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Mackenzie, NK., 2004.

Round-about by Plane Performance (Performance)

Output Type:Other form of assessable output
Venue:National tour

round-about is a small-scale theatre piece performed by 5 performers for a traverse audience based on the musical Carousel. Staying faithful to sections of the original dialogue interlaced with remembered visual description, much of the piece comprises of the performance presentation of the discrete theatrical and semiotic processes related to such a text.

round-about works to stimulate both a heightened awareness of physical immediacy - resulting from proximity, risk and the physical exertions of the performers - and an analytical engagement with the impact of the audience's own presence, in the face of the essentially escapist dramatic text. Additionally the material is organised to emphasize the potential for both a critical/political and an emotional engagement with such a musical.

Thematically relevant to Carousel, the piece also demands a re-consideration of the act of seeing in theatre, a concern supported by the juxtaposition of extracts from Aldous Huxley's The Art of Seeing (1943). Extended to include the act of interpretation and semiotic readership, this again points to a deconstructive testing of the balance of fiction and live performance in theatre. round-about therefore applies a Derridean model of deconstruction not just to an historically located performance text in the popular cultural canon but to a live and 'contemporary' performance situation which itself embraces the conventions of the text.

round-about builds on the concerns and discoveries of the previous outcomes of the 're-placing texts' PaR project, in the light of the semiotic challenges and performance physicality of this particular source text.

round-about is discussed in Turner's article Acts of Creative Vandalism? Plane Performance Deconstructs the Canon (NTQ 23:3) and in my The Performer's Predicament (proposed for Studies in Theatre and Performance). It received 5000 from ACE, and 3,500 in fees from venues.