Editors: Maddy Costa and Andy Field
Published Feb 2021
"This magical book is a love letter to the artists whose imagination and cleverness transport us and unite us, and to the beauty and fragility of their performance. When I read it I feel like I am constantly on the joyful edge of falling in love, trying so hard to keep hold of the feelings evoked. A very precious book in our precarious times." Vicky Featherstone
An anthology of critical essays that draw on a decade of the authors thinking, writing about and working within contemporary performance as critics, producers, dramaturgs, makers, archivists and more.
Together, the 40 essays sketch a map of the contemporary performance landscape from avant-garde dance to live art to independent theatre, tracing the contours of its themes, aims, desires and relationship to the wider worlds of mainstream theatre, art and politics.
Each essay focuses on a particular artist and these include Bryony Kimmings, Dickie Beau, Forced Entertainment, Scottee, Selina Thompson, Tania El Khoury and Uninvited Guests.
Reflecting the radical nature of the work considered, the authors attempt to find a new vocabulary and a non-conventional way of considering live performance in these essays.
As both a fresh survey of contemporary performance and an exploration of how to think and write about upstream and avant-garde work, this book should be an essential resource for students, artists and audiences, as well as an accessible entry point for anyone curious to know about the beautiful and strange things happening beyond the UK's theatrical mainstream.