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Senior Lecturer in Dance and Theatre
The Theatre final degree show is a crowning moment. Known formerly as LICA 381 Advanced Theatre Practice, it’s the last stage of a journey that began with major practical projects at the end of the first year, and continued with modules in lighting and sound, movement and voice, devising and theatre production in the second year.
This is not conservatoire training. As with Theatre degree programmes at other high-ranking research-led universities, the aim is not to produce jobbing actors, but rather intelligent and able creatives who can integrate theoretical concepts with cutting-edge practical methods to explore contemporary issues in ways that engage, excite and challenge audiences. This year was no different. As you can see from the descriptions in the following pages, the work was typically diverse. Almost Insignificant tested the agency of objects, Basic Training dissected popular discourse through found text, Glut explored human consumption through dance, and Nighthawks investigated insomnia through multiple modes of performance. For all these differences, there was a lacework of connections. Basic Training and Nighthawkswere influenced by postdramatic devising methods and issues of identity; Nighthawks and Almost Insignificant challenged perceptions through screen technologies; and Almost Insignificant and Glut shared environmental concerns.
Many of these students will apply the unparalleled transferable skills they have acquired in collaborative decision-making and creative problem solving to the jobs in which they’ll be employed within the creative and cultural industries and beyond. A number, though, will follow in the footsteps of Imitating the Dog, Metro-Boulot Dodot, Third Angel , and other funded companies and independent theatre artists with international reputations whose first major productions were created for the Lancaster Theatre final degree show.
Finally, a word about the film that Theatre will show during the LICA Final Degree Show: consisting only of excerpts from each of the four shows, it provides a window into what was achieved. Yet even if a film of the whole of each show could be screened, it would never be the work itself. That was done and dusted in March when all four live shows were performed publicly in the Nuffield Theatre. Live theatre is ultimately unrepresentable. That’s the blessing and the curse under which we make it.