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A Farewell to Arms

Research output: Exhibits, objects and web-based outputsPerformance

Published
Publication date10/2015
Media of outputOnline
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

A Farewell to Arms (AFTA), co adapted and directed with Andrew Quick (Lancaster University), is a mixed media theatre work that dramatises Hemmingway’s seminal novel through live filming and projection mapping. These technologies were utilised as a means to interrogate the ways in which history is narrativised and how narrative is affected by the discourses of history. We used the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1 to examine our cultural investments in a particular construction of history and explored, via practice, the possible ways that new dramaturgies, produced by an engagement with digital technologies, might inform innovative modes of storytelling within the theatre.

AFTA contributes to the field of transmedial theatre performance, a growing but still relatively under explored area of practice. Touring to middle scale theatres, both in the UK and Italy, this research through practice project pursued the following interrelated research questions:
1) In what ways do the performer’s interaction with digital technologies create a model for what we conceptualise as a ‘staged reading’, where an active interrogation of the text by the performer might reproduce and re-imagine the normal conventions of reading as a live and embodied enactment? How do such interactions produce new ways to think through the relationship between storytelling, history and the politics of re-reading.?
2) How do the technologies of live streaming cameras and projection mapping affect the role of the performer? Under the scrutiny of the camera, do new tropes of presence and alienation emerge and how might these tropes be considered a reflection of particular contemporary cultural and modes of human experience?
3) In what ways does the transmedial, in particular scenographies that make use of multiple media, challenge particular constructions of history and identity? In what ways does this type of practice reflect and challenge contemporary understandings of politics and culture?