Multimedia performance

Plays

Darknet  

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Rose Lewenstein's play Darknet is a drama exploring the world of data commodification and the uncharted deep web. It was first performed at Southwark Playhouse, London, on 14 April 2016, produced by Potential Difference.

The play is set in some unspecified near future. Teenager Kyla enlists the help of computer genius Jamie to navigate the darknet in order to buy methadone for her addict mother, Stacey. Meanwhile Allen, a tech exec for Octopus Inc., the internet giant that allows users to exchange personal data for currency, prepares to launch a new predictive algorithm that could transform online advertising. But a group of online hackers is out to stop him.

An author's note in the script states that 'Nothing about the play is naturalistic. Scenes don’t stop and start but jump from one to another, as though the audience are navigating multiple web pages.'

The premiere production was directed by Russell Bender and designed by Mila Sanders. It was performed by Jim English, Robin Berry, Rosie Thomson, Naveed Khan, Gyuri Sarossy, Ella McLoughlin and Greer Dale-Foulkes.

audio Dugout III: Warboy (and the Backboard Blues )

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Drawing upon his childhood memories of West Texas, artist, musician and writer Terry Allen has created this magical, multi-layered evening in the tradition of Southern story-telling. As Allen explains, “Dugout is a love story; an investigation into how memory is invented.”

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Jo Harvey Allen, Terry Allen, Richard Bowden and Lloyd Maines.

Featuring: Jo Harvey Allen, Terry Allen, Richard Bowden, Lloyd Maines

Easy Access (For The Boys)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Easy Access (For The Boys) is a hard-hitting and uncomfortable play about victims of child abuse, and the challenging complexity of their relationships with their abusers.

Michael and his friend Gary were both sexually abused by their fathers. Michael, a young prostitute, is making a video diary with Gary’s help – an attempt to understand his past and the lies he has been told by his father and by himself. When his dad gets a new assistant and she and her young son move in with him, Michael’s determination to protect the child leads him to revisit the past in more ominous detail. Mixing video footage and on-stage conversations, this is a story of blame, love and confusion, in which the sufferings of the past spill over into the rage of the present.

Easy Access (For The Boys) premiered at the Drill Hall in 1998.

Flood, Part III: To The Sea  

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

One day it starts to rain and no-one knows why. And it doesn't stop. Far out on the North Sea a fisherman raises a girl in his net, miraculously alive from the deep sea. Is she one of the migrants now washing up on English shores? Or someone sent for some higher purpose?
Commissioned by Hull UK City of Culture 2017 this epic and extraordinary collaboration between multi-award-winning artists James Phillips and Slung Low is the culmination of a year-long project. Four parts told across three different mediums, this complete text includes four stunningly written dramas that ask fundamental questions about our future, our communities and our collective responsibilities. 

Flood, Part IV: New World  

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

  One day it starts to rain and no-one knows why. And it doesn't stop. Far out on the North Sea a fisherman raises a girl in his net, miraculously alive from the deep sea. Is she one of the migrants now washing up on English shores? Or someone sent for some higher purpose?
Commissioned by Hull UK City of Culture 2017 this epic and extraordinary collaboration between multi-award-winning artists James Phillips and Slung Low is the culmination of a year-long project. Four parts told across three different mediums, this complete text includes four stunningly written dramas that ask fundamental questions about our future, our communities and our collective responsibilities.

Girl from the North Country  

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Girl from the North Country is a play by Conor McPherson with music and lyrics by Bob Dylan. It was first performed at The Old Vic, London, on 8 July 2017, transferring to the Noel Coward Theatre in the West End on 29 December 2017.

The play's action is set in a guesthouse in Duluth, Minnesota, in the winter of 1934. The guesthouse proprietor, Nick Laine, owes more money than he can ever repay, while his wife Elizabeth is losing her mind and their daughter Marianne is pregnant with a child that no one will account for. When a preacher selling bibles and a boxer looking for a comeback turn up in the middle of the night, things spiral beyond the point of no return. Interwoven with the action are songs selected by Conor McPherson from the extensive songbook of Bob Dylan.

