As an introduction to: A: The Christmas Party – a play by artist Becky Shaw [broadcast on Sheffield Live! FM as part of Art Sheffield 2010] members of Sheffield Young Adult Writers [SYAW] took part in a related performance workshop. The aim of the workshop, which involved performing and discussing sections of the play, was to look at the themes of the work and highlight how written and spoken narratives can be used in contemporary art.
A scene from the play was read by several volunteers from the group and recorded. In keeping with the artist’s original radio recording, the play was read without rehearsal to ‘capture the genuine effort of endurance, the highs and the lows of a long distance effort, without the need for acting’ [Becky Shaw].
“When we were asked to do this, I didn’t like it at all because I hate modern art so I judged it. But actually reading it, it’s really clever”. Lauren Marie
A……………. Lauren Marie
The Carer…..Zoe Cox
Participants: Sheffield Young Adult Writers
A: The Christmas Party is a play script written in 2005 during a residency with Age Concern. The script records the six times that a care worker and artist visit an elderly dementia-sufferer in her home. The play is intended to communicate a number of things: It presents the tragedy and, often surreal, comedy of care, and the extraordinary determination people have to communicate.
Thanks to Becky Shaw for permission to use her work.
A Christmas Party [Excerpt read by SYAW]
A Christmas party workshop discussion
Becky Shaw interview with James Burns