The second Rough Cuts show tonight only had this one public performance; a project director Indhu Rubasingham has been working on for a couple of years, Unheard Voices: Romany Stories is based on interviews with the Traveller community conducted by Dan Allum and Nell Leyshon, then edited into this one-hour play by the three of them. Six actors including Luke Treadaway (what do you mean "now you know why I booked this?" Ahem) play gypsies of all ages, some reminiscing about their traditional childhoods, some having struggled to adjust when circumstances meant they had to move into houses. Lack of education is a theme but not for all of them - Sean Chapman plays a scientist with a rather florid turn of phrase while Treadaway's character got a scholarship to boarding school and then on to Oxford. Beatie Edney rather steals the show first with her character's infectious tendency to laugh at things that ought really to be pretty disturbing, and then with a movingly-performed monologue near the end. I'm not sure how much scope there is for this play beyond this kind of performance but although all I know of the Romany community comes pretty much from plays like this one, it's quite fascinating to delve into what essentially remains the one acceptable form of racism in this country.
Unheard Voices: Romany Stories by Dan Allum, Nell Leyshon and Indhu Rubasingham has now ended at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs.