Explosive Inaugural Season PERFORMANCE LAB Bringing the arts and scientific research together at UCL’s Bloomsbury Theatre and Grant Museum of Zoology
Experience eleven energetic live performances created from eleven experiments in science and the arts, as they explode onto the Bloomsbury Theatre’s stage and the Grant Museum of Zoology in the first exciting PERFORMANCE LAB season from Monday 29 April 2019 – Thursday 20 June 2019.
Commissioned by UCL Culture, PERFORMANCE LAB brings a radical and bold theatrical season of ground-breaking discoveries to the stage. Brought to life by artists, dancers, opera singers, stand-up comedians and UCL academics – a season of symposiums, live performance, discussions and full theatre and musical performances.
Free performances and a top ticket price of £10 makes this exciting new enterprise even more genius!
UCL has a long history of supporting the creative crossover between research and the arts, and now for the first time the hugely innovative PERFORMANCE LAB season explores how research can inspire creativity in the arts and how live performance can animate the cutting-edge research at UCL, one of the world’s leading universities.
Highlights of the season include a full production of the rarely performed Kurt Weill comic opera The Tsar Wants His Photograph Taken (4/5) casting young opera talents including baritone Edmund Danon (Tsar), Anna Sideris (False Angele), Patricia Auchterlonie (Angele) and Joanna Harries (Leader); with full orchestra conducted by Johann Stuckenbruck, produced by UCL Hebrew and Jewish Studies. The Science of Laughter (2/5) is a high octane evening with UCL neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott experimenting with the audience and multi-award winning standup comedians Tim Key (This Time With Alan Partridge), Stuart Goldsmith (Like I Mean It - Dead Parrot) and Maawan Rizwan (who has amassed 18 million+ views of his comedy YouTube videos.) Discover the secrets of why we laugh and having a good giggle! MUSO (7/5) an unique comedic evening of opera with UCL academics Subhadra Das (Curator of UCL Science Collections), Dr Chiara Ambrosio (UCL Science & Technology) and Dr Claire Thomson (UCL Scandinavian Studies) as they are joined on stage by Impropera, creating opera on the spot inspired by the untold stories behind some of the exciting research taking place at UCL. Deconstructing the Dream (15&16/5) developed in collaboration between Kelly Hunter’s Flute Theatre and Professor of Social Neuroscience at UCL Antonia Hamilton, this performance takes you inside Bottom’s brain as he dreams the dreams of Shakespeare. This project inspired the research and enabled new approaches to imaging technologies used by the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience - which will reveal activity in the performers’ brains to the audience. The Grant Museum of Zoology will open its doors to Vigil, an exciting new performance by award-winning artist Tom Bailey in response to the museum’s unique zoology collection. What’s a Cinnamon-coloured Cryptic Tree Hunter, a Problematic Flasher, a Dusky Seaside Sparrow, or a Fire Millipede from Hell? Vigil is a wild, playful encounter with internationally threatened species and excavates the moving, poetic, often comic qualities in these names, exploring the human experience of mass animal disappearance in a poignant and artistic way. City Imaginaries (17/5) in the Bloomsbury Studio includes an evening of artists in performance and conversation including Melz (grime MC) and Shama Rahman (sitar singer-songwriter); exploring how different music and dance cultures shape diverse neighbourhoods and urban narratives in large cosmopolitan cities.
Sylvia Kluczewski, Producer (Theatre), UCL Culture says: “Performance Lab is an exciting new programme from UCL Culture, which will make public the university’s cutting edge research in a creative experiment with some of the UK’s most innovative artists, musicians and theatre-makers. The university’s recently refurbished Bloomsbury Theatre and world-class museums will welcome academic and artistic communities to develop and to share their work with peers, students and the general public. This first season will generate new ideas and ways of working through workshops, talks and new collaborations, as well as presenting an eclectic range of public performances. At its heart, the programme unpicks the relationship between academics, artists and live performance, investigating how these collaborations can help us to see the world more clearly. How does live performance animate research and research inspire great art - we invite the audience to explore with us.”
PERFORMANCE LAB is an exciting new fixture at UCL’s venues including the Bloomsbury Theatre - the home of innovative performance.
PERFORMANCE LAB’s Autumn Season 2019 will continue to develop and grow with more live performance and creative experiments highlighting the extraordinary synergy between culture and research pumping through the veins of UCL - bringing the arts and scientific research together.
See full listings information below……
Experimenting with Art & Research Monday 29 April, Bloomsbury Theatre 10.00-15.00 - Free A free symposium on how performance can animate research – and how research can inspire art.
