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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rosalind Haslett
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis, 2019.
For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
This article undertakes a close analysis of Live: Witness (2013), a performance piece about the history of Live Theatre, Newcastle, which was created from anecdote and reminiscence. Live Theatre began as a working-class theatre collective, but is now a building-based organisation, occupying a purpose-built theatre on Newcastle’s culturally regenerated quayside. I argue that Live: Witness represents an attempt to explore the working class origins of the organisation by means of anecdote, comedy and the performance of amateurism, all of which have been important strategies used by Live Theatre in order to establish a relationship with a local, working-class audience. Even as they work to idealise the past, the haunted qualities of these anecdotes, and the foregrounding of the new theatre building, remind us of how much Live Theatre has changed over the course of its history. But Live: Witness is more than just an anxious recuperation of the past. By working to address and even integrate the experience of a ‘new working class’ who work on flexible and part-time contracts to service the theatre building, the performance also invites an exploration of broader shifts in UK conceptions of social class in the twenty-first century.
Author(s): Haslett RE
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Contemporary Theatre Review
Online publication date: 18/11/2019
Acceptance date: 11/02/2019
Date deposited: 15/02/2019
ISSN (print): 1048-6801
ISSN (electronic): 1477-2264
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
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