In 2015 the charity Kids Company went bust just a week after receiving a government grant of 3 million pounds. Founder Ms Batmanghelidih was accused of mismanagement. She argued demand for Kids Company was unsustainable due to institutional failings by the government.
The Committee is a verbatim piece from the transcripts of the evidence given by Batmanghelidih and chairman Alan Yentob. And, of course, adapted into a musical. I’m determined to believe that anything can be turned into a musical and I haven’t been proved wrong yet (does anyone remember that episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer were they all start singing randomly and, initially, nobody really notices – well it was a bit like that.) The Committee was very interesting to watch, I had only briefly heard about it in the news when it happened at the time so it was all very enlightening. however, if it had not have been a musical I probably would have switched off – on the surface the issue doesn’t appear very thrilling.
The singing is skillful and operatic. Batmanghelidih, played by Sandra Marvin, sings woefully of the injustice she has witnessed working with the charity. The musicality of the hearing allows you to feel partly sympathetic to Batmanghelidih. Despite her apparent failings she did try to fight for poverty stricken children of which there are simply too many. Although nobody really comes across very well. Despite seeing ‘The Committee’ I’m still not sure who/what is blame for the Charities failure – at least I’m sure there are several contributing factors.
The Committee is on at the Donmar Warehouse until August 12. If you are under 25 you can see it for free. Sign up at The Donmar Warehouse website for Young and Free email alert for when they release free tickets.