30 July 2020, The Tablet

Trial by online jury

Trial by online jury

A scene from The Evidence Chamber
Photo: Fastfamiliar


The Evidence Chamber

Jury trials and theatre – two of the activities forced online by Covid-19 – come together in The Evidence Chamber, the enthrallingly informative latest project from Fast Familiar, a group of three artists (Dan Barnard, Joe McAlister and Rachel Briscoe) specialising in audience-participation pieces, typically using drama to assist serious academic research.

The trio has already had a lockdown hit with Smoking Gun, an interactive story about corporate whistleblowing, played over five days through a free mobile phone app. The Evidence Chamber digitalises a previous live performance piece that, in collaboration with the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science in Dundee, explores the reaction of jurors to expert evidence and, times being as they are, also serves as research into the viability of Zoom juries.

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