‘Hope Appeared Like a Flash’: A Performance-Research Narrative of Passages Theatre Group

by Bridie Moore

10 Aug 2023
Journal of the British Academy
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Abstract: This article explores the work of Passages, a group of performers aged 60 and over, with whom the author researched the performance of ageing and made performance work in an experimental, intimate and participative style. The aim was to investigate if performance could disrupt or ‘trouble’ (Butler 1990) notions of age and ageing, as well as to acknowledge normative constructions of the figure of the old person in Western culture. It describes techniques and insights drawn from the research and shows that these were discovered by engaging – through theatre practice – with age, performance and social theory. It is hoped that practitioners may adapt the pieces and methods for use in their own work. The article evidences audience reception, demonstrates methods of performance practice-as-research and offers insight into the value of the work for Age Studies.

Keywords: practice-as-research; ageing; performance; Age Studies; Passages; participation; audience reception

Article posted to the Journal of the British Academy, volume 11, supplementary issue 2 (Narratives of Old Age and Gender: Multi-disciplinary Perspectives)

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