9. A Pilgrimage

Yet again, our performance has evolved. After discussing our ideas with Rachel, we have all become interested in the idea of a pilgrimage (a journey, especially a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion), and using this journey as a basis for our tour. Not only does this fit perfectly with the Cathedral as our site, but it also works for the theme of a “life cycle”, an idea we have also been moving towards. Moreover, unknown to us before, there is an image of a pilgrim on the Cathedral, which we think is placed quite close to the beginning place of our tour.


(Hannah-Briggs, 2013, citied in geograph.org.uk)

Whilst we do not want our tour to be overtly about or based upon any religious or historical material, as it is still primarily about the perspectives and the outside of the Cathedral itself, we want to subtly hint at such things. For example, for the beginning introduction of our tour, we are thinking of asking our audience to take a scallop as a physical representation of their acceptance to be a part of our tour. A scallop is an associated symbol to a pilgrimage, with the shape of its lines meaning to represent the joining of routes towards a religious place. There is an obvious connection between our site and the journey of a pilgrim, and as Jen Harvie believes, site-specific performance should be used “to explore spatial and material histories and to mediate the complex identities these histories remember and produce” (Harvie, 2005, 44). Additionally, “…location can work as a potent mnemonic trigger, helping to evoke specific past times related to the place and time of performance and facilitating a negotiation between the meanings of those times” (Harvie, 2005, 42). By referencing the past life of the Cathedral and using the voices of the present community, we hope to explore the different personal uses for such a site. We shall be testing out some of our ideas at our site this week, and continuing to develop these ideas into our final performance.

Harvie, J. (2005) Staging the UK. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Hannah-Briggs, J. (2013) The Lincoln Pilgrim, Lincoln Cathedral. [online] Available from http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3409318 [Accessed 18 April 2015].

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