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Pamela Neil is an artist working with the oral form, storying others’ thoughts and ideas in live performance installations. She works collaboratively translating complex ideas into a form which can be communicated orally. 

 

Working with individuals and organisations across a broad range of topics, Pamela creates the work others perform in which ideas are communicated orally to their audience. In creating the piece of work, Pamela looks closely at what you say (about what you know), why and how you say it.

 

Pamela works with people who have something to say and a desire to say it publicly; people who are interested in communicating ideas to an audience orally. 

 

She has worked with a variety of people including campaigners, university professors, NGOs, estate residents, children’s book authors and artists to translate their messages into live performance installations.

 

Some of her work includes: 

 

Sandra Brown, renowned children's rights campaigner, approached Pamela to create a performance of Sandra’s experience growing up with a paedophile. Together they created a performance for Sandra, titled “One of Our Ain”. Sandra had a difficult story to tell, and a one woman show gave her a platform from which she could deliver her disturbing tale intimately. As Sandra put it, “Pamela Neil believes ordinary people who are not professional actors but have experience of public speaking can use drama to tell their story." 

 

Detention Action wanted a piece they could use to persuade their supporters to campaign for a change in the UK government’s policy on indefinite detention – with the stipulation: “No talking heads please!”

 

Pamela worked with William Kapato, an ex-detainee, storying the key ideas in Williams life into a moving letter to his support worker, 'Dear Jane...you have been a kind friend' performed by William on video. It captured all the key elements of Detention Action’s message – ‘indefinite detention is immoral’.

 

James Thompson, Professor of Applied and Social Theatre at the University of Manchester wanted to create two pieces of work. 

 

The first, “In on the act 1”, explores the role of the international researcher in communicating information about the Rwandan genocide to non-Rwandan audiences. Pamela worked with Professor Thompson to create a “lecture” James has performed widely in the UK including London Metropolitan University. 

 

The second, “In on the act 2”, explores a theatre project in a former child soldier camp in Sri Lanka where three months after the project, the young men who took part were massacred by local villagers. The “lecture” performed by James Thompson deals with questions of responsibility, memory and healing, all central to the dilemma and complexity of working in war zones.

 

“I am interested in the thoughts and ideas we communicate live and how these messages are shaped for an oral form.” 

 

 – Pamela Neil

 

Pamela, an Australian living in London, studied philosophy as an undergraduate at the University of Sydney and as a post graduate at the University of New South Wales. 

 

She is the mother of Hugh and Oliver.

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