Things I Know To Be True does not shy away from being a challenging play. It deals with some heavy, topical issues and is not to be considered a light night on the tiles, but that is not to say that it is not uplifting either. Hailing from the success of Lovesong (2011) and their work on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2012), *Frantic Assembly*’s engaging return, currently playing in the Warwick Arts Centre theatre, is a marriage of physical theatre and realist, family drama.
This bold play has moments of brilliance, incorporating a stunning visual and lighting design with a charming and emotive sound design, to bring to life the emotionally arresting dialogue. Things I Know To Be True tells the moving story of parents Bob and Fran, and their complex relationship with each of their four children; Pip, Mark, Rosie, and Ben. As the story unfolds around the audience, we are invited to follow Bob and Fran as they remain a constant in each scene, and struggle with them as the play progresses. The play is bookended nicely by a visual motif of Bob leaning forward into the space between him and the phone, symbolising the possibility of ‘what if’ in the moment before he answers it.
The interval left me feeling anxious, as it left the audience hanging on the brutal exchange which ended the scene, only to be brought back in with the Act 2 instilling hope for these characters, despite their faults. This play proves that people make mistakes, and can say things out of fear and ignorance, but if there’s anything I know to be true, it’s that this play is ultimately about the resilience of the human heart, and the bravery it takes to be true to ourselves in the face of conflict.
The result of Frantic Assembly’s newest foray into some truly moving theatre (in every sense of the word) is a heady mixture of physical theatre and realist drama: Things I Know to be True strikes chords, and the music it makes enchants. Audience members left in awe, some laughing, some crying; all entranced and astounded by almost two-and-a-half hours of emotionally impactful theatre.
Things I Know To Be True is on until Sat 22nd of October.