This project explores the politics of participation and representation in “theatre of the real” named after Carol Martin’s groundbreaking work on theatre about real events in her book of the same title (2013). Such theatre explicitly cites or summons the real world and its problems and is an increasingly prominent form of performance internationally. It includes, for example, autobiographical, community-based, documentary, participatory, relational, re-enactment, testimonial and participatory practices. Often involving vulnerable or marginalised people, theatre of the real casts these participants as “everyday experts” with valuable knowledge derived from their lived experience. This project investigates what happens when such experts meet theatre professionals and spectators. To this end it explores the complex politics and ethics that surround the process of representing and empowering real people through theatre.