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Mackenzie, NK., 2002.

SET - on watching Brief Encounter (Performance)

Output Type:Other form of assessable output
Venue:Split International Festival and UK tour

replicate the experience of watching the film Brief Encounter.

Through a multi-layered process of self-reflection, the live performance resists any attempt by the audience to look through the signification of the stage to a coherent fictional signified, instead throwing the focus onto the (theatrical) signifying process, and the audience's role in it. The absence of iconic signifiers to a fiction forces much of the emphasis onto the competence of the audience to imagine accurately, and the basis on which such an 'imagined' is founded. This in turn mirrors the shift in emphasis from the material signifiers of the stage to their reception in the consciousness of the audience, and thus to their creative function in the construction of the performance text.

SET continues the investigations of my previous PaR projects, specifically After Oslo (1999) and Three Degrees of Frost (2000), relating to an examination of the problematic relationship between canonic text and theatrical performance. The choice of a film as text forces the investigation to include the relationship between film and theatre, and the experience of reading each offers its audience.

SET is cited in Post-Dramatic Theatre (Lehmann 2006). It is also discussed in Turner's article Acts of Creative Vandalism? Plane Performance Deconstruct the Canon (NTQ 23:3) and in my The Performer's Predicament (proposed for STP). It received funding of 5000 from ACE, 2000 development support from Greenroom, 1000 Croatian Airlines and 6,500 in fees from venues.