Things I Know to be True: genre

Things I Know to be True: genre

Style and Genre of ‘Things I Know to Be True’

  • ‘Things I Know To Be True’ is recognised as a fusion of styles, incorporating elements of drama, physical theatre, and movement.
  • This is a contemporary piece, first performed in Adelaide, Australia in 2016.
  • Known for its realistic setting, the play is a modern drama featuring the working class Price family from Adelaide’s Hallett Cove.
  • Renowned playwright Andrew Bovell wrote the piece, famous for his contributions to social realist theatre.

Physical Theatre and Narrative Style

  • ‘Things I Know to Be True’ utilises aspects of physical theatre, with segments of the story told through body movements to introduce metaphorical aspects.
  • This was possible through a collaboration with Frantic Assembly, a British theatre group known globally for their works in physical theatre.
  • The storytelling in the play is non-linear, with an episodic and fragmented style that presents a multi-narrative form.

Themes and Delivery Techniques

  • The play, despite depicting a family drama, touches on the universal themes of love, loss, and heartbreak.
  • It uses tragicomedy, mixing tragic and comic elements throughout.
  • The use of monologues delivered directly to the audience forms part of the brechtian style employed in the play, often referred to as breaking the fourth wall.
  • A symbolic realism approach is used, with objects, settings and actions having meanings beyond their obvious appearance.

Social Commentary

  • Although ‘Things I Know to Be True’ greatly revolves around domestic drama, it subtly includes political elements, commenting on social and economic issues such as struggles of the working class.
  • Additionally, it explores the complexities of truth, relationships, and identity through a stylistic and nuanced storytelling approach.