Leeds Beckett student to perform at Edinburgh Festival
Aletia Upstairs, a first year PhD student at Leeds Beckett, will perform Mementronome at the Summerhall venue in Edinburgh from 17 to 22 August, where the audience members will be invited to explore a space filled with unmarked boxes. By choosing to open a box, they will find an object that triggers a reaction from Aletia, which in turn instigates interaction on a one-to-one basis.
Aletia explained: “This is the first time I am exploring one-to-one performance and to be doing so in the surroundings of the Demarco archive, from which I have drawn so much inspiration, is exciting.
“The work aims to explore the dramaturgical potential of the object, the relationship between myself and the audience and the notion that ‘everyone is an artist’.
“The Edinburgh Festival has become one of the most important platforms from which artists can showcase their work. This is an amazing opportunity for myself as an individual performer.”
Mementronome is a participatory performance inspired by the Richard Demarco archive and is sponsored by the Demarco European Art Foundation in partnership with Leeds Beckett University’s research programme.
Reacting to Joseph Beuys’s statement that ‘everyone is an artist’, Mementronome takes inspiration from Paul Neagu’s Fish’s Net performance and was created using the methods of Tadeusz Kantor.
Teresa Brayshaw, Principal Lecturer of Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett, added: “We are delighted to support Aletia in profiling the practice element of her PhD studies at the wonderful venue of Summerhall in Edinburgh this year. She makes powerful and intimate work and the one-to-one nature of each encounter in this new performance, offers audiences a unique opportunity to reflect upon their own personal archives. We look forward with interest to hearing how the piece is received.”
Aletia Upstairs is a cabaretist, singer-songwriter, vintage songstress and performing artist who specialises in autobiographical, verbatim and one-to-one performance. With a background in theatre and world music, she uses multiple languages, intercultural performing arts, original music, poetry, stand-up comedy, puppetry, multi-media, historical and fairy tale references in her work. This will be Aletia’s second visit to the festival, having performed there in 2013 as part of her final Master’s degree project.
Mementronome marks the third collaboration in an ongoing creative exchange with Anna Brownsted, a Practice-as-Research PhD candidate at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, whose own practice explores participation in one-to-one performance. The work is already causing a stir, having been awarded four and five stars by the Theatre Guide London and ScotsGay respectively.
Aletia will be performing Mementronome at the Summerhall venue, Edinburgh from 17 to 22 August. See http://www.summerhall.co.uk/ for more details.
For more information about Aletia’s work visit http://aletiaupstairs.com/