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British Art Studies Theatres of War: Experimental Performance in London, 1914–1918 and Beyond

  • 25 Mar 2019

The British Art Studies editorial team are delighted to present Issue 11 – Theatres of War: Experimental Performance in London, 1914–1918 and Beyond.

Screenshot from British Art Studies 'Theatres of War: Experimental Performance in London, 1914–1918 and Beyond'

Screenshot from British Art Studies 'Theatres of War: Experimental Performance in London, 1914–1918 and Beyond',

Curated by Dr Grace Brockington, senior lecturer at the University of Bristol, Theatres of War is an online exhibition that explores the visual culture of experimental performance that developed against the grain of mainstream theatre in London during the First World War.

At the heart of the exhibition is the first ever staging of The Ballet of the Nations – Vernon Lee’s 1915 pacifist satire. Produced as a feature film by contemporary dance company Impermanence, and directed by Roseanna Anderson and Joshua Ben-Tovim, The Ballet of the Nations is a creative rearticulation of Vernon Lee’s 1915 text set to intricate and stylised dance pieces. The film is accompanied by interviews from the creative team behind the film, including costumes, composing and choreography. 

Screenshot from British Art Studies 'Theatres of War: Experimental Performance in London, 1914–1918 and Beyond'

Screenshot from British Art Studies 'Theatres of War: Experimental Performance in London, 1914–1918 and Beyond',

The issue also includes virtual exhibitions which were designed with a new web template design. The new design has been produced to emulate the experience of visiting an exhibition. Images, film and audio are paired with short descriptive texts that progress horizontally from left to right in the browser window. An annotated historical map of key locations related to the experimental performance scene in London makes visible the geographical reality of its community and the close connections between the groups involved.

The virtual exhibitions included in Theatres of War are: 

  • Performing Pacifism, curated by Grace Brockington
  • Inspirations, curated by Grace Brockington
  • London's Little Theatres, curated by Grace Brockington and Claudia Tobin
  • Beyond London & the War, curated by Grace Brockington
Screenshot from British Art Studies 'Theatres of War: Experimental Performance in London, 1914–1918 and Beyond'

Screenshot from British Art Studies 'Theatres of War: Experimental Performance in London, 1914–1918 and Beyond',