• Adaptations: Moby Dick Performance Research Project

      Piasecka, Shelley; University of Chester
      Adaptations: Moby Dick is a performance research project, consisting of a script, stage production, and site-sensitive performance. The adaptation was commissioned for the International Cornerstone Arts Festival (2017). In-kind funding was provided by the Tall Ship Zebu for a site- sensitive performance for the River Festival, Liverpool (2019). There were two interconnected stages to the project, underpinned by three research questions: 1. How do we re-imagine character within ensemble-led practice? 2. How does dramatic time differ from narrative time? 3. What is the relationship between the source text and adapted iterations? The first stage of the project led to a fully realised stage production, shown in Liverpool and Chester (2017). A further iteration of the adaptation was performed on the Tall Ship Zebu, Liverpool (2019). Following this performance, the project considered the impact of site as cultural memory, disseminated through conference papers.
    • Co-creating, co-producing and connecting: Museum practice today.

      Barnes, Pamela; McPherson, Gayle; University of Chester; University of the West of Scotland (Wiley, 2019-04-25)
      We argue in this paper that museums have become hybrid spaces, where consumers look and challenge what they see; they form part of what they see; with some aspects of exhibitions now co‐created and co‐produced by the consumer (Kershaw et al. 2018; Solis 2012). This paper draws on an example from a group that we worked with using performance as a tool to engage a ‘hard to reach’ or ‘socially excluded’ groups. We conclude that by allowing audiences to co‐create and co‐produce exhibitions and performance; this can turn the museum rhetoric of community engagement into practice and create a space that is truly inclusive for the communities it serves. We demonstrate how the possibility of seeing museums as hybrid spaces, which can adapt, can be used for education and entertainment, and how that has in turn led to the transformation of people's lives in a previously socially excluded community.
    • Diving Into the Wild: Ecologies of Performance in Devon and Cornwall

      Sarco-Thomas, Malaika; Falmouth University (Routledge, 2015-03-31)
      This chapter explores different examples of site-based dance performance in Devon and Cornwall, analysing them for the different ways they invite audiences and performers to engage with nature. The essay maps a continuum for engaging with the outdoors via a table that categorises different sited dance activities and performances from 2001-2014, drawing on findings of reports which identify the health benefits of engaging with green spaces. Works are analysed for their ways of encouraging viewing nature, incidental involvement, and purposeful, somatic involvement with the outdoors. The chapter argues that such performance initiatives offer conceptual and social frameworks for outdoor experiences that provide individuals with health-giving benefits whilst simultaneously proposing ways to think differently about our relationships to wild places.
    • Introduction

      Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian; University of Chester; Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London
      Introduction to the book 'Marie Duval: maverick Victorian cartoonist'.
    • John Bull’s Other Ireland: Manchester-Irish Identities and a Generation of Performance

      Harrop, Peter; O'Sullivan, Brendan M. (University of Chester, 2017-05)
      This thesis provides an auto-ethnographically informed ‘making strange’ of the mise-en-scène of Irish working class domesticity in the North West of England as it was lived during the 1960s, 1970s and into the 1980s. The liminality of being a child of migrant parents is considered and the interstices of experience and identity in and of England and Ireland, Englishness and Irishness are explored. The first chapter of the thesis draws the reader into the initial frame of reference, the personal childhood ethnography that inspired this wider study, and considers Bhabha’s ‘shadow of the nation’ falling ‘on the condition of exile’ as one context for the development of individual identities. The second chapter examines the ways in which a performance studies approach provides a useful method for interrogating matters of place, personhood and citizenship whilst the third chapter introduces performance theory as a mechanism for exploring the ways in which quotidian and cultural performance have been harnessed as tools of negotiation. These are sometimes resistant, sometimes affirmative and sometimes celebratory acts in the construction of new identities. Ongoing performances reveal the embodied histories of individual performers, shaped in part by culture and memory, masking and unmasking to both construct and reveal layered identities. The fourth chapter, provides the most obvious example of traditional fieldwork, and draws on interview extracts to provide key insights into aspects of the diasporic context, identifying and analyzing the many rehearsal and performance opportunities provided by growing up in Irish households in England, where identities were initially formed, informed, and performed. Bridging the distinction between autoethnography, performance ethnography and the ethnography of performance, this chapter engages in discussion with a range of contributors defamiliarising the domestic mise-en-scène whilst simultaneously recognizing a commonality of experience. These interviews are themselves a celebration of Irish identity performance and form an important bridge between the theoretical framework explored in the opening chapters and the subsequent case studies. The final section of the thesis searches out a mirroring of these processes in the construction of theatrical and mediatised performance – providing opportunities to both utilize and observe performance ethnography and the ethnography of performance. It is suggested that Terry Christian provides an affirmative yet angry celebration in a complex performed response to a complex mise-en-scène. A new reading of Steve Coogan’s work then suggests three modes of performance: first, Coogan the outsider satirises British mores; second, Coogan plays sophisticated games of revealing and masking multiple versions of self; third, a searching and ultimately serious engagement with his engagement with Ireland. The application of a performance theory perspective, in the context of this fraction of the Irish diaspora, reveals a playful and generous spirited approach to complex and serious matters of identity and place in the world – to the ways in which lives are led and meanings made through and for the generation of performance.
    • Meaningful play: applying game and play design practices to promote agency in participatory performance

      Harper, Jamie; Newcastle University (Taylor & Francis, 2019-06-24)
      As interactive and immersive forms of performance have proliferated, performance scholars have devoted increasing attention to gaming practices in order to describe the types of agency that these forms offer to their participants. This article seeks to problematise links that have been drawn between interactive performance and games, however, arguing that discussions of gaming in relation to performance are often limited to a textual paradigm which conceives game play as the exploratory uncovering of performance texts rather than the generative creation of emergent play narratives. This argument will be advanced by making three propositions: firstly, that performance practitioners and scholars who wish to draw upon games in their work should move beyond a textual paradigm to develop an understanding of how games can be understood as systems. Secondly, the article will propose that if the enhancement of participatory agency is desired, participatory performance designs might usefully respond to the cultural particularity of those involved. Thirdly, the article will argue that although system-based design can imply connotations of top down control, participatory performance design can be reconceived as a ‘curatorial’ practice that creates contexts for play that is co-created by participants, affirming their agency in shaping the emergent content of the work.