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Forum Theatre

The next tab contains the presentation slides - Forum Theatre (Performance as Research?) from the Warwick Postgraduate Conference, 2014. To create the archival material to drive the analysis shown in the slides (which is the beginning of a bigger piece of analysis) I saw the play 48 times out of the 56 performances on the tour, and I collated almost 830 feedback forms, with the help of Cardboard Citizens staff and staff at the many venues we visited. For each performance I saw, I also collected sound point notations based on the Meyerhold notation idea, made notes on the substance of as many of the interventions as I could, and also wrote up a summary.

The last paragraph of my last summary is below. An important one for me because, having experienced an intervention myself, I hope to read any feedback form commentary with an understanding eye:

My Intervention - Glasshouse

As we came to the last of many interventions in the final forum and the last of about four hundred interventions of the tour, some may wonder why so many people shout stop, and what gets them up to the stage? In my case, what got me up there on this day, in the penultimate intervention before the graduation party, was gentle pressure from a familiar person, a sense of being in friendly company, and the feeling that if I didn't do it, I'd regret it once the tour was over. (Fifi from the Citz was egging me on. She rightly insisted I could not possibly see this play 48 times without doing an intervention.). The all important clincher was seeing a place where I could go in with a possibly helpful solution. As I waved my arm and got up, the whole cast shrieked "Jools" (which was welcoming and slightly unnerving at the same time). Up there, my greatest fear was drying up - ad libbing is a bit like stepping into the void. Absolutely groundless when there's a Joker there to step in, and the cast is like a supportive family rooting for you even as they respond as if on a bad day. To me my intervention - to have Rhea calmly describe to the interviewer what was going on at home, to be honest about the pressures behind the scenes and to see if there might be support - seemed pedestrian especially after the fireworks of earlier interventions. Yet, for one spectator this was a "moment of growth" for Rhea, and for someone else (chatting in the bar afterwards), it was absolutely heart-stopping. Will I do it again? Very possibly......