Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space

Working memories

By David Calder

Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2159-2
  • Pages: 216
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: March 2019
  • BIC Category: Architecture: public buildings, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / History & Criticism, Street Theatre, Theatre Direction & Production, The arts / Theatre studies, Theatre Studies, Urban communities, Other performing arts, Industrialisation & industrial history
  • Series: Theatre: Theory - Practice - Performance


Deindustrialising communities have called upon street theatre companies to re-animate public space and commemorate industrial heritage. How have these companies converted derelict factories into spaces of theatrical production? How do they connect their work to the industrial work that once occurred there? How do those connections manifest in theatrical events, and how do such events give shape and meaning to ongoing redevelopment projects? This book develops an understanding of the relationship between theatre and redevelopment that goes beyond accusations of gentrification or celebrations of radical resistance. Ultimately, Calder argues that deindustrialisation and redevelopment depend on theatrical events and performative acts to make ongoing change intelligible and navigable.

Working memories brings together some of current theatre scholarship's fundamental concerns while demonstrating the significance of those concerns to an interdisciplinary readership.


'Calder's chapters invite us to attend to both the destructive and the creative ways that street theatre restages the industrial past, while reminding us how our work today is haunted, whether we embrace it or not, by the work of yesterday.'
Theatre Journal


Introduction: Working memory
1. Theatre in ruins: street and theatre at the end of Fordism
2. Reincorporation: putting the countryside back to work
3. Excavation: the imaginary archaeology of redevelopment
4. Resurfacing: continuous theatre for a creative city
5. Recuperation: alternate pasts, sustainable futures


David Calder is Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Manchester

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