“Human beings think with their whole bodies; they are made up of complexes of gestures and reality is in them, without them, despite them.” (Jacques Lecoq)
I am a theatre-maker and performance artist, trained in mime and acting. My practice aims to explore the relationship between the audience, performer and the material of the work. The theatre I create mixes games, mime, movement and acting. In my work I recognise the role of the audience to actively interpret the material and the performance, in order to complete the work. The body is at the core of all of my work.
In a recent development I have begun making short videos. These allow me to focus on a single idea or even a single aspect of the body. The films still work from the human body as a starting point.
My work aims to be politically engaged without being polemic. I perceive the influence of an international culture of artists in my work. Migration, cultural and physical, is in our lives and informs our cultural development. Yet, public discourse is led either by bigots or by those who only see an economic argument for migration. In order to begin to reclaim this discourse, we need to make a cultural argument in favour of migration.
We are surrounded by technology, yet few of us wonder about the science that makes our phones work. We are also surrounded by bad science that a little understanding of scientific method would allow us to see through. I believe that it is important that I work with scientific ideas in my work, in order for my practice to be fully a part of the world in which my audience exists.
I am inspired by a line of connected theatre makers, writers and educators; including Jacques Copeau, Antonin Artaud, Jacques Lecoq, Dario Fo and Simon McBurney. Some of the tropes that connect them are the fundamental role of play and improvisation to explore and develop work; the importance of the body; and the idea that theatre language is more than spoken words.
Being a member of an audience is a creative act. It is only in the interpretation of the audience that the performance exists. As Ranciere proposes, emancipated performers and audience in the theatre are “a community of narrators and translators.” (Jacques Ranciere)
The key research questions that currently fuel my work are:
How can I create performance work in which the audience’s experience of the performance reflects the probability and uncertainty central to quantum mechanics?
How can I create performance work that includes and shares the audience’s experience of migration and change?
How can I create work that encourages the involvement of the audience as creative interpreters?