Joint seminar: Dr Adam Ledger and Dr Paul Geary

Arts and Law
Wednesday 29th October 2014 (16:00-17:30)
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  • Drama research seminar

Speakers: Dr Adam Ledger and Dr Paul Geary (University of Birmingham)

Venue: SR1, OLRC, Selly Oak Campus

Title: Katie Mitchell: adaptation and the making of ‘Live Cinema’ (Dr Adam Ledger)

Katie Mitchell is one of Europe’s most prolific directors, and her more recent work has explored what has been termed ‘live cinema’, whereby action on stage is coupled with film cameras and foley, in order to realise the projection of a ‘live’ film above the stage. ‘Live cinema’ has been an especially successful means to capture interior monologue and the psychological density of source material. The technique has now been used over a significant body of Mitchell’s work, including several adaptations of novels and stories. This paper will especially focus on the devising of the ‘live cinema’ adaptation format as a collaborative process in rehearsal, whereby Mitchell works out the realisation of the live ‘film’, shot by hot, as part of an ensemble of technicians, camera operators, sound artists, musicians and actors. Many of these ‘creatives’ have worked now on multiple productions, reproducing something of the collective nature and vocabularies of many companies who devise. Here, it is the form as well as the content that is devised and realises the adaptation, and is thus the dual focus of the paper.

The discussion - part of a longer and on‐going project - will focus on Mitchell’s more recent work in Germany and Austria: the adaptations of Friedericke Mayröcker’s Reise durch die Nacht(Journey through the Night) (2012) for the Schauspiel Cologne, and her version of Charlotte Perkins Gillman’s The Yellow Wallpaper(Die Gelbe Tapete) for the Schaubühne Berlin (2013), and observation of rehearsals for an adaptation of Peter Handke’s A Sorrow Beyond Dreams: A Life Story (Wunshloses Unglück) for the Burgtheater, Vienna (2014).

Title: The Food Event: Being-­in-­the-­Restaurant (Dr Paul Geary)

This paper will explore the restaurant as a site of performance, looking at two restaurants owned and run by the scientist, historian, artist and chef, Heston Blumenthal. Blumenthal's Michelin-star red restaurants, The Fat Duck in Bray and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in Kensington, offer not only a means of exploring site­‐specific performance outside of the  usual realm of performance studies, but also a means of conceptualising performance spaces in terms of the scientific knowledges of molecular gastronomy. This paper will outline how some of these knowledges are put into practice in the construction of these two restaurants and how Blumenthal's food practice, while usually understood in terms of the scientific research he employs, also opens out space for an exploration of the performative and thetheatrical.

For information please contact Eleftheria Ioannidou at