Official website for Mark C. Hewitt & Blank Productions

Geneva Convention
Blank Productions 2023

Written and directed by Mark C. Hewitt
with music by Thomas Strønen

Set and lighting design: Paul Phillips
Video sequences: Matt Parsons
Cast for first production: Marta Carvalho, Leann O'Kasi, Melissa Sirol, Maria Zio

An experimental theatre work for an indeterminate number of voices that takes as its architectural structure the four Geneva Conventions: Wounded & Sick / Maritime / Prisoners of War / Civilians. The play was first presented as a work in progress rehearsed reading over two nights at the Lantern Theatre, Brighton, on 28/29 January, 2023. Music for the production is composed by Norwegian percussionist
Thomas Strønen and recorded by his strings/piano ensemble Time Is A Blind Guide. The music was commissioned with support from Arts Council Norway and the Norwegian Composers Fund and the R&D of the play was supported by Arts Council England.

The work is due to be receive its full premiere at Brighton Fringe Festival, May 2024.

Photos by Teresa Martins, 2023


Audience Feedback from rehearsed readings

"An exceptional and ambitious sharing, which made me forget I was in a rehearsed reading. Felt in good hands even before the start due to a set which made a promise that the performance delivered. Terrific layering of voices interweaving the formal text of the Convention with verbatim as well as overlaying different languages. This made for a sense of urgency and unease as well as moments of comedy that felt effortless. Wonderfully confident performances were supported by the music and the holding of silence and stillness. Wonderful 'trick' turned using the set for the video section, which was hugely effective."
• “BRILLIANT. Thought-provoking, raw, provocative, multi-dimensional; use of music, space, silence … the brave lack of ‘closure’ or conventional narrative."
• "This had a dreamlike quality and, in some ways, I feel it will have most effect tonight when I sleep. I wondered if the key word is ‘convention’ – which linked the desire to create outside theatrical ‘convention’ – no plot, no characters and the subject matter the Geneva ‘Convention’. Feel very privileged to have these first tender explorations"
• "Loved the performance, the set and how it changed, likewise the music and the thought-provoking ideas expressed.”
• "A really powerful provocative piece.”
• "Very intense; the four different voices from different spaces in the room gave a sharp touch. Getting to know it was random (at the end, in the Q&A) was a great surprise.”
• "Really captivating experimental play. Liked the topic and the random aspect, which should be made more prominent. Bring it to the Fringe. Thanks again."
• "I liked the element of chaos and improvisation, it really added another layer to the performance …"

Set design by Paul Phillips in blackout mode. Photo by Melissa Sirol.