Ruth Cockburn asks “What Does The Future of Performance Look Like?”

Ruth Cockburn - Image courtesy of the artist

I am currently writing a show that is to tour next year. It’s called Miss Nobodies in case you’d missed me banging on about it. It’s a live theatre show with audience interaction, touring the North of England, commissioned by Spot On Lancashire & Super Slow Way.

However, I have started to wonder what the future will hold for live performance, and how I might be able to bring my performances to the public at large.

As theatres are struggling to stay afloat, large organisations are going bust and freelancers are struggling to cling onto fragile careers, what does our creative industry and it’s future look like? How will we navigate this new world of zoom gigs, car park events, and half-filled venues? Will the novelty of these things wear off?

We have a product but are struggling to deliver it… if a woman does a show in the forest and no one listens, does she make a sound?

However, on a positive note, this might give some people the opportunity to create in different ways.

Will this give people that were secluded from traditional arts, the opportunity to join the conversation?

People from economically challenged parts of society, people with disabilities, or from parts of the world that have been ignored by the wider media, might they feel more able to create, be heard, and join the artistic conversation?

Traditionally the older population has been put to one side however, these people are at present more likely to use technology to watch things, connect with people, and reach out.

It is in fact the young that are dropping off when it comes to technological connection and engagement.

Ultimately it is young people that are missing out on vital contact hours, connections, and real-world experiences and we need to work to get back to a situation where we can meet and connect and build our communities.

Until then we must figure out how we can best reach our audiences.

And figure out what audiences want?

How can we deliver that?

What are people missing?

How can we deliver that safely?

How long will things be like this?

I come here with no answers, only questions.

We must evolve to stay alive.

We must keep trying.

Ruth Cockburn is a Blackpool born Comedian, theatre-maker, musician, and educator.
Accolades include: Critics Choice The Stage, Top 10 things to see Sunday Post,****’ A real talent’ Broadway Baby, **** ‘Hard not to be won over by her charm’ One4Review.

Follow Ruth here: https://www.ruthecockburn.co.uk/easy-blog www.ruthecockburn.co.uk


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