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The four performances discussed in this article were presented together as part of the InOnTheAct Festival produced by The Lowry Theatre, Salford, in Autumn 2012. Advertised as ‘intimate’ and ‘risk-taking’, they can be broadly identified as immersive theatre productions. Drawing on interviews with producers and participants and on audience surveys, Talbot argues that, when artists and programmers ‘behind the scenes’ in immersive environments ‘disappear’ in order to facilitate participant agency, participants can feel exposed, stranded, and script-less. They risk losing face and being embarrassed, humiliated, or singled out without consent. The potential pitfalls can be offset by the appeal of creative practices that afford participants an active engagement with the process of performance making and in some cases a more intimate experience of co-presence with others. Indeed, confident participants may take uninvited liberties with performers, objects, and other participants. The article considers the ethical and practical problems facing artists and participants within particular contractual frameworks.
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- She Wants You to Kiss Her: Negotiating Risk in the Immersive Theatre Contract
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