In an introduction to the published script, Conor McPherson writes: 'Maybe five years ago I was asked if I might consider writing a play to feature Bob Dylan’s songs. I initially didn’t feel this was something I could do and I had cast it out of my mind when, one day, walking along, I saw a vision of a guesthouse in Minnesota in the 1930s. ... And I saw a way Mr Dylan’s songs might make sense in a play.'

The first production was directed by Conor McPherson and designed by Rae Smith. It was performed by Sheila Atim, Ron Cook, Bronagh Gallagher, Shirley Henderson, Ciarán Hinds (as Nick Laine), Claudia Jolly, Arinzé Kene, Debbie Kurup, Kirsty Malpass, Jim Norton, Tom Peters, Karl Queensborough, Sam Reid, Michael Shaeffer, Jack Shalloo and Stanley Townsend.

Lives of the Great Poisoners

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Lives of the Great Poisoners is a multidisciplinary theatre piece with elements of text, dance and song on the theme of history’s most infamous poisoners. Caryl Churchill collaborated on its creation with composer Orlando Gough and choreographer Ian Spink. It was first performed at the Arnolfini, Bristol, on 13 February 1991 in a production by Second Stride, the performance collective co-founded by Ian Spink, Siobhan Davies and Richard Alston.

The play has three parts, each featuring an infamous poisoner: Dr Crippen, who was hanged in 1910 for the murder of his wife Cora; Medea, the mythical figure who killed her ex-husband Jason’s new wife with poisoned robes; and Madame de Brinvilliers, the notorious seventeenth-century poisoner who learnt the tricks of the trade from her lover. The three stories are linked together by the figure of Midgley, an American inventor and industrial chemist.

The piece requires nine performers: four dancers, three singers, one singer/actor and one actor. Many of the scenes in the play take place between performers of different disciplines: a singer and a dancer, for instance, or an actor and a singer. The music and the text were written first and formed the backbone for the choreography, which grew out of improvisational work in rehearsal. The dance interludes were then woven into the existing text.

The Second Stride production at the Arnolfini in 1991 was directed by James Macdonald and designed by Antony McDonald with choreography by Ian Spink.

Olfactory

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Over 10,000 different smells drift across our planet in various configurations. Olfactory gives you a choice to craft your identity and to decode the invisible molecules floating through the air. Who do you want to be in the future?

This short play explores our invisible relationship with perfumes and smell, through a one-on-one performance, encased in a beautiful piece of architecture. The experience was originally presented as part of the Lyric Hammersmith's 'Theatre in the Square' season in 2012.

Project XXX

Aurora Metro Books
Type: Text

Project XXX is a dark, romantic comedy. The story follows a feminist teenage blogger who decides it is time to prove that sex on the web is not just for men. During a rainy summer in a northern seaside town, Amy resolves to show that sexual choice is firmly in the hands of women by persuading new love interest Callum to film her first time. Meanwhile, Callum has his own issues to deal with, including a mother on the edge of a nervous breakdown and an obsession with faded porn star Jaze.

Name given loosely to performance in which different forms, such as speech, song, dance, film or video, are mixed together. Arising in the 1960s out of experiments like happenings and influenced by pop culture, it aspires to a kind of total theatre and often overlaps with terms such as music theatre, performance art and other types of experimental theatre. A good example of the versatility of the designation is the work of Laurie Anderson (b. 1947). She constantly reinvents herself as a performer as she uses technology to explore notions of popular music and artistic iconography in highly theatrical work, from her first piece, Automotive (1972), orchestrated for car horns, to The Nerve Bible (1995), in which she triggers audio samples through electronic sensors padded in a specially designed suit, to Moby Dick (1999), a multimedia mediation on Melville’s novel.

from Charles London, The Continuum Companion to Twentieth-Century Theatre, ed. Colin Chambers (London, 2002).