Elizabeth and The Three Sisters

Lorraine Smith, Annie O’Donnell, Peter Heselton

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


A site-specific live theatrical performance combining movement, sound and wearable sculpture. The project involved three collaborative artists; sculptor Annie O’Donnell, dance artist and Teesside University Lecturer Lorraine Smith and sound artist Peter Heselton of Python Gallery, and included paid Teesside University student trainee positions: assistant choreographer and filmmaker/editor, in which the trainees were able to develop new skills through the commission, including cross disciplinary mentoring from the lead artists.

The performance was commissioned by Stellar Projects and was premiered in and around the Middlesbrough Centre Square fountain as part of Nightfall - an outdoor family-friendly festival exploring the night sky (14/10/16). The event was part of the Discover Middlesbrough festival celebrating the town’s history, heritage, art and culture. Nightfall was voted Best Event Teesside 2016 category finalist for the Journal Culture Awards 2017.

The piece is a historical and futuristic imagining of Elizabeth I trying to navigate her way home by transforming into the Roman goddesses Juno, Venus and Minerva linked to the constellations. The design has a narrative that speaks of belonging, attachment, mobility, identity and the power of the female. The inspiration is predominantly the industrial panorama and big skies that make Teesside and the North unique, and the wearable sculptures pay specific homage to the plastics of the chemical industry of ICI Billingham.

Video and photography documentation of the piece was selected for the
Cabinets of Costume Exhibition, Culture Costume and Dress Conference 2017, Birmingham City University. The work was exhibited at Parkside Gallery alongside objects and images by Zoe Robertson: flockOmania, Charlotte Ostergaard: Costume Designer / Associate Teacher Danish National School of Performing Arts, Caitlin Quinn: costume designer and Assistant Professor of Costume and Makeup Design at the University of South Dakota, Dr Natalie McCreesh: Lecturer in Fashion Industry at the University of Huddersfield, among others.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2016


Cite this

Smith, L. (Author), O’Donnell, A. (Author), & Heselton, P. (Author). (2016). Elizabeth and The Three Sisters. Performance