Collisions 2019: Wed 02 Oct & Thurs 03 Oct

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Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Eton Avenue



United Kingdom

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COLLISIONS is an annual festival showcasing the thriving doctoral practice research at RCSSD, this year alongside the Royal College of Art

About this Event

Through COLLISIONS, research degree students and creative fellows engage with what it means to be researching with, through, in and by practice, and share this engagement with a wider academic and public audience.

This year COLLISIONS is particularly interested in curating conversations around accessibility and quality within practice research. Drawing inspiration from Rachel Hann’s argument for a second wave in practice research, where new knowledge and insights should be accessible beyond the individual project, COLLISIONS 2019 aims to encourage dialogue across projects and ask how our research insights might speak to each other’s work.

COLLISIONS takes place over Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd October, with showings of work throughout each day:

DAY ONE: Wednesday 2nd October

10:00 – 10:30: Registration

10:30 – 11:00: Welcome Talk with Tea and Coffee - (Judy Dench Studio PS1)

11:00 – 13:00: Marina Hadjilouca -The Role of the Performance Designer Towards Triggering Active Co-Existence (meet Room D off the Atrium)

13:00 – 14:00: Lunch

14:00 – 14:45: Rebecca Hayes Laughton - my body is / my body is not (Webber Douglas Studio)

15:00 – 15:45: Kate Scarlett Duffy - All The Beds I Have Slept In (work in progress - Webber Douglas Studio)

15:45 – 16:15: Panel Discussion with Participants

16:30 – 18:30: Cathy Sloan - A Recovery Arts Cafe (Judy Dench Studio - PS1)

*11:00 – 16:30: Chang Gao, Hologram Installation (Experimental Studio)

DAY TWO: Thursday 3rd October

10:00 – 10:30: Registration

10:30 – 11:00: Welcome Talk with Tea and Coffee (Judy Dench PS1)

11:00 – 13:00: Clio Unger - We Present a Presentation (PS2 - top floor West Block)

13:00 – 14:00: Lunch

14:00 – 14:30: Marina Stavrou - Synaptic Galore (Webber Douglas Studio)

14:30 – 15:00: Chang Gao* - Emotional Encounter (PS2 - top floor West Block)

15:00 – 15:30: Peizhi Zeng - Dear Unmet You (CHANGE :Webber Douglas)

15:30 – 16:15: Tea and Coffee Break

16:15 – 17:00: Simon Dodi - Tickle Your Fancy (Webber Douglas Studio)

17:15 – 18:00: Panel Discussion with Participants

18:00 – 19:00: Wine Reception (Webber Douglas Studio - all welcome)

*11:00 – 18:00: Chang Gao, Hologram installation (Experimental Studio)

Please see more detail about the work presented below.

Chang Gao - installations 2 & 3 Oct, Lecture 14h00, 3 Oct

Emotional Encounter is a series of hologram installation projected in public space, which serves as a tool to change people’s perception toward space and society. It interacts with the reaction of the public and allows the public to express desire by encountering a moment of convergence between the private and the public, the day and the night, the real and the virtual.

Chang Gao: PhD candidate at Royal College of Art/ Sculptor/ Public Art Researcher/ Establisher and Director of the International Laboratory of Social Innovation - Central Academy of Fine Art of China


Marina Hadjilouca - 11h00, 2 Oct

The Role of the Performance Designer Towards Triggering Active Co-Existence

Marina Hadjilouca’s research focuses on the use of performance design methods for social engagement, to encourage ‘active co-existence’ in contested public spaces through temporary interventions. Research interests include politicised art practices, agonistic theory, public spaces and the politics in and around them. During COLLISIONS Hadjilouca will hold a workshop (duration two hours), where the methods developed to date and the notion of ‘active co-existence’ will be introduced, and the participants will be invited to use them in order to plan and execute small interventions in the public space in front of RCSSD.

Marina Hadjilouca: Performance Designer and PhD Researcher at Royal College of Art website: research profile:

Rebecca Hayes Laughton - 14h00, 2 Oct

Staging the traumatic: my body is / my body is not

When refugee, migrant and asylum seeking women cross geographical borders and enter the UK they are also negotiating personal, political and cultural boundaries. Their bodies, physically present in the nation space, can reject discriminatory labelling and advocate for their human rights. In this performance piece by the Women for Refugee Women Drama Group we ask: What memories do our bodies hold? Who makes decisions about our bodies? Where does the bravery of saying no lead us?

