enactment + autopsy



A couple of months ago, picking up threads from our recent conversations, Mike and I proposed a performance event sustained by the attempt to realise a screenplay live, visibly and with specifically limited resources, within a crowded room. In collaboration with nine post-graduate performance students from Aberystwyth University, we proposed to readdress an unmade screenplay from the Brith Gof archive.

The screenplay, developed by the late Cliff McLucas in 1993, describes a television film narrating the shooting of Llwyd ap Iwan by two outlaws at Nant-y-Pysgod in the foothills of the Andes in 1909, within the context of Welsh emigration to Patagonia from 1865, and drawing on elements from the performance work Patagonia created by Brith Gof in 1992. McLucas’s script combines a complete storyboard of 228 frames, with unfinished texts, soundtrack details, instructions to actors and information on camera movements – and unfolds around the making of a silent film.

The script was never filmed.

On the evening of May 20th 2011, as the culmination of a month long exploration, we made our final attempt to realise the visuals and soundtrack detailed within the script, as faithfully as possible, frame for frame, live and in real time, amongst a crowd of spectators – armed only with four live cameras, an old analogue vision mixer, found and drawn images, printed texts, a selection of objects and models, six live microphones, a loop station guitar peddle, a handful of acoustic instruments, and some fancy dress.

Here is an unedited inline recording of the on-screen material generated in that attempt:



Realised by Holly Dacre-Davis, Melissa Donaldson, Karoline Grushka, Dafydd Hall Williams, Alec Hughes, Lisa Morris, Tilly Phillips, Fraser Stevens and Nik Wakefield; in collaboration with Mike Brookes and Mike Pearson.