Margaret Ames, Adrian Jones

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


This performance was authored by a learning disabled research participant and performed by Cyrff Ystwyth. After the short illness and death of his brother in 2018, the participant expressed a desire to make a performance about the life of his brother. The piece took 9 months to make and was performed in TFTS in June 2019. The process and final work evidenced how theatre and in particular choreography became a vehicle for an expression of loss, grief and a means to ask the major questions about death and the total absence of a person once integral to everyday life. The process enabled startling aspects to emerge, such as how the participant identified so closely with his brother and how their shared love of music continued to connect them. Although it was not anticipated the process and performance became a vehicle for other participant performers with learning disabilities to integrate the loss of a friend. The research here evidenced that everyday objects and activities could become the means by which a ritual of farewell could be enacted to an audience and to the participants. The performance was both a tribute and an act of mourning which was especially important as the author had not attended the funeral in the first place. The process also drew attention to the located nature of identity, ritual and community as traditional practices of the chapel and rural mores were revealed through choreography. Particular issues about language, its failure to communicate overwhelming experience and instead how embodied action can be a vehicle for the expression of that which lies outside of grammar and vocabulary. The output evidences how learning disability is not a protection from grief and how ensemble theatre practices can be forms of deep communication between participants and audiences
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputDVD
Publication statusPublished - 06 Jul 2019


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