To Be a Woman- intermedial performance

12299289655?profile=RESIZE_710xFigure 1 - An image of our rehearsal

Intermedial performance is when live meets digital, this can be using film, audio, lighting, any technology in combination with a live performance. This is also stressed by Anna McMullan, who says intermediality is the contemporary incorporation of digital technology into theatre practices. This can create an interactive, immersive performance for the audience[1]. The brief we were given was to create a collaborative performance that innovatively interacts with a short film that we will create as part of our Level 6 module, Performance Lab. The concept we chose for our performance is to explore what it is to be a woman in society and the impact men’s actions have upon this. This is explored through the narrative of the virgin, mother and prostitute . This idea is taken from Luce Irigaray’s feminist reading in which she critiques these roles stating neither as mother nor as virgin nor as prostitute has woman any right to her own pleasure[2]. The performance will be really confronting for the audience using provocative imagery in our film and will challenge the idea that women fit into these three roles.

12299289680?profile=RESIZE_710xFigure 2 - An image of our rehearsal

The filming process was thoroughly enjoyable it was the first chance as artists we had been given complete freedom to express our ideas in our own personal way. As a group we each gave ourselves a role to explore, I investigated the role of the virgin. Inspired by the Bride Cake Series by Penny Slinger I wanted to create imagery surrounding the role of being a bride. Women are told to save themselves for marriage and seen as objects for men, waiting to be deflowered on their wedding night. Therefore, I created a few scenes using flowers covered in blood, not only is the image striking as the blood is a total contradiction to the white flowers but can also be interpreted in many ways like the break or tear in the hymen when you lose your virginity.  By the end of the film, we are shown to have taken back our power and are exhausted having to keep up these stereotypical roles. This is shown using blood in the virgin scenes to contrast the white imagery used to depict the purity of being a virgin and the failures of a mother like burning the food.

The challenges we faced when making the intermedial performance was figuring out how to interact with the film, we realised the film we had produced was too quick and choppy and more like a music video. Therefore, we went away and stripped back the original soundtrack and any videos that we had found from the internet.  We than layered uncomfortable sounds such as babies crying, pots and pans and a constant buzzing sound throughout. This made the film more unnerving and uncomfortable for the audience but gave us more flexibility with the intermedial performance as we can play around with the soundscape and the striking images on the screen to create some really stimulating imagery.

I believe the greatest strength we have coming up to the final performance is our ability to think outside the box and not scared to take that extra step. For example, we plan to play around with balloons as they for one give off an unpleasant sound when rubbed or popped. Also, to use a balloon filled of fake blood which will be popped over me to show the ‘popping of the cherry’ for the virgin section off the live performance. I thoroughly look forward to continuing the creation off our performance with the hope of creating more confrontational imagery through shadows, silhouettes, and film.

To keep up to do date with our progress and to watch the film follow the link below.


 Written by Lillie Brightey L6 student in Acting and Performance.

[1] Anna McMulla. (2020). Samuel Beckett and intermedial performance: passing between.


[2] Irigaray, L. 1985 The Sex Which Is Not One. Cornell University Press.  Page 187

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