The Verbatim Formula (REF 2021 Practice Research Submission)

Baker, Sylvan (2020) The Verbatim Formula (REF 2021 Practice Research Submission). The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. ISBN 978-1-8383967-2-5


The Verbatim Formula (TVF) is a multi-component practice research project comprising a book chapter, journal article, website and video animation, with accompanying contextual documentation. The project is led collaboratively by myself, Dr Sylvan Baker, a lecturer at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Associate Director at People’s Palace Projects, alongside Dr Maggie Inchley and Dr Sadhvi Dar at Queen Mary University of London and freelance artist Mita Pujara. TVF uses verbatim theatre techniques to better understand the experiences of care-experienced young people in terms of exclusion and marginalisation in Higher Education and their lived experience of the care system. TVF’s aim is to encourage care and Higher Education professionals and other key stakeholders to listen to care-experienced young people, and to reconsider and realign their services in relation to the needs of their care-experienced users.

Within applied theatre practice, TVF innovates verbatim theatre techniques combined with headphone performance to elicit affective responses in audiences and to facilitate listening and dialogue. The care-experienced young people are co-researchers in the practice, and performances based on their verbatim testimony are used in service-provider and stakeholder settings to initiate dialogue and provide training. TVF has developed the ‘Portable Testimony Service’, where pop-up performances, drawn from a ‘living archive’ of over 150 testimonies of care-experienced young people and adult professionals, are delivered in relevant stakeholder contexts. To ensure the practice remains responsive to the young people and to key stakeholders, evaluation is embedded. TVF has been disseminated in a journal article; a book chapter; and workshops, seminars, presentations and conferences. Through performances (total audiences 750) and training events (total attending 160), the project website, a video animation explaining the methodology and artistic outputs, such as zines, an exhibition and accompanying brochure, the research has been shared widely with publics and key stakeholders.


Published Version - PDF (REF 2021 Practice Research Submission)

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