How can theatre and research be used together to respond to our changing world?

Jointly hosted by the University of Birmingham and the Royal Shakespeare Company, Radical Mischief 2018 was an ambitious event which facilitated and maximised the conferring at the heart of any successful conference. In order to do this we used playful, surprising and sometimes demanding formats, borrowing the best from the worlds of scholarship and theatre-making to encourage and enable new ways of speaking and listening to one another.

Our objective was to ask, together, nothing less than where we think we are, culturally and politically; what we think we’re doing, in the theatre, in our thinking and writing and in our dialogues with the broader public; and what we might do differently — if we really listened to each other, pooled our resources, perhaps even changed our minds.

With the help of wonderful speakers and facilitators, we held open conversations around key provocations, inviting exploratory, passionate, even scandalous interventions, but always in the service of furthering a shared purpose and doing so wholly mindful of the times in which we live. 

These are conversations we want to continue. We hope you will join us - whether through social media, your own day to day responses to the cultures around us, or by joining us for the next Radical Mischief conference in Stratford-upon-Avon in August 2020.  

Ewan Fernie and Erica Whyman 

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Across the two days of the conference, delegates were able to take part in curated conversations on a range of topics. Each conversation was facilitated by at least one academic and one artist who offered provocations to stimulate the exchange of ideas across the academic and artistic perspectives represented by the delegates.

Provocation questions and a scribe’s report are attached to each topic giving a flavour of the discussion that took place.

Please note the scribes' reports are personal accounts and do not necessarily represent the views of those they are reporting.
  • Art

  • Democracy

  • Difficulty and The Public Sphere

  • Form

  • Gender

  • Race

  • Religion

  • Violence

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