The Science of Laughter Thursday 2 May, Bloomsbury Theatre 19.30-20.30 - £10 With neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott plus comedians Tim Key (This Time With Alan Partridge), Maawan Rizwan (who has amassed 18 million+ views of his comedy YouTube videos) and Stuart Goldsmith (Like I Mean It - Dead Parrot.) Discover the secrets of why we laugh and having a good giggle!
The Tsar Wants His Photograph Taken Saturday 4 May, Bloomsbury Theatre 19:30 - £10 Rare performance of Kurt Weill comedy opera. Paris in 1914, and five anarchists infiltrate the studio of Angèle. The plan: impersonate her / place a gun in her camera / assassinate the Tsar. Followed by discussion with researchers from UCL Hebrew and Jewish Studies shedding new light on this rarely performed comic opera. Cast includes baritone Edmund Danon (Tsar), Anna Sideris (False Angele), Patricia Auchterlonie (Angele) and Joanna Harries (Leader), with full orchestra conducted by Johann Stuckenbruck.
MUSO Tuesday 7 May, Bloomsbury Theatre 19:30 - £10 The world’s only improvising opera company, Impropera, reveals the untold stories of objects from UCL museums.
The Dionysian Friday 10 May, Bloomsbury Theatre, 19:30 - £5 German-Syrian actress Corinne Jaber (My Sweet Land – Young Vic) performs in the new play The Dionysian by theatre director Gregory Thompson based on the work of Professor of Philosophy Dr Tom Stern. An exploration of Philosophy and Theatre that examines the desire to understand and the need to feel. Dionysians want to experience life fully. Can we do that in a theatre? From Moliere's death onstage during The Miser, to Tommy Cooper's heart attack live on television, the real and the staged are for some time indistinguishable. This show starts with Socrates via Nietzsche - let's get our tragedy on.
Deconstructing the Dream Wednesday 15 & Thursday 16 May, Bloomsbury Theatre 19:30 - £10 A Shakespeare performance with Flute Theatre like no other, with new technology that shows what’s happening in the actors’ brains.
Acoustic Cities: London and Beirut Wednesday 15 May, Bloomsbury Studio 17.30-19.30 - Free to attend, RSVP required Artists and scholars from Lebanon and the UK present a free evening of soundscapes inspired by the city. Cities Imaginaries Friday 17 May Bloomsbury Studio Free Studio panel discussion 14.00-17.30 - Free Studio evening performance 19.30-21.00 - £10 Discuss the relationship between music and the city followed by a live performance. Afternoon of panels brings together academics, artists and researchers to discuss the relationship that music has to the city as socio-cultural, economic, historical and political. Evening presents artists in performance and conversation including Melz (grime MC) and Shama Rahman (sitar singer-songwriter); exploring how different music and dance cultures shape diverse neighbourhoods and urban narratives in large cosmopolitan cities.
Man & God Saturday 18 May, Bloomsbury Studio 19.30 - £10 An original musical about the inventors of Kodachrome, Mannes and Godowsky - the incredible story of the birth of colour photography taking in Gershwin, Einstein and Hitler.
Vigil Thursday 6 & Friday 7 June at the Grant Museum of Zoology 18.30 - £5 A wild encounter with internationally threatened animals, devised by artist Tom Bailey with UCL researchers A Cinnamon-coloured Cryptic Tree Hunter. A Problematic Flasher. Dusky Seaside Sparrow. Fire Millipede from Hell… Vigil is a wild, playful encounter with internationally threatened species. In collaboration with UCL researchers, performer Tom Bailey explores today’s mass animal disappearance.
Every Body is an Archive Thursday 20 June, Bloomsbury Studio 19.00 - £6 Artist Liz Orton explores medical imaging technologies to see the body as a new kind of archive.
Notes to editors: About UCL Culture From art to zoology, Egyptology to performance, science and beyond: UCL Culture cares for the university’s world-class spaces and collections. We are home to the Grant Museum of Zoology, Octagon Gallery, Pathology Museum, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and UCL Art Museum, as well as the Bloomsbury Theatre and art in the public realm. Nearly all our venues and opportunities are free to enjoy and open to all. Come and play a part in our ground-breaking research and learning at UCL. ucl.ac.uk/culture | Twitter @ucl_culture | Instagram @uclculture About UCL (University College London) UCL was founded in 1826. We were the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. We are among the world's top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has over 41,500 students from 150 countries and over 12,500 staff. www.ucl.ac.uk | Follow us on Twitter @uclnews | Watch our YouTube channel YouTube.com/UCLTV Image credit: Skeleton audience Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL