Site and Actions

During Tuesday’s session, I wasn’t present but my group visited the location of our site and tried to get a clear idea of where certain sounds need to be played, the placing of the monologues and the actions etc. They also went to the Lincoln Archive in which they found letters from the Beechey family. They couldn’t take photos of the letters as you had to pay but they had taken notes and written down some of the sentences from the letters that we could use in our audio track. Furthermore, because Florence Bonnett built tracks for the tanks during the war, we thought it would be a good idea if we built planes with the audience to symbolise that we too are helping build necessities for the war. By using foam planes, the audience can gradually “build the planes” on their journey up Steep Hill and this will be good for our performance because we are using interactions and audience involvement.

We thought during the classroom scene, the person guiding the audience could ring a bell to signify the children coming into school or the end of play time. We also thought that the tour guide could start moving around like a plane and whilst doing so, dropping stones to signify bombs dropping from the planes. Finally, we thought that using an old war song such as “We’ll Meet Again” would be nice to add to the audio after Florence talks about her Fiancé Richard. The only problem is, we won’t be able to use an actual track and so we will have to sing it ourselves. These are just a few little ideas we thought would be interesting to consider.

During today’s session, we made a list of the definite structure of our performance and so all we need to work on now is the audio track and the actions. It would be wise if we started working at our site location a lot more from now on, just to make sure everything fits together and we feel comfortable with our ideas. Karen joined us on our walk to our site location and she suggested ideas and advised us on where would could improve or what not to include and this was really useful. Ultimately, we need to work and think carefully about the timing in our audio track, making sure that the audio moves smoothly with the walk up to the museum and with the actions. With this in mind, our main objective is to finish the audio track as soon as possible, but without rushing it, so that we can begin practicing and making sure our performance is precise.

Amy Clarke

schedule for Friday’s sharing of practice

Hi all. As discussed, I would like to see the practice on Friday 20th. I know that some of the groups are concerned that they haven’t got much to show, however I think it is important that you show what you have, rather than talk about it. It is easy to continue talking about ideas without moving them forward in practice.

9.15: Chloe (Library)

9.30: Park (in seminar room)

10.00: Arboretum (seminar room?)

10.30: Sweets Beechey (I have allowed longer here so we can get to the site – I haven’t seen your site yet)

11.30/40: The Lawn Coffee shop (in Zing)

Let me know if you need more time.

The week after Easter we will share the practice across the group.

Capturing a moment – Hannah Taylor

Blast Theory’s Can You See Me Now (2001) plays with the idea of presence within a space.  The players in the game are dropped into a virtual city and become digital performers online, trying not to get captured by the members of Blast Theory.  Photography is used in the performance as an element of capturing the moment of the here and now. This is something we could incorporate into our performance as a way of documenting our piece.

We have done some research into popular sweets that were eaten in the early 20th century and liquorice seemed to be a common like during this time period. The idea of eating sweets is generally associated with ‘happy memories’, however alongside our theme of the First World War creates a very juxtaposing effect. Our drift is going to take the audience up Steep Hill and past the sweet shop. We will then take the audience member into the sweet shop and purchase some liquorice, inviting them to eat some with us. Whether or not the audience member likes liquorice will create a very different experience for each of them. After eating the liquorice, it will change the colour of the person’s tongue/teeth. This moment will never really leave if we document it in a photograph and will express the idea of the here and now. Douglas Crimp wrote ‘… institutions can be named at the outset: first, the museum; then, art history; and finally, in a more complex sense, because modernism depends both upon its presence and upon its absence, photography.’ (Crimp, 1980, 2).We could then gather all of the images into a photo album to create a final product. This idea of ‘’producing’’ something also portrays our idea of Women in Lincolnshire in 1915. This time was all about the change women were going through after the repression of their feminine identity, and how they went from producing things within the home to being allowed to work in factories.  This will also show in our monologue by the character Florence Bonnet as she discusses leaving school at the age of 13 to work in the William Foster factory, constructing the tracks for the tanks.

Crimp, D. (1980) The photographic activity of postmodernism. MIT press.

Hannah Taylor


Whilst developing our performance we researched different practitioners to help inspire us, give us different ideas and help us develop.

We read “Mapping the Terrain: a Survey of Site-Specific Performance in Britain” by Fiona Wilkie. During this reading we discussed what our performance would be classed as because the discussion as to what site-specific work is, is still being debated. Wilkie asks the question “’Does “site-specific” imply “site-exclusive”?’” (Wilkie, 149). This had us discussing this question because if something is specific for a site, in theory it should not be able to tour. However, if the site is a library, for example, then the performance would be able to be performed in any library. This still makes it site-specific as the performance has to be in a library. Therefore we came to the conclusion it would depend on what type of site you would be performing and “[its] relationships to place” (Wilkie, 149). As we are taking our audience on a walk through Lincoln to the destination of The Museum of Lincolnshire Life our performance is site-specific, as we would not be able to perform this anywhere else. Also the context of our performance is about women of Lincoln and therefore the material would not be as powerful if the performance was set somewhere else.

Our performance is going to be an audio piece so we looked into different practitioners that have used audio in their performances. Punchdrunk used audio in their performance of The Borough (2013) which took “audience members on individual theatre journeys” (Punchdrunk, 2013). The performance was through the streets of Aldeburgh, inspired by George Crabbe’s poem. This is similar to our performance as it is going to be through the streets of Lincoln and we want to take our audience on an individual journey listening to a story inspired by the women of Lincoln in 1915. We looked at reviews about the performance to see how audience members felt. The performance included “worlds within worlds and layers within layer” (The Guardian, 2013). Layers is something we have discussed in lesson as there would be many different layered sounds on the audio, so knowing that Punchdrunk have achieved this in their performance gives us hope that we will be able to achieve something similar in our own performance. We want our audio to exist “simultaneously in the mind and out on the streets” (The Guardian, 2013) which is what Punchdrunk’s performance achieved.

Another practitioner that took the audience on a journey was Dreamthinkspeak’s performance of Don’t Look Back (2003-2008). This performance was “recreated for twelve sites” (dreamthinkspeak, 2008) which is opposite to what we are looking to do for our performance. However, we thought the journey the audience go on with Don’t Look Back could inspire our performance. As we do not want our audio to be 100% monologue, we want it to be layered with different sounds and music we looked to dreamthinkspeak as their performance was “told through beautiful scenarios and an equally beautiful soundtrack” (Australian Stage, 2008). This gave us hope that our performance would be able to take the audience on a journey without the whole audio being dialogue.

Blast Theory has a few productions that have inspired and help guide our performance. The first is Fixing Point (2013) which is an audio tour where you “pick up a smartphone, put on your headphones and start to explore” (Blast Theory, 2013). This includes history from the 20th century which is similar to our performance as we are also using history to help create a story. As this performance includes the audience’s phone it made us think about what we are going to do with the audience and their phones, if we need to address it before the performance or allow them to use/check their phone throughout. This is something we still need to discuss as we don’t know if it will ruin our performance or if there is a way we could use it to enhance the piece. Another performance that Blast Theory has created which is relevant to our work and what we have spoken about in lesson is Can You See Me Now? (2001-2010). This is an online game where the audience are playing whilst competing with the actors of Blast Theory whilst they run through the streets. This performance toys with the idea of space and ‘liveness’ as the performers and audience are in separate areas, “issues of presence and absence run through the game” (Blast Theory, 2001). For the player to be out of the game the runner has to take a photo of the empty space where the player is on the game, “each player is forever linked to this anonymous square of the cityscape” (Blast Theory, 2001). This relates to the discussion we had in class about ‘liveness’ because the game is being played live and the runner is there in the moment, however to catch the player the runner has to take a picture of a space, not a person. Therefore the person is not in the same ‘now’ as the runner as they are in different locations. However, you could argue they are in the same ‘now’ because they are both involved in the same game at the same time. With this discussion, we had to consider the idea of ‘now’ in our performance. This is because we want to set it in 1915, but obviously we cannot recreate the 20th century whilst walking through the streets of Lincoln. The idea of using modern technology to connect two ‘now’s’ together is something we could work with.

With these practitioners in mind I think we need to do a bit more research into each of them whilst we continue to develop our audio piece. However I think so far they have helped mould and develop our ideas.

Chloe Downie


Australian Stage. (2008) Don’t Look Back : dreamthinkspeak. [online] Available from–dreamthinkspeak-1113.html [Accessed 16 March 2015].

Blast Theory. (2010) Can You See Me Now? [online] Brighton: Blast Theory. Available from [Accessed 16 March].

Blast Theory. (2011) Fixing Point. [online] Brighton: Blast Theory. Available from [Accessed 16 March].

Dreamthinkspeak. (2008) Don’t Look Back. [online] Dreamthinkspeak. Available from [Accessed 16 March 2015].

Punchdrunk. (2013) Past Shows: The Borough. [online] London: Punchdrunk. Available from [Accessed 16 March 2015].

The Guardian. (2013) The Borough – Review. [online] The Guardian. Available from [Accessed 16 March 2015].

Wilkie, F. (2002) Mapping the Terrain: a Survey of Site-Specific Performance in Britain. New Theatre Quarterly, 18 (2) 140-160.


At the beginning of this week, my group and I sat down and devised some monologues that could be included in our audio track. We managed to write three draft monologues for Amy Beechey, Florence Bonnett and the teacher. We tried to use words and phrases that would have been used during 1915 instead of using modern language and also we chose to write the monologues in present tense to make it feel like the women are talking to you in the audio track. Although what we have written so far are just rough ideas, it is relieving that we are finally starting to go somewhere with our performance progression, our audio track and also our understanding of the whole idea of site-specific performance.

Today we managed to record two of the monologues but there is still a lot of work to be done. Additionally, Amy Beechey’s monologue needs to be more emotional and because I am the one speaking on the track, I need to work on making sure my voice sounds clear and I pronounce words correctly, instead of feeling too comfortable in my own accent. By adjusting how I pronounce certain words and the way I speak and if I try to sound like I am a mother who has lost her sons in the war, it will make the audio track more interesting and believable. The same goes for Florence Bonnett’s and the teacher’s monologues, the characters will sound more convincing if the monologues sound clear and the words are spoken correctly. This is something that we can work on over Easter in time for when we all return and it is closer to our performance and by then, hopefully we will have most of our audio track completed, if not, then at least a rough copy.

Furthermore, next week we are taking a trip to the Lincolnshire Archive to look at the many war letters from the Beechey family. This will be useful for our audio tracks also because we’d like to include some, or at least one, of the letters. Also, we will most likely be visiting our site because recently we have spent a lot of time on the audio rather than the site.

Amy Clarke