“Connecting, Interacting and Confounding Expectations of Elder Theatre” (an interactive performance lecture with Passages Theatre Group)

  • Bridie Moore (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Given at “IDENTITY, VOICE, CREATIVITY, ACTION! 8th Conference of the ESREA Network” at Leeds Beckett University on 10 November 2017.

Passages Theatre Group is the co-research group for Bridie Moore’s AHRC funded PhD research into the performance of age and ageing, which she undertook at the University of Sheffield. The group have created three pieces that aim to find performances which 'trouble' (Butler, 1990) the normative figure of the old person in performance and, by extension, other forms of representation. The performances have challenged stereotypes of the old that are associated with, decline (Gullette, 2004) obsolescence, rigidity and dependence (Calasanti, 2006). The group was formed from a number of people who responded in 2012 to a call-out for participants aged over 50 in the Sheffield area. It was also a Shared Learning Project with Sheffield U3A. The group has performed for a number of other projects in the city, thus contributing to the life of the community; as well as performing at the Winter Garden and the Sheffield 50+ AGM, the group’s show at White Willows care home helped stimulate a discussion that aided the successful big bid for £3m lottery funding for the Age Better Sheffield project. The group have just presented an interactive piece You Need Hands, which opened at The Theatre Delicatessen in Sheffield in December 2016 and will be performed again at Art Works in Sheffield on 22nd June. One of the key strengths of the project is that the work draws on contemporary performance forms such as one to one and interactive performance and the group are developing a hybrid of performance and workshop forms, thus confounding expectations of what ‘elder theatre’ can be.
The project has enriched the lives of the participants and connected them with other creatively involved people of all ages across the city, and particularly with Sheffield People’s Theatre, thus contributing to the development of a pan-generational arts scene in Sheffield. So the group and its presence, both in the lives of the participants and in the life of the city has been influential, having many unforeseen outcomes, as well as fulfilling the core aims of the project.
Period10 Nov 2017
Event titleIDENTITY, VOICE, CREATIVITY, ACTION! The 8th Conference of the ESREA Network - ELOA
Event typeConference
Conference number8
OrganiserLeeds Beckett University
LocationLeeds, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational