Scenography, Performance and the Everyday

Through scholarly reflection and practice-based research, this cluster will explore the means by which scenography and performance can enliven and disrupt the habits and routines of everyday life. The aim of the cluster is to enhance the dialogue between the existing research trajectories of its various members, and to actively support these trajectories through a programme of talks, visits and workshops. Central to the members of the cluster is a concern with how various aesthetic experiences can expand possibilities for living, opening up perceptual awareness and generating an active concern for the complex social and environmental ecologies we inhabit.


Rationale and Context

 To question the habitual. But that’s just it, we’re habituated to it. We don’t question it, it doesn’t question us, it doesn’t seem to pose a problem, we live it without thinking, as if it carried within it neither question nor answers, as if it weren’t the bearer of any information. This is no longer even conditioning, it’s anaesthesia. We sleep through our lives in a dreamless sleep. But where is our life? Where is our body? Where is our space? (Perec 1998: 205)

 This proposed research cluster draws together research enquiries in scenography and theatre and performance that share an interest in the everyday. The everyday is the realm of lived experience and habit, of quotidian and trivial practices: talking and socializing, walking and travelling, leisure activities and holidays, and cooking and eating. It is the realm of sensory perception and affective encounter, conjuring objects, images, and dreams. The everyday is a site of anthropological and sociological interest through the way it promises an encounter with what people do. Through the work of George Simmel, Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certeau, the everyday has been theorized variously as a site of social negotiation, pleasure and alienation. The everyday is also a site of vital engagement for contemporary scenography, theatre and performance, serving as the quotidian grounds against which, and in response to, theatre and scenography take place. The work of Philippe Quesne, Rimini Protokoll and Quarantine frames and stages the everyday and the real, articulating their inherent theatricality, enlivening perception, and questioning how we understand ourselves. In a similar vein, the work of NVA, Assemble, and Tanja Beer engages with questions of physical culture, of the sites and locations of daily life, and consumer culture, posing questions of sustainability and the future. 


  • To explore how scenography and performance can mediate and disrupt the realm of the everyday.
  • To explore how the framing of objects and physical action can enliven perception of the taken-for-granted and open up possibilities for critical reflection
  • To explore the psychological and physiological effects of aesthetic experience
  • To enable a sustainable dialogue between researchers working in scenography, theatre and performance and an exploration of collaborative projects and grant applications.
  • To build links with national and international artists and researchers.
  • To enhance the quality of published and performed outputs through shared discussion and support
  • To support the development of research grant applications with external funders

Events: Future

Guest Speakers: 

22nd November 2017 tbc

Kully Thiarai: Director of National Theatre Wales 

A departmental invitation to the new director of National Theatre Wales to share the launch of her new season and to meet with interested members of the TFTS department to discuss future collaborations.

21 February 2018 tbc

Sodja Lotker: Dramaturg Damu, Prague

Sodja Lotker will meet with the Cluster to present a series of projects that she is currently exploring, we will investigate the possibilities of developing closer departmental ties between Damu and TFTS.


Internal Cluster:

17th November 2017

The next internal Cluster will explore, respond and hopefully develop early projects and academic papers presented by 3 members of the cluster.

Events: Past


Symposium #1 in collaboration with PPI research centre

 29-30 September 2016

The human life that’s here: A Symposium investigating Quarantine’s Quartet

The Symposium discusses Quarantine's Quartet, a major international performance event that took place in Manchester in 2016. Comprised of four pieces of work, together the four pieces constitute a sustained enquiry into the performance of ‘life’ – individual and collective, conceived through the passing of ‘seasons’ – and the ‘life’ made manifest in and through performance. 

This Symposium, drawing on contributions from the Quarantine creative team (Richard Gregory/Simon Banham), performers (Leentje Van de Cruys/Cristina Delgado-García) and spectators (Joslin McKinney/ Adrian Kear), seeks to examine how the work functioned from a variety of perspectives, and to re-stage some of its essential questions. It will be opened with a lecture by Prof Adrian Kear (Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University) with the title Staging the People: Performance, Presence and Representation. 


Symposium #2

 20th -21st January 2017

Performance, physical culture (running) and the everyday

Andrew Filmer in conversation with Matti Tainio, Kai Syng Tan, and Alan Latham



Workshop #1 Jane Mason: Choreographer

 March 2017


Contact for this page: 

Simon Banham:

Andrew Filmer:

Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University, Parry-Williams Building, Aberystwyth, SY23 3AJ