Alexis Maxwell, BA (Hons) Theatre & Performance
I am a creative artist and performer based in St. Helens. I tackle the subject of identity through work that is both playful and vulnerable, drawing inspiration from the communities around me. My projects are often unapologetic in their boldness; blending art, technology and text into a multi-layered experience that questions our way of life. As someone of mixed heritage, hailing from the LGBTQIA+ community, I seek to embrace the fluidity of race, culture and sexuality in politically charged performances that champion the basic human right of existing without judgement.
My performance research has primarily been about finding my voice as an inter-racial artist.
The Lost Princess and Snow White are two videos exploring my mixed heritage using animation, projection and audio. The videos were each filmed in one take, with no post-production, using live projection mapping to create the effect of editing. These are followed by an evaluative exegesis contextualising the work.
The last video was created in response to the resurfacing of #Blacklivesmatter, and is intended to highlight the prevalence of racism in the UK.
Bethany Mountain, BA (Hons) Theatre & Performance
My research explored whether we can still class something as theatre/performance, if the performer is removed. Can we still have a live theatrical experience that is unique to each audience member?
Since the lockdown the themes developed to become much more personal, using my own bedroom as a site for isolation and taking on a symbolic aspect in an exploration of growth. The use of a 360 camera dictates how the piece is structured, but also allows a different experience every time you watch it, due to the interactive requirement that the technology forces on the viewer.
It is best viewed via YouTube on a VR headset, but still works well on a phone, rotating or dragging the screen to follow the action. Headphones are also recommended.
The second video was an interdisciplinary performance created in collaboration with Alexis Maxwell, Adam Wood and Demi-Leigh Foster, for the Contemporary Theatre Performances module.
At the beginning of lockdown, I was commissioned by the Heart of Glass with the idea to create a performance on invisible disabilities/illnesses. Originally I was going to talk about how people don’t see the invisible disabilities/illnesses; in the process my grandad fell ill and I had ignored his dementia for a while. I decided to create Pancakes with Vinegar as a tribute to my Grandad Mountain. The piece was commissioned by Heart of Glass as part of ‘Home Work’ with support from Cultural Hubs – St Helens Arts in Libraries, the Bluecoat, Knowsley Council, Rule of Threes, Sefton Council, Human Library, The Atkinson, Halton Borough Council and Culture Liverpool
Adam Wood, BA (Hons) Theatre & Performance
The focus of my research was how stand-up and character comedy can be used as a vehicle to discuss themes which are too difficult to discuss in everyday conversation, whether too personal, or too vast and existential.
During quarantine, I came to the realisation that comedy was yet another mask that I was holding up to the world in order to disguise my internal struggle. So rather than focus on comedy, the medium that I find myself drawn to, I found myself exploring these masks and using the isolation and creative space to attempt to share what it would be like to remove those masks. The final result became a series of short videos which drew on key memories and experiences in order to explore a specific mask that I hold up to the world.
The Futility Chronicles:
Oliver Ford, BA (Hons) Theatre & Performance
‘The Inevitable’ was work I created exploring tools of semiotics and framing within theatre/performance making.
It is an exploration of grief. Grief is individual to the person experiencing it but is something we all will feel or have felt. This is something that interested me whilst creating this work focusing on the use of framing. We all have our own personal frame, and this effects how we view the world, friends, family etc, how we view grief. So through the use of symbolism, I wanted the audience to have a shared experience, but also an individual experience. In that way, the reading is open to multiple interpretations, depending on the viewer’s own framing of the work.
Bradley Roach, BA (Hons) Theatre & Performance
The work I have created with Boy With Lips was an amalgamation of both frustration and tiredness. Within lockdown I grew vexed being tied to my house, and with no notion of its end, it left me deflated. However, through my annoyance and anxiety I created Boy With Lips, a character that resembled my struggles and personal issues within lockdown, while keeping my creative side intact as an artist.
Using Zoom I took the audience on a live one-to-one journey where my disjointed head flew around the screen, against a backdrop of The Boy With Lips music videos and other bizarre imagery.
The videos below are some of the tracks which played as part of the experience. The full playlist can be accessed via the YouTube link below the videos.