Opinion

She Only Barks at Night: a performance at the University

The HfE Node at the Sydney Environment Institute supports She Only Barks at Night by The Living Room Theatre.

The HfE Node at the Sydney Environment Institute will support a performance at The University of Sydney next week, by The Living Room Theatre.

Academic research conducted at The University of Sydney in association with the Sydney Environment Institute will be brought to life in She Only Barks at Night, a meticulously researched and completely original performance piece.

Michelle St Anne, Artistic Director and founder of The Living Room Theatre, said of what we can expect from the performance:

‘The audience will be guided into a world where the future is framed by narratives from the past. They will be invited to engage and interact with this created world, and experience a journey through the science and arts precincts of the University. Weaving remarkable accounts of female hysteria of the 19th century and the controversial hypnosis treatment developed by Jean-Martin Charcot, it explores the dark misperceptions of the mind, from the past to the present as contemporary theatre merges with installation, exhibition and performance to twist the audience’s mind.’

Taxidermist Gavin Burland, who is currently the Vice President of the Australasian Institute of Anatomical Sciences (AISAS) and considered one of the leading plastination experts in Australasia will contribute his expertise to the experience. The work of Jude Philp, head curator of the Macleay Museum, has also informed part of the work.

Lian Loke, from the Faculty of Architecture, has created the costuming for the performance. Milliner Rosie Boylan who has worked on Academy Award winning films, including The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge, has now created the spectacular headwear for She Only Barks at Night. I’m really excited! I haven’t worked with anyone who has a process quite like Michelle.

Rosie said of her involvement with the production, ‘I’m really excited! I haven’t worked with anyone who has a process quite like Michelle. It appears completely organic. So I’m looking forward to that. And, I’m really excited about the taxidermy themes. In Victorian times there was plenty of dead animals going onto big hats. There are some parallels in taxidermy and millinery construction techniques, which I hope to explore in our Living Room Theatre collaboration. I think it’s going to be a great theatrical, expressive moment.’

Alongside interpreting research in an engaging way, She Only Barks at Night will also highlight some of The University of Sydney’s most beautiful – and overlooked – heritage buildings. The performance will begin at the Vet School Round House, take the audience along historic Science Road and end in the Macleay Museum.

 

Image: Extra Black