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More in this section 2012-13

New Term at the Drama Department

Posted on 01/10/2012

As teaching starts for the Autumn Term, we thought we'd round up what a few academics have done over the summer. 

Whilst Royal Holloway acted as an Olympic and Paralympic village, Sutherland House had a bit of a refurbishment (including a new ), work has progressed nicely on the (and we recently announced it will be named "The Caryl Churchill Theatre") and members of the Drama Department have been all over the world:

Matthew Cohen was in Indonesia during August 2012, undertaking practical studies in wayang golek cepak, a rare form of rod puppet theatre. He rounded out these studies by offering a performance of the play Sutajaya Kemit (Sutajaya, the Night Watchman) in Indramayu, which was covered in national media (http://www.antarafoto.com/seni-budaya/v1345522262/pergelaran-wayang-golek-cepak). He followed this up by speaking at a seminar on Asian avant-gardes at the National University of Singapore.

CoverTBPfinalDavid Williams's book about Lone Twin's The Boat Project was launched in May, with the boat itself, as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Since that time, the boat has traveled widely in the South East, during a maiden voyage that has included journeys to and events in Brighton, Portsmouth, Folkestone, Margate, Weymouth, Milton Keynes, Great Yarmouth and Southampton. The boat will be exhibited in the Quad of King's College's Strand Campus 15-27 October, as part of the Arts & Humanities Festival 2012 (see http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/ahri/eventrecords/boat.aspx). In the summer, David was also involved as a performer in Tino Sehgal's These Associations, the final Unilever Commission for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern; and in the Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal's Nur Du at the Barbican, as part of a 'chorus of men'. David has also been undertaking research in Sicily, for a chapter in a forthcoming book 'Performing Cities'. In Palermo he interviewed (amongst others) antimafia prosecutors in the Palazzo della Giustizia, the celebrated photographer Shobha Battaglia, anti-extortion activists Addiopizzo, the Sicilian saxophonist Gianni Gebbia, young artists illegally occupying and reanimating an abandoned theatre Teatro Garibaldi Aperto, and the EU Citizen of the Year 2012 Fratello Biagio Conte, a remarkable Franciscan lay monk who provides refuges for over one thousand homeless people and migrants.

    006David Wiles visited Chile in July for the annual conference of the IFTR, where he is a  convenor of the theatre historiography working group. With Helen Gilbert and led by his former colleague Enzo Cozzi, he visited the huge dance festival of La Tirana where some 2000 or more dancers gather in the desert on the Altiplano to celebrate the birth of the virgin, in a ceremony full of pre-Columbian memories.

    Professor Wiles also visited the baroque theatres of Drottningholm, Confidencen and Gripsholm in Stockholm in connection with his current project: investigating the re-creation of 18th-century acting.  He is co-authoring a book with the Swedish historian Willmar Sauter.

    New staff member Liam Jarvis was invited to be an Artist in Residence at Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK - http://www.h-w-k.de), Institute for Advanced Study in Lower Saxony, Germany. He is the first theatre practitioner to be offered a prestigious Fellowship at this interdisciplinary institute, and during his 2 month residency over the summer he undertook research into memory, processes of 'rehearsal', dissociative conditions (in particular, 'derealisation' or the experience of the world around us as performed or unreal) and visual systems. Liam's Fellowship culminated in an ambitious work-in-progress performance happening at the Upstairs Gallery, Oldenburg with support form Oldenburgisches Staatstheater. This piece is a headphone audio tour inspired by his extensive reading and research. The experience was framed as a 'live rehearsal' with the audience acting as unrehearsed participants or 're-enactors' of events from the narrated voice's memory. This research connects with his preparations for Everything Must Leave Some Kind of Mark - an interactive project inspired by the narrator of Tom McCarthy's ground-breaking novel Remainder which has been shortlisted for the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award (Co-produced by the Barbican with CREATE and Shoreditch Town Hall). Liam's company Analogue will be performing a work-in-progress of this project at Shoreditch Town Hall on 13 October. Over the summer, Liam also completed the first draft of a new play script entitled Living Film Set, commissioned by Plymouth Theatre Royal.

    Professor Liz Schafer (Drama and Theatre) appeared on Radio 4's Woman's Hour on the 19th September and discussed with Guardian critic Michael Billington the challenge of reviving problematic shows such as 'Carousel', 'The Taming of the Shrew' and 'Kiss Me Kate'.


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