- Shades of Mediocrity: On Saturday 28 September, 3pm, we hosted Shades of Mediocrity – a performance about the compromises that women make on their artistic ambitions, and about making art with your friends. Lily Levinson is tall with curly ginger hair. Maeve Campbell has dark hair and is 5’ 4” short. Maeve is a creative genius. Lily looks pretty good in a waistcoat. Sound familiar? Using the stories of Simon & Garfunkel and Campbell & Levinson, the piece talks about how the cult of genius excludes women. Shades of Mediocrity is the latest work by Good Friends For A Lifetime. It has been presented at Big Bang and Calm Down Dear at Camden People’s Theatre (March and June 2019), and FEMFEST, Theatre Deli (March 2019), and is supported by Theatre Deli. This presentation was supported by BIGS (Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality), and took place as part of Birkbeck’s One World Festival 2019.
- Scream Queer Murder!: On Thursday 7 November, 6-7.30pm, we staged a panel and discussion considering the “gay” characters in Agatha Christie’s work and the R & D of Scream Queer Murder! by Martin Lewton, recently premiered at the International Agatha Christie Festival 2019. The evening included readings from the play, topped off by a generous dollop of Polari – the secret language gay men used to protect themselves. The contributors were Andrew McKinnon, Theatre Director, and Director of Studies, Institute of the Arts Barcelona, Martin Lewton, Fellow of Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, Artistic Director of Theatre North and ¡Barcelona Solo! Festival, and author of Scream Queer Murder!, Julius Green, Fellow of Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, Olivier award-winning theatre producer, and author of Agatha Christie: A Life in Theatre and How To Produce a West End Show, and Dr JC Bernthal, Panel Tutor, University of Cambridge and Visiting Lecturer, Middlesex University, whose books include Queering Agatha Christie: Revisiting the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.
- GRiT (Graduate Research in Theatre) is our termly research seminar, featuring presentations by visiting scholars, faculty and graduate students. Our programme for 2019-20:
- Wednesday 11 December, 4-5pm (Room 106), Lewis Church (Birkbeck, and independent writer), ‘Unruly Access’
This presentation will discuss how research on the experimental and sometimes seemingly inaccessible topics of experimental theatre practices of the twentieth century, contemporary live art, and subcultures can sit alongside a parallel professional practice as an arts writer and editor concerned chiefly with notions of access. Both have been enriched by the other, and the attempt to address structural issues in the creative sector, (particularly in relation to gender, race, class and disability) can perhaps benefit from a commitment and attention to the uncomfortable, unconventional and occasionally unruly.