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Gordon Ramsay

Lecturer in Drama and Performance, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

BA English (Loughborough University)

MA Creative Writing (University of East Anglia)

PhD (Loughborough University)

Expertise Summary

Areas of expertise - 20th-century theatre, including Italian Futurist performance; playwriting/writing for performance.

I was awarded a Lord Dearing Teaching Award by the University in 2008 and an HEA National Teaching Fellowship in 2011. In my teaching I hope to share some of the passion and excitement I have for theatre, to stretch ideas about what performance is and can be, and to encourage consideration of the cultural and political context in which it emerges. I am fascinated by the fact that we can all attend the same event and yet come away having seen very different plays. These 'different audiences at the same time' were clearly evident with the Futurists, whose performances were frequently intended to irritate and annoy one section of the audience to the delight of another. At this point the performance might move off the stage altogether and to the auditorium itself, the spectators fighting and hurling abuse, the actors the new audience to a performance they had started but whose narrative had now slipped (however temporarily) beyond their control. This dynamic quality, the sense that the relationship between auditorium and stage, audience and actor, is unstable, reminds us that theatre is live, and that the performance text is incomplete without the performance context itself. In discovering/translating long-buried plays, one is discovering fragments, whose meanings only fully emerge when matched to their makers and their worlds. In practice-based research, in writing for and making performance, the relationship between fragment, maker and maker's world is harder to divine, complicated as it is by issues of subjectivity and critical distance. I am interested in both forms of research and am happy to work across disciplines.

UG Modules taught First year modules - Introduction to Drama Second year modules (convenor) - Writing for Performance; Performance Practices: From Stanislavski to Stelarc Final year modules - Contemporary Performance; Performance: Theory and Practice

PG teaching I am a contributor to the MA in Creative Writing

Areas of Research Supervision Modernist Theatre, Playwriting, Practice-Based Research

Recent and Current Research Students Heather Lilley (Vital Contact: Community and Negotiations of Audience Performance Relationships in the Theatre of Cartoon de Salvo, Kneehigh and Northern Stage, 2002-5)

Gill Brigg (AHRC Collaborative Award, with Nottingham Playhouse, Performance for Audiences with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties: performances and reception, 2009-13)

Tilly Branson (AHRC Collaborative Award, with New Perspectives, Re-imagining the rural tour: new forms for new audiences 2012 - )

Teaching Summary

I am interested in practice based teaching and learning and the taking of risks in learning and personal development.

Research Summary

I am currently developing my stage play Found and undertaking fieldwork for a 'landscape' play based in Italy.

I

Recent Publications

  • GORDON RAMSAY, 2017. Staging Futurism: Time, Space, Place, Pace, and the Performance of Futurist sintesi. In: JOHN LONDON, ed., One Hundred Years of Futurism Intellect. (In Press.)
  • RAMSAY, G., 2016. The Exile: Playscript, Evidence box At: School of English
  • RAMSAY, G., 2013. The Talking Road: evidence box including photographs, drafts/maps/video of site-specific poem At: Staffordshire - roadside between Tatenill & Branston
  • 2013. Futurism and Witkiewicz: Variety, Separation and Coherence in a Theatre of Pure Form Special Issue Polish Journal of Aesthetics (Estetyka i Krytyka). 1(1), 117-30 (In Press.)

Past Research

My PhD thesis considered the place of the machine in performance and in particular its use in early Italian Futurist drama. Published articles that have stemmed from this have examined the human-object relations on the Futurist stage and the robot as programmable actor. This led to membership of the Performance Robotics Research Group with academics and practitioners from the Universities of Kent and Leeds and has involved workshops with the Shadow Robot Company, investigating the parameters and potential for robotic performance. As a playwright, I have had professional readings, workshops and performances of a number of plays, including Pas De Deux (White Bear, London), The Woman Who Turned Into A Clock (The Gate, London) and 1X/X1 (Lion and Unicorn, London) and Found (Neville Studio, Nottingham Playhouse). I have also translated a number of Futurist plays that have been performed at Loughborough University and Nottingham, and given conference papers and published on the relationship of this work to that of the Polish writer and artist Witkiewicz. My interest in exploring the relationship between landscape, text and the audience of the passing vehicle provoked The Talking Road Project, a one-mile long installation-poem, sited in Staffordshire in December 2012.

Future Research

I will be engaged in further development of fieldwork findings through to devising, draft stages, workshops, private and public reading and professional performance. I will be pursuing my interest in travel and performance, and in particular the moving vehicle as a site for audience, performer and the renegotiation of text and landscape; and exploring new sites and modes of inscription and reception.

  • GORDON RAMSAY, 2017. Staging Futurism: Time, Space, Place, Pace, and the Performance of Futurist sintesi. In: JOHN LONDON, ed., One Hundred Years of Futurism Intellect. (In Press.)
  • RAMSAY, G., 2016. The Exile: Playscript, Evidence box At: School of English
  • RAMSAY, G., 2013. The Talking Road: evidence box including photographs, drafts/maps/video of site-specific poem At: Staffordshire - roadside between Tatenill & Branston
  • 2013. Futurism and Witkiewicz: Variety, Separation and Coherence in a Theatre of Pure Form Special Issue Polish Journal of Aesthetics (Estetyka i Krytyka). 1(1), 117-30 (In Press.)
  • RAMSAY, G., 2013. The Three Christs Project: evidence box: completed playscript, drafts, archival materials, videos of devising and script development process, and of professional performed reading of final script At: Workshops and performance at Nottingham Playhouse
  • RAMSAY, G., 2011. Simultaneity and compenetration in sintesi of the Italian futurists. In: STOESSER, P.J., ed., Futurist dramaturgy and performance Legas. 45-56
  • RAMSAY, G, 2007. The use of objects in sintesi of the Italian Futurists Performance Research. 12(4), 115-122
  • RAMSAY, G.P., 2007. 1X/X1. [Playscript, podcast of performance, and other materials] At: First performed at The Lion and the Unicorn Public House, London, 27th August 2007
  • RAMSAY, G.P., 2003. Robotic theatre in extremis: models for artificial intelligence in robotic performance: or, how we think a machine might think as a guide to how it might express itself in a performance context University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Dept. of Theatre, Film and Television Studies. Available at: <http://www.aber.ac.uk/tfts/journal/archive/ramsay.html>
  • RAMSAY, G.P., 2002. On being a werewolf: practice as research - a playwright's perspective Contemporary Theatre Review. 12(4), 43-52

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