Performance Research Volume 25 Issue 1

On Amateurs

Issue editors: David Gilbert, Judith Hawley, Helen Nicholson & Libby Worth

ISSN: 1352-8165 (2020) 25:1

The current attempts of theatre makers to increase diversity by including non-professionals in their casts and of social policy makers to promote participation in the arts justify the perception that there is an ‘amateur turn’ in performance practice. Yet this ‘turn’ has not brought about a revolution in attitudes to the amateur. As Sarah Jane Bailes points out, the amateur actor is an ‘often risible and endearing figure to a British public’. And often more risible than anything else. The tension between the commitment with which amateurs pursue their activities and the indifference they meet in professional and academic circles inspired us to champion the very notion of the amateur in this issue. We challenge the notion of the amateur as secondary or second rate. These essays explore the geographies and histories of amateur performance, think through the nature and limits of the idea of the amateur in different cultural contexts and help us to develop a new vocabulary to understand the complexity and nuances of amateur performance. Authors address such subjects as the global reach of amateur performance through new social media, changing work patterns, spaces of performance, amateur participation as political activism and the distinctive aesthetics of amateur performance.

On Amateurs : An introduction and a manifesto

David Gilbert, Judith Hawley, Helen Nicholson, Libby Worth, Libby Worth

pp. 2 - 9

An Amateur Manifesto

Clare Daněk

pp. 1 - 1

Fancy Dress as an Amateur Craft

Stephen Knott

pp. 10 - 17

Not Another Drag Competition : From amateur to professional drag performance

Joe Parslow

pp. 18 - 24

‘Never be Dull’ : Girl Guides of Canada performing physical culture and gymnastics drills in 1910–21

Heather Fitzsimmons Frey

pp. 25 - 30

High Culture : Presentations of the self in mountain environments

Jonathan Pitches

pp. 31 - 38

Amateur Theatre Networks in the Archive

David Coates

pp. 39 - 43

Karaoke Instagram : Amateur desire and the performance economy

Kevin Brown

pp. 44 - 47

Revealing All : From novice to amateur in the community printmaking workshop

Clare Daněk

pp. 48 - 51

Built not Bought : The performance of enthusiast labour and modified VW cars

Will Andrews

pp. 52 - 58

The Influence of Intimacy : Amateur performance on new media’s neoliberal stage

Archer Porter

pp. 59 - 62

‘At 20p – It Can’t be Bad!’ : The socio-political purpose of Live Theatre Newcastle’s amateur aesthetic, 1973–8

Rosalind Haslett

pp. 63 - 66

Dilettante Theatricals : The elite amateur in the Georgian period

Judith Hawley

pp. 67 - 72

Amateur Choruses : The professionalization of the choric form

Pierre Katuszewski, Stefan Donath

pp. 73 - 80

Foreign Maids and Beauty Queens : Filipina labour and amateur performance in Hong Kong

Jimena Ortuzar

pp. 81 - 87

The Repairer and the Ad Hocist : Understanding the ‘ongoingness’ of the amateur theatre maker’s craft

Cara Gray

pp. 88 - 95

Being Among Bluebells : Amateurism as a mode of queer futurity at Duckie’s Slaughterhouse Club

Ben Walters

pp. 96 - 103

Dancing Swords and Somersaults : Precariousness in amateur traditional dancing

Libby Worth

pp. 104 - 111

Seasons of Love : Chinese millennials’ affective amateur musical theatre performances

Laura MacDonald

pp. 112 - 120

Amateur Performance and the Labour of Love : or cultural reproduction ‘after’ the collapse of capitalism

Jennifer Beth Spiegel

pp. 121 - 124

Notes on Contributors

pp. 125 - 126