Performance & the Sciences of Bodily Regeneration, Repair and Replacement

Date of Event: May 8, 2019 Event Type: Interim Event

TAPRA Performance & Science Interim Event


Science Gallery/King’s College, London


8 May 2019 2- 8.30pm

  The Performance & Science Working Group invites applications to attend our Interim Event at King’s College London, which takes up the theme of bodily regeneration, repair and replacement. The emerging sciences of regenerative medicine promise the possibility of combating terrifying disease and physical trauma. They also sharpen our fears about cyborg and synthetic beings. This ambivalence offers rich ground for performance-makers and those who study the interface between theatre, performance and the human sciences.

The event involves meetings with scientists at the cutting edge of regenerative medicine, a tour of the laboratories at the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine and of the Spare Parts exhibition, a working dinner and attending a related science-performance.

The event is FREE to all TAPRA members but places are limited. To apply for a place, please email by 12 April 2019 with a brief (100 word) outline of how the event will support your current or future research. Priority will be given to those whose research aligns most closely with the event. Postgraduate students can also apply for support with travel costs – please include estimated costs in your email. The criteria for funding will be lack of institutional support, alignment of research interest to the event, cost of travel.

All participants must be TaPRA members. If you are not currently a member, you will be asked to join the organization at the interim rate of £15 before the date of the event.



  2-4pm: visit to Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

4- 5.30 pm: tour of the Spare Parts exhibition at the Science Gallery. This exhibition explores the art, science, ethics and technology that enables human repair and alteration. It considers the emotional and psychological aspects of living with a replacement organ or limb; organic or engineered.

5.45-6.45pm: working dinner: reflecting on performances of bodily repair, replacement and recuperation.

7 – 8.30: performance: New Organs of Creation

New Organs of Creation presents a hypothetical development of the human larynx (voice box), using tissue engineering, to extend the ability of the voice as a transformational instrument. The project is made in collaboration with Prof Lucy Di-Silvio who used tissue engineering to grow human cells on the prototype anatomical larynx.

Performing Science: Seeing the Unseen

Date of Event: April 20, 2018 Event Type: Interim Event
You are warmly invited to the following TaPRA Interim Event on Performing Science: TAPRA Performance and Science Working Group Interim Event Jodrell Bank Observatory, University of Manchester Friday 20 April 2018, 12.30-4.30pm Performing Science: Seeing the Unseen The Observatory is home to the giant Lovell Telescope, a potent and iconic symbol of our attempts to see and understand the cosmos. As the site for our second Performance and Science interim event, the observatory offers a productive metaphor for thinking about performance in relation to scientific aspiration, making the invisible visible, visualizing technologies and scale.  The session will be framed by short provocations from Dr Paul Johnson (University of Wolverhampton and author of Quantum Theatre) and Dr Alex Kelly (Third Angel Artistic Director, currently touring 600 People, his show about astrophysics). These will be followed by the opportunity for participants to share their responses and their own research, along with some time to explore the Observatory. Paul Johnson’s provocation: Science can be thought of as making the invisible visible: radio telescopes in the MERLIN array (of which Jodrell Bank is a part) have observed M87 galaxy, at a distance of just under 55000000 light years; electron microscopes magnify their subject 10000000 times; cloud chambers show the traces of ionising radiation; neutrino detectors can discern almost intangible particles, billions of which pass through our bodies every second without our notice. Whilst performance might be a contested concept, developed through a series of disciplinary dialogues, the origins of it is are as a human activity. What I would like to explore in this provocation is how performance, as a human activity, can connect with the scale of investigation with which science engages. How can performance and science meet in a constructive interference, without one becoming subservient to the scale of the other? Alex Kelly’s provocation: How does it make you feel? In Third Angel we’ve always said that we make work about the things that fascinate us or bother us. The stuff your brain returns to when its meant to be thinking about something else. That might be personal relationships and domestic details, or it might be circadian rhythms, timezones, cartography or the fact that the Voyager spacecraft are, you know, actually out there, right now, at almost incomprehensible distances from the human beings who built them. We explore these ideas through conversations and collaborations with specialists and experts in their fields: psychologists, cartographers, astrophysicists. Our aim with these projects is to make something that responds to the emotional, human impact that their research has. Participation fees: £20 (per TaPRA & non-TaPRA member) and £10 (per TaPRA and non-TaPRA PG), which includes lunch and refreshments at the Observatory. Please register for the event here: Further details about the Observatory and travel to the site are available here: There are postgraduate bursaries available for the event. Please contact Gianna Bouchard ( for further information. We hope to see you there! Best wishes, Alex, Gianna and Simon (Co-organisers: Alex Mermikides, Gianna Bouchard and Simon Parry)  

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