The interactive solo performance Six O'clock Swill (2009-2013) was redeveloped by Smith as a form of practice as research and case study to continue her research into the impact of costume on the performing body through the new lens of risk and ethical issues. The piece was reworked and performed for several Mother’s Ruin cabaret events. The piece was performed at ARC Stockton (09/03/18) and Refract Festival, Waterside Arts (20/07/18). This research has been disseminated through the visual essay ‘Unleashing Mr Punch’ (2019), as well as other scholarly outputs.
This research through practice is used to refocus the discussion of risk onto the performer, as well as on the often ignored theatrical element of costume (Monks 2013) and its potential impact on performer behaviour and embodiment, including the impact it can have on the audience. The concept of risk in relation to costume is framed around physical, ethical issues and space. This research interrogates the risks of costume through the theories of otherness (Garland et.al 2015), immersive and participatory performance (Hughes 1998; Zerihan 2009), embodiment and the haptic (Driscoll 2011; Machon 2013), the notion of chutzpah and the impact of costume/clothing on the wearer and viewer (Barbieri 2017; Monks 2010).
This output has been created through multiple areas of research in coherence of clarified theoretical frameworks to push beyond boundaries of costume, somatics and performance ethics. This practical investigation shifts the perspective regarding risk in live performance, from the risk of the audience to the risk of the actual performer and the insights regarding risk and costume. The use of personal experience of the performer is a unique and impactful perspective that invites a conversation between performers, performance makers and costume designers. The performance output also challenges conventional forms of cabaret, explores gender ambiguity, and reaches marginalised LGBTQ audiences.
|Publication status||Published - 9 Mar 2018|