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Nocturnes

Research output: Exhibits, objects and web-based outputsPerformance

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Publication date08/2017
Media of outputOnline
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Nocturnes (2017) is a mixed media work that utilises latest digital projection and audio technologies to create an original piece of theatre that investigates theatricality and the enduring relationship between film and theatre. It builds on a series of works created since 2005 (Hotel Methuselah: 2005; Kellerman: 2008; Six Degrees Below the Horizon: 2010; The Zero Hour: 2012; A Farewell to Arms: 2015 and The Train: 2016) that interrogate the relationship between theatre and film, the live and the mediated, the politics of spectacle and screened representations.
Three questions are addressed through practice: 1) How are mainstream screen narratives impacting on the broader cultural imagination and is it possible to escape the dominance of the screen that theorists, such as Baudrillard, cite as occluding any live or original experience?; 2) In what ways can the live experience of theatre conjure up an original experience in the digitally saturated world?; 3) By occupying the very sites of mediatised production can the processes of this production be exposed and a new experience created in its place?

Set in the 1950s, Nocturns combines the concepts of a radio or film sound stage and a pre-made film to explore how the beginnings of the age of television (in the UK) and the golden age of Hollywood began to shape how individuals imagined and presented themselves in the world in a radically different and new manner. The conceit of the piece is that the dialogue of a premade film, which the audience witnesses, is used to tell a completely different story live in the space. The work focuses on ways in which the screened space and the narratives that occupied these spaces created new storylines and versions of the world that individuals found themselves forced to occupy in the 1950s. These narratives not only affected individuals but also impacted on the larger national psyche and have been key in shaping how the UK imagines itself today.
The piece was funded by Arts Council England and toured nationally and internationally and was premiered at The British Council Showcase in Edinburgh 2017.