On Friday 31st May the IAS held its inaugural Research Cabaret in a sold-out venue at the Warwick Arts Centre. Research Cabaret is an evening of music, dance, and intriguing talks, all communicating different areas of research at the IAS.
Researchers presented not only their work but the motivation behind their research to an audience that comprised of fellow researchers, students, and members of the public. The audience was doubled by online viewers following our live-stream, and the performance received an overwhelmingly positive response. The talks were carefully prepared to avoid academic jargon, to engage a non-specialist audience, but also to present the complexity of the research described. Researchers surprised the audience with their own poetry, a dramatic embodiment of an historical figure, and a game of toy cars. Former and current IAS Fellows Karol Kurnicki, Rebekah Vince, David Coates, and Wendy Eades stunned the audience with their thoughtful and carefully-crafted contributions.
Award-winning composer, Ben Osborn, visited the IAS and interviewed our researchers as part of a week-long residency. Ben chatted with IAS academics, read their work, and performed some research of his own. Over a six-month period, Ben composed five musical responses to IAS research. These compositions responded not only to the contents and themes of the research, but also to the processes and patterns of the academics’ methodology, and to the personal journeys of his collaborators. One of Ben’s questions to the researchers was ‘what to find difficult to communicate about your work?’ Ben’s music helped to tell the stories that words can’t always communicate.
In the two days before the performance, the IAS was joined by dancers from Motionhouse, an internationally renowned dance company based in the local area. Dancers Becky and Berta listened to research presentations and quizzed the academics before coming up with thought-provoking physical responses that captured another side to the story.
The evening proved a success, with members of the public reporting an improved attitude to the nature and scope of Warwick University research, and other researchers taking inspiration from the way that research was communicated. The performances were entertaining, moving, and informative. Many thanks and congratulations to our researchers and to our collaborators.
Ben Osborn is a composer, sound designer and writer. Combining folk, classical and electronic influences, he works in a range of creative and collaborative contexts around the world. His soundtracks and sound designs for theatre have won the Cameron Mackintosh Award, the Methuen Drama Emerging Artists Award, the Peter Brooke Empty Space Award and a Manchester Theatre Award. His libretti have been performed at London's National Portrait Gallery, the Bristol Proms and the RCM Britten theatre among others. His highly anticipated debut album Letters from the Border was released to critical acclaim in April 2019 by Nonostar Records. He is a co-founder of and teacher at Berlin’s Open Music Lab, a free school for refugee musicians.
Early Career Fellow David Coates is a theatre historian and historiographer, interested in British theatre in the long nineteenth century. His doctoral research focussed on the development of amateur theatre in Britain between 1789 and 1914.
WIRL-Cofund Fellow Karol Kurnicki researches car parking as a practice that engages people in everyday life. "When we drive or think about cars, we tend to forget that they spend most of their lives stationary and must be parked at the end of almost every journey. This is often characterised by difficulties, such as high cost or problems with finding a spot."
Founded in 1988 by Louise Richards and Kevin Finnan MBE, Motionhouse creates world class dance-circus productions that tour extensively to rave reviews across the globe. From full-length productions for theatre touring to flexible work for the outdoors and large-scale performance events, our sell-out productions integrate athletic physicality, powerful narrative, incredible digital imager and emotive sound scores. "
Early Career Fellow Rebekah Vince researches Jewish-Muslim relations across the Mediterranean and North Africa through literature. Her work explores ideas of identity, memory, and trauma.
Early Career Fellow Wendy Eades researches how UK welfare reform policies impact on people living in Coventry. "I found that, far from encouraging them to flourish, the current welfare system often resulted in vulnerable individuals floundering and struggling to survive."