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An Anatomy Act

Fri 9 Dec 2016 : 7:45 pm

£8 - £12

UK Premiere

Updated 28 November: Tickets now on sale: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-anatomy-act-tickets-29744603911

Conflating her roles as a theatre director, writer and professor, this unique performance event sees Furse delivering a vividly animated performance lecture, accompanied by haunting saw-playing and illuminating video. The Anatomy Theatres of Renaissance Europe were the gore movies of their day. The Public gawped in fear and fascination at the criminal being doubly punished by dissection. Furse takes this idea and runs with it, leading us on a journey of discovery to contemplate our own bodies, dead or alive, as she segues from personal loss to the circulation of the blood, from Elizabeth 1 to Lady Gaga. This show wants us to think about the meaning of life and why we fear death. It invites us to spend a little time reflecting on our heart and soul – and agreeing on exactly where our liver is.

Conceived, written, directed and performed by Anna Furse in collaboration with musician David Coulter, and scenographer Mela Dell’ Erba of Teatro Garibaldi, Palermo.

Lynnette Moran (Producer), Henry Dagg (Live Musical Collaboration), Nao Nagal (Lighting Design), Kilian Waters (Video Design).

An Anatomy Act is funded by Arts Council England with a Residency Commission by Create – the national development agency for collaborative arts in Ireland and CAPP (Collaborative Arts Partnership programme) a transnational programme co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union with additional support from Live Collision. It is an Athletes of the Heart production with the Centre of the Body at Goldsmiths, University of London.





Anna Furse is one of the early feminist theatre makers in the UK. Following training with the Royal Ballet in the 1960’s, where she won Choreographic prizes from Leonid Massine and Sir Frederick Ashton respectively, she quit dance for theatre in 1971, assisting and translating at Peter Brook’s International Centre for Theatrical Research (ICTR) Paris. Following a BA at University of Bristol she was selected for paratheatre work with Jerzy Grotowski’s Teatr Laboratorium in France and Poland. After a P.G.C.E. at Goldsmiths, in the 1980s she was a New Dance activist, maker and performer with X-6 collective, co-founder of Chisenhale Dance Space, and co-editor of New Dance Magazine.  At this time she was one of 4 performers (Transitional Identity) to introduce Contact Improvisation into the UK HE system. She concurrently taught internationally, was Head of Movement at Rose Bruford, and co-founded her pioneering feminist physical/visual company BloodGroup (6 international devised touring productions and Clam (by Deborah Levy), with the ICA its London venue).

Artistic Directorships include Paines Plough (1990 -1995) where her controversially innovative mission brought writers to collaborate with dancers and live artists and work site-specifically. Her bi-lingual co-production Down and Out in Paris and London in a disused abattoir (France/UK, 1992) involved 100 extras and was presented at the Theatre de Gennevilliers in Paris. Her Time Out award-winning Augustine (Big Hysteria) (1991) toured to emerging post-glasnost Russia and was featured in Channel 4 TV’s Are Women Mad?

Anna has directed over 50 productions touring Europe, the USA, Asia and the Middle East, ranging from small scale to regional repertory theatres, theatre-in-education, disabled theatre (GRAEAE), with the RSC, and with many professional companies including Womens Theatre Group (Sphinx),Theatre Centre, New Midlands Dance, Scarlet Harlets and The Little Angel. An internationally published/performed writer, her play The Peach Child was selected for the National Theatre New Connections 2008, staged in 13 Theatres all over the UK, at the Cottesloe Theatre, and produced internationally. Her Methuen anthology Theatre in Pieces, Politics, Poetics and Interdisciplinary Collaboration (2011) includes her Don Juan.Who?/Don Juan.Kdo? co-produced with Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, that headlined the FeEAST Festival at Riverside Studios (2008). This project was evolved in cyberspace with a geographically dispersed company, inventing new ways to harness technology for collaborative creation. Among several more recent smaller scale works, are Sea/Woman (with Maja Mitic, Dah Teatar, Belgrade) and her solo When We Were Birds premiered at the Cantieri Culturali Zisa, in Palermo in 2013, presented at Live Collision  and GIFT Festivals in 2014. Her most recent project Other People’s Shoes was commissioned by the Michael Cakoyiannis Foundation in Athens (2016) in a Residency that included a Symposium on Activism and Performance.


Fri 9 Dec 2016
7:45 pm
£8 - £12
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Chats Palace Arts Centre
42-44 Brooksby's Walk
London, E9 6DF United Kingdom

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