• The Events: Immanence and the Audience

      Pattie, David; University of Chester (de Gruyter, 2016-05-12)
      David Greig’s The Events (2013) stages the aftermath of a traumatic event; a cleric tries to come to terms with the massacre of her multicultural choir. The play uses two actors (one playing the cleric, and the other playing all the other main roles, including that of the killer). The cast, however, also includes a choir, drawn from the town where the show is being performed: the choir sings, and takes on small speaking roles (reading their lines from the script). They also serve as an audience for the action, occupying tiered seating at the back of the stage. The choir serves as a powerful reminder of what Laura Cull, in Theatres of Immanence: Deleuze and the Ethics of Performance (2012) identifies as Deleuzian immanence: a performance which stages “the participation, multiplication and extension of the human body – understood as that which is produced by relations of force and encounters with the affects of other bodies” (10). In this article, I argue that the strong affect generated by the play in performance stems mainly from the positioning of the choir, the performers and the audience as, simultaneously, participants and witnesses to trauma; and from the immanent relation of actors, choir and audience within the structure of the performance event.