Wednesday 12 February 2020
MONEY IN PERFORMANCE
Wednesday 12 February 2020, 18.00
RR2 Arts One Building (Mile End Campus)
Refreshments will be served – Free admission
This paper compares three theatre pieces each addressing the topic of money, created in the early 2010s. Daniel Bye’s The Price of Everything (2011), since performed more than 130 times in venues across the world, was billed as “a performance lecture about value” and featured the distribution of glasses of milk to its audience halfway through. Unlimited Theatre’s Money: the Game Show (2013) presented £10,000 in pound coins on the stage, and as part of its unfolding narrative, encouraged audience members to engage in various games and rituals based in financial metaphors. Kaleider’s The Money (2014) was a “showgame” in which an audience would debate how a pile of money – that particular performance’s takings – would be spent. Each of these pieces responded to a political and economic context in which money and its functioning had become to an extent denaturalized owing to the cataclysm of the financial crisis. On this basis, I examine their dramaturgical construction closely. I ask how each imagines money, and why audience participation should be a strategy that they share.
Louise Owen is Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research examines contemporary theatre and performance in terms of economic change and modes of governance. Her book Agents of the Future: Theatre, Performance and Neoliberalization in Britain is under contract with Northwestern University Press. She is currently working on Theatre&Money for Palgrave’s Theatre& series. She is co-director of Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, and co-convenor of London Theatre Seminar.