deserve my human rights? Absolutely I do.’
The Examination is the award-winning production by Brokentalkers exploring mental health and human rights in the prison system. Performed by Brokentalkers’ Gary Keegan and stand-up comedian and former prisoner Willie White.
Featuring Brokentalkers’ distinctive blend of biography, socio-political discourse and breath taking theatricality, The Examination draws on historical research and testimony from current and former prisoners. With powerful imagery and a visceral sound scape, The Examination is an uncompromising and revelatory interrogation of an aspect of society too often ignored.
The Examination is the outcome of a 12-month research period, that saw Brokentalkers’ directors Gary Keegan and Feidlim Cannon hold theatre workshops and interviews with life sentence prisoners and former prisoners in various settings including Mountjoy Prison and PACE Training and Education Services. They have also drawn on wider historical analysis undertaken by Associate Professor Catherine Cox (UCD), with Professor Hilary Marland and Dr Rachel Bennett (University of Warwick).
Best Production – Irish Times Theatre Awards 2020
Best Soundscape (Denis Clohessy) – Irish Times Theatre Awards 2020
Best Production – Dublin Fringe Festival 2019
Best Performer (Willie White) – Dublin Fringe Festival 2019
The Examination is a collaboration with Professor Catherine Cox, as part of the Wellcome Trust Award for Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000 and is supported by UCD Research. Originally commissioned by UCD School of History.
The Examination Leinster Tour is funded by The Arts Council Touring Award.
Written & Directed by Feidlim Cannon & Gary Keegan
Creative Producer: Rachel Bergin
Research: Associate Professor Catherine Cox
Set Design: Ger Clancy
Sound Deisgn: Denis Clohessy
Lighting Design: Stephen Dodd
Costume Design: Sarah Foley
Animation Deisgn / Illustration: Gareth Gowran
Movement Direction: Eddie Kay
‘Superbly slippery piece of theatre’
‘No easy escapes in Brokentalkers’ sly, provocative play’
The Irish Times
‘Again and again, ‘The Examination’ pulls the rug out from under you’
Brokentalkers are a multi-award winning Dublin based theatre company, led by Co-Artistic Directors Feidlim Cannon and Gary Keegan with Creative Producer Rachel Bergin. Brokentalkers was founded in 2001 by Cannon and Keegan after graduating from De Montfort University in Leicester. For over a decade Brokentalkers have been making formally ambitious work that defies categorization and have built a reputation as one of Ireland’s most innovative and original theatre companies.
Their working method is founded on a collaborative process that draws on the skills and experiences of a large and diverse group of contributors from different disciplines and backgrounds. Some are professional artists, performers, designers and writers and others are people who do not usually work in the theatre but who brings an authenticity to the work that is compelling.
They make work that responds to the contemporary world, using elements such as original writing, dance, classic texts, film, interviews, found materials and music to represent that world in performance.
Their recent work includes MASTERCLASS (Premiered at Project Arts Centre as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2021), The Examination (Premiered at Project Arts Centre 2019, winner of Best Production & Best Soundscape Irish Times Theatre Awards 2020, winner of Best Production and Best Performer, Dublin Fringe Festival 2019), Woman Undone (Premiered at Project Arts Centre & Mermaid Arts Centre 2018), The Circus Animals’ Desertion (Dublin Theatre Festival 2016), This Beach (Munich Kammerspiele, Dublin Fringe Festival 2016), Have I No Mouth (Dublin Fringe Festival 2012; winner of Total Theatre Award, Edinburgh 2013) and The Blue Boy (Grand Prix winner, Kontakt Festival, Torun, Poland, 2014).
To date Brokentalkers have presented their work in Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, New Zealand and the USA.
Live Collision International Festival, Dublin IRE
Space Upstairs, Project Arts Centre
Wed 27 — Sat 30 April
€22 / 18
Strong language and themes of mental health
ISL performance on Thurs 28 April
*Post show discussion on Wed 27th April