12. The Man in the Yellow Coat

Standing in our first site today, a man approached us and asked “Why are they (the headless angels around the archway) headless?” We told what is thought to have happened in the Reformation, which he then used to create a story of a man who during the Reformation secretly cut the heads off but was caught before he could finish. Although we weren’t able to record this great encounter, we plan to use some verbatim from the moment. After speaking with Rachel, we want to add more perspectives to the site, allowing the audience to think more creatively and see differently perspectives to the architecture. Like Fiona Wilkie, we also feel that “it’s not just about a place, but the people who normally inhabit and use that place. For it wouldn’t exist without them” (Wilkie, 2002, 145), and thus we need to keep them prominent into our site-specific tour. Rachel also informed us that the grass area we begin our piece on is in fact a graveyard, which adds a strange layer to the playful picnic we have at the beginning. Using this new information, we plan to change how the audience sees the space by telling them at the end of what they previously stood on, hopefully tieing in to the theme of life and journey. We also discovered that we need to link our tour more to the themes within the speech of “All the worlds a stage…”. We think the first site connects to the idea of creation, the second site to childhood, and the ending graveyard to death. To add more links, we plan to sprinkle some confetti on the corner nearby the front of the Cathedral, subtly showing the idea of adulthood with marriage as prominent moment in an adults life, often with a wedding performed in a religious place. After we found this link, we saw a family walking past dressed in wedding appropriate clothing, a coincidence we were all excited about. Lastly, by having an elderly person read out the speech, and the ending lines read by a younger child, we hope to reflect upon the circular journey of the walk around the Cathedral and life in all, leaving our audience with several ideas and perspectives to think of.

Wilkie, F. (2002) Mapping the Terrain: a Survey or Site-Specific Performance in Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

6. Idea Making

Today we spent the time creating the idea for our performance, which we hope will become an audio tour of children telling stories about the Cathedral. We want this to be a playful, freeing experience, putting our audience into the minds of a child. Some of our ideas for this include having the audience leave their bags with us at the beginning of the tour, and handing them a map of footprints to lead them around the Cathedral. We plan to include the poetry of Tennyson, such as Cradle Song, in-between the children’s stories, what with his status being a prominent part of our site.

“What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.
Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till thy little wingers are stronger.
Soshe rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
Let me rise and fly away.
Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till thy little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little loger,
Baby too shall fly away.”

We all feel that this idea encompasses many of the elements of the site that we have been taking in over the past few weeks: the mixture of old and new, the different perceptions one could have, the “darker” architecture etc. As Fiona Wilkie says, “site-specific performance engages with site as symbol, site as story-teller, site as structure”. (Wilkie, 2002, 150) I think this quote really encompasses a lot of the ideas we have about out site, and what we hope to achieve.

Wilkie, F. (2002) Mapping the Terrain: a Survey of Site-specific Performance in Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

First ever site blog

Firstly hello everyone!!

This is my first ever time writing a blog, guess I better get started. I experienced my first Site Specific seminar on Monday, and I’m not going to lie I wasn’t really looking forward to it. However after reading the introduction of Site Specific performance by Mike Pearson got me thinking that any place in the world could be a performance.

A quote that I liked from the reading was ‘the play-as-event belongs to the space, and makes the space perform as much as it makes actors perform’ (Wiles, 2003, p.1).

Within the seminar we as a group were set a task outside the lincoln performing arts centre, to see how we as performers would react with set rules. The start of site specific module had really begun. From people watching to trying remain invisible. Yes I did say invisible? When I first read that on the piece of paper Rachel (our tutor) had given us I had no clue how to become invisible. Having bright pink hair is a dead give away of where I was, so my only chance of hiding went out of the window.

But towards the end of this task as a group we naturally all ended up being tall and staring at the LPAC sign, while doing this other students were starting to look to see what we were looking at. Then I realised we had done the start of a performance!! It was that easy.

Well I think I’m going to enjoy this module. Ideas have already started rolling around in my head. For now I’m looking forward to exploring more of lincoln on Monday.

Bye x

Wiles, D. (2003) A Short History of Western Performance Space. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Love at first ‘Site’

It certainly wasn’t love at first sight for Site Specific and I. When first approaching the given task my heart sank. Drawing attention to myself in public, standing out from the crowd, was something that never came naturally to me. However I’m all for throwing myself into challenges head first, and once I let my guard down, I started to realise what Site Specific performances were all about. For me, the reactions of passersby fascinated me. I thrived on the thought that we had shaken their day up somehow, broken the formality of everyday journeys to and from places and made them realise what was around them. Fiona Wilkie stated that ‘Site-Specific performance engages with the site as symbol, site as storyteller’ (Wilkie, 2002, 150), and it was this sense of purpose behind the performance that I began to favor. Such as the symbolisation of the everyday office job in Glob Squad’s Work (1995), and the public demonstrations of government control from The Space Highjackers and The Surveillance Camera Players. Using site specific performances for public education or enlightenment really interests me, and is something I would like to explore further.


Wilkie, F. (2002) Mapping the Terrain: A Survey of Site-specific Performance in Britain. New Theatre Quarterly, 18, 2.