Paralleling the lives of a 1930s German who has been sent into exile by the Nazis and a 2012 actor who has been sent into exile by a theatre company, Script in Hand tells the story of the inner struggle of two silenced men.
It is essentially a one man show, but saying any more will give away the cleverly constructed surprise the production includes. Reading the flyer lying outside the venue gave nothing away about the play (this was intensified by the phrase ‘this play does not exist’), and after watching the performance I remained mostly in the dark. Yet, at the same time, I was utterly captivated throughout the whole show. The play was written to give a voice to a forgotten man, Paul Renner, creator of the Futura font. Then there’s the actor, Toby, who was cast in a play about the life of Renner. He describes his frustration as all of his lines were removed from the play in order to create the metaphor of Renner as a silenced man.
A vital component to a piece of good theatre is an ability to make the audience think and want to ask questions and discuss it afterwards. After the roar of applause, many audience members remained in their seats and turned to one another to talk about the drama that had just unfolded. The play begs the question: does a man who hated historicism really want to be remembered? The play was certainly original; I have never before been to a performance where the scripts were handed out to the audience so they could follow the dialogue. As Toby said, ‘this is a story that needs to be told’, and it’s certainly a performance that needs to be seen.