I hate naming things.

Over the past few days I have been writing what I very seriously entitled as a

Proposal for Performance Night

naturally, having given the thing such a serious name, I crushed all my enthusiasm and creativity about it, and as such have been sat, staring at a horribly blank screen for hours. If I could call my performance night anything, I think I’d call it SMUSH and as things stand, I still might (I bloody won’t). The reason, I’d call it smush, is that smush is a made up word, that looks at squashing things together, and that, fundamentally is what my performance night is. Every month, it’ll be different, and every month it will bring something new together. It’s all about their being a community of people in Sheffield that are all taking care of each other as artists – seeing each others work, tweeting each other’s tweets, buying each other drinks, and reading each others applications, creating a real community that as well as being artistically engaging and fulfilling is FUN and SUPPORTIVE and DRINKS A LOT.

The Performance Night will take place once a month, every month for as long as possible. I’m in the city until at least June of 2013, and for as long as I am here, I will always try to run the night. Bank Street has a wonderful apprenticeship scheme, and I wonder if this is the type of thing that could possibly be handed over to them when I leave? I think having apprentices aged between 16 – 24 running things will always keep it fresh (fresh is a nice word. Fresh Art? Hmm. Not right) as well as enabling them to work with lots of different people at once.


The night will comprise of Live Art, Performances, Installations (if this is viable within the time frame), and anything else of a theatrical nature, including play readings, debates and discussions etc. In an ideal world, I would like there to be no barriers or restrictions as to what is performed, whether it be very conventional and traditional, or very avant garde – if anything it could be fun to watch work like that sit side by side.

Work is not necessarily required to be completed – if people have work they wish to experiment with, or works in progress which they wish to showcase, that is actively encouraged. It’s important for artists to have a space to experiment and try things out, especially when the night will be free for audience and performer.

The night will be run on an informal basis, and is expected to have a supportive, community feel to it, as strengthening a performance based fringe within the city is central to the purpose of the night. So afterwards, drinks, encouraging people to talk, and having live music. Each night should have a minimum of four performances. That’s a minimum though! Hopefully there will be more. I’m very nervous about this – I’ve only got one piece lined up for Feburary so far, and that’s only a month away. Especial effort should be made to attract students from both campuses to come and see the work – it’s free, their work should be showcased as much as possible, and it’s important that they begin to forge links with other artists within the city.

One of the big focuses of the evening should be encouraging discussion and collaboration between artists, so when the pieces are finished, there will live music and a bar for at least two, three hours afterwards, to encourage people to meet each other and socialise.

Boom! And there, hopefully, we have a performance evening met. I can’t call it Smush, can I? That sounds terrible. I need a name! Think of a name, and I’ll cook you dinner.

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