Performers will be punctuating their 20 minute performance with short breaks for audience reaction and feedback

Rebecca Hayes Laughton: PhD Researcher / Community Theatre Director/Producer


Kate Scarlett Duffy - 15h00, 2 Oct

All The Beds I Have Slept In (work in progress)

A charpai on my roof in Afghanistan

A stinky bunk in a hostel in Milan

A sleeping bag on a college camping trip

Under a bridge in Liverpool Street on my first day in England

A bed that wasn’t a bed

From a studio flat in North London to the exercise yard of a Greek detention centre, these four lived-experience actors are pulled between time and place as they remember the people who kept them moving forward. This piece is about kindness and care. It explores the hidden moments of hospitality that change the course of a journey, and how to repay them. The intimacy created between friends when family is absent, and how to stay hopeful in a scary world.

This piece has been developed as part of Kate’s practice research PhD project, exploring how self-authored and autobiographical performance practices can resist and rethink dominant representations of the vulnerability and victimhood of young male refugee communities. The work was developed together through an R&D process this summer.

Kate Scarlett Duffy, theatre maker and PhD researcher RCSSD

Photo credits- Main Image: Mark Prest - 'Dear Dad...' (Camera Phone 2017) Credit: courtesy of the artist

Inset Images: Outside Edge Theatre - credit: Ali Wright

Simon Mason - credit: courtesy of the artist

Small Performance Adventures - credit: Sweet Edit

Katie O-Brien - credit: Gaz Cook

Cathy Sloan - 16h30 to 18h30, 2 Oct

A Recovery Arts Café

This is a pop up cabaret and conversational event exploring the possibilities of instigating recovery (and recoverist) communities through collaborative performance events. Hosted by Cathy Sloan, founder of Messy Connections, a platform connecting those interested in performance practice with/by/for people in recovery from addiction. Celebrating the creative insights from people affected by addiction, there will be a range of short performances from arts organisations and independent artists on the theme of ‘recovery: habits of survival’. These include guest speaker Mark Prest (Portraits of Recovery) in conversation about ‘recoverism’, music from Simon Mason (Hightown Pirates), performances from Outside Edge Theatre, Small Performance Adventures, Anna North, Recoverist Theatre Project and Steve Lawless.

Cathy Sloan Applied theatre-maker, performance researcher, recoverist

Clio Unger - 11h00, 3 Oct

We Present a Presentation

The workshop utilises the genre of the contemporary lecture performance to interrogate conventional modes of performing knowledge. We will draw on participants experiences of research and public speaking to explore the ways their presentations could be expanded to include embodied, experiential or collective ways of knowing. By reflecting on their own styles of performing knowledge, participants will be given a space to finetune both their academic and pedagogical practice!

Clio Unger Researcher and dramaturg

Marina Stavrou - 13h00, 3 Oct

Synaptic Galore

Galore: from the Irish Go leor, "Till sufficiently, till plenty, till clarity". A continuous flow of synapses fired by tactile interactions try to throw clarity on the way we approach an unnamable entity.

A film archive of encounters with the undefined and the uncategorised. To be accompanied by text and sounds based on a personal reading of a theatrical work, this event aims to lead the audience to create their own notations.

Part of PhD research on structures of pathos and resistance through text and image.

Marina Stavrou- PhD researcher Royal College of Art

Peizhi Zeng - 15h00, 3 Oct

‘We are just a by-product of the most radical social experiment in China.’

Even now, the collective identity of the one-child generation remains invisible after the 1979 One-child Policy was repealed in 2015. In most cases, they are nothing more than the pathetic victims, still suffering from forced abortion, human trafficking, etc: the humanitarian disasters caused by the contradictory but eye-catching policy.

What does it truly mean to be born alone in a society where collectivistic values are increasingly emphasised? How did that shape our lived experience?

The performance will take place as a collective memorial of the unborn siblings, trying to explore these hidden contexts and more.

Peizhi Zeng, multi-disciplinary theatre director/writer/dramaturg/musician and PhD researcher RCSSD

facebook: Peizhi Zeng (曾沛之)

Larry Grayson Photo Credit: Victoria & Albert Museum, Theatre and Performance Collections

Simon Dodi - 16h30, 3 Oct

Tickle Your Fancy

Come on and tickle your fancy,

And let’s see a smile on your face,

‘Cos if we can still smile with a war on,

Then there’s hope for the whole human race.

Tickle Your Fancy is the third iteration of a more extensive research project on the male camp identity in performance and its relationship with everyday effeminacy.

Tickle Your Fancy uses snippets of historical footage from Larry Grayson’s repertoire to abstract and amplify instances of material interactions as the final salient element in the broader triptych of embodiment.

Come on and tickle your fancy.

Simon Dodi – PhD Candidate at RCSSD

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Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Eton Avenue



United Kingdom

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