Writer and Performer Charlene Salter talks about interactive audio experience ‘The Interrogation’ currently on tour

Exploring her own personal experiences of being misunderstood for her learning disability, writer and performer Charlene Salter, in collaboration with Access All Areas present The Interrogation, a bespoke interactive audio experience also drawing on real life cases of learning disabled people unfairly criminalised. Having already toured Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, The Marlowe, The Lowry, Tobacco Factory Theatres, the experience will also show at Battersea Arts Centre and Rich Mix. Charlene tells us more about exploring this important topic via audio technology.

Hi Charlene, Access All Areas have recently debuted their latest production The Interrogation at the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival. The show will continue with its tour at The Marlowe, The Lowry, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Battersea Arts Centre and Rich Mix. How are you feeling?

I’m feeling overwhelmed, excited and hearing other peoples’ feedback of the show has really moved me and lightened me.

Created by yourself, The Interrogation is a bespoke interactive audio production exploring your personal experience of being misunderstood for your learning disability as well as drawing on the real-life cases of learning disabled people unfairly criminalised. How have you found exploring this particular topic further?

It was a challenge because it was so deep; ableism is very tough, but with the support that I had, and knowing what I wanted to get across with the show, I managed to keep calm and enjoy myself, even though it was serious subject. It has given me real moments of release, the freedom to have my own voice.

The GPS guided walk has been created by creative technologist Marmelo, with recorded elements from yourself as performer. How have you collaborated to realise the show and how have you found using tech to explore the shows themes further?

Partnering with Marmelo was cool, because they listened to our access needs and it was a learning experience for them too. It’s amazing how you can put a play into this technology, it’s very clever! When I first heard the section with binaural sound, it was very exciting and creepy, which is what we want the audience to feel – a bit scared!

What have you learned/taken away from creating the piece?

I learned that you can do the work, but you don’t have to push yourself too hard – you can record lines on voice notes, find different ways of working. I learned new techniques with the recording audio aspects, especially the binaural microphone.

What can participants expect from the experience?

Participants can expect to experience what it is like to feel judged and live in an ableist world and feel what it’s like not having help and being judged.

What would you like for participants to take away from the experience?

Just to be aware of anybody they see on the street that may look different: take a step back, breathe, look deeper. You don’t know what their needs are or what’s troubling them in their everyday life. There’s no point in judging someone if you don’t know them.

Questions by Lucy Basaba.

The Interrogation will take place simultaneously at the Battersea Arts Centre and Rich Mix from Tuesday 28th September until Sunday 3rd October 2021. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop