Old Dears

Friday 27 November from 8pm til late and Saturday 28 November from 6pm til late

Day ticket £15/£12 conc

Two day pass £25/£12 conc

View Old Dears documentation 


Performances, screenings and discussions on the radical, influential and fiercely feminist practices of an older generation of artists who embody feminist histories and whose work continues to contribute to discourses around gender politics.

Read a review of the event by Geraldine Harris

Friday 27 November

Liz Aggiss, The English Channel
8.00pm, Theatre 

After 60 years, Liz Aggiss finally gives herself permission to do what she damn well pleases. Better late than never! She’s reached an age where doing the right thing is optional. Should she please you, or should she please herself?

The English Channel is the story of a career forged in the heady waters of performance art and dance-film. It vividly depicts Liz Aggiss resuscitating herself back into the on-stage limelight. In the process, she becomes an unwitting channel for wilful women and forgotten archives; a conduit for hidden histories and buried truths. She is your cunning connection to ‘the other side’; a witty commentator on life and death; on the pain, pleasure and paradox of the stage.

Using her body as the medium through which to act out and act up, the choreography and texts (written by Aggiss) are framed by contemporary and archive film (Joe Murray). The especially composed music score (by Alan Boorman/Wevie) includes some knock-out musical numbers.

 “Liz is that fiercest of women--like Viv Albertine, Pam Hogg, Siouxsie and Diane Torr, she refuses to sit down and shut up.” Across the Arts

Liz Aggiss is a live artist, dance performer, choreographer and dance film-maker. For the past 35 years she has been re(de)fining her signature style and brand of British contemporary dance; from her early days in the 80’s supporting punk legends The Stranglers with her cabaret troupe The Wild Wigglers, to her classic solo Grotesque Dancer (1986), to the dance/opera duet Falling Apart at the Seams (1994), to the award winning dance film Motion Control (2002), to her Guerrilla Dance interventions (2008), to her unconventional Performance Lecture Survival Tactics (2009), to the cross art performance The English Channel (2014), to A Bit of Slap and Tickle (2016).


Old Dears On Film
9.00pm, Theatre 

A screening of performance documentation and works to camera by an ‘older’ generation of trailblazing women artists introduced by LADA’s Aaron Wright and featuring Francis Mezetti & Pauline Cummins, Bobby Baker, Monica Ross, Lois Weaver and more.


Penny Arcade, My Life As History

9.45pm, Theatre 

International performance legend Penny Arcade reports from the summits of age on the loss of connoisseurship in the arts, the death of ability and the hatred of excellence.

Penny Arcade believes that at some point you have to make the distinction between whether you are socially successful or artistically successful. As she enters her 47th year as a practitioner she says, "Art is one of the things you get better at with age, but wisdom in the arts is not only undervalued it is completely misunderstood.” Penny's definition of wisdom? "Wisdom is salient, usable information that one gathers from birth to 65 that is of absolutely no use to oneself."

Penny Arcade is an internationally respected performance artist, writer, political activist, and poet. One of the handful of artists who created contemporary text-based, multi media performance art beginning in the 1980s, she has continued to define the art form for three decades. In 2010, Semiotext(e) published Bad Reputation, a book on her performance work that included three performance scripts. She debuted at 18 with John Vaccaro's explosive Playhouse of The Ridiculous, NY's original queer, glitter/glam, rock and roll political theatre that was the springboard to NY's Punk scene; at 19 she was a Warhol Superstar featured in the Warhol/Morrissey film Women In Revolt, but soon bored with the idea of herself as a pop tart she left NY in 1971 to begin a decade of adventure, anarchism and art before she returned to NY at 31 and began her solo practice which soon segued to long form performance both solo and with her company. Since 1999, she has co-directed The Lower East Side Biography Project, an oral history and video project that celebrates the great spirit of cultural rebellion that has long defined downtown New York.


Saturday 28 November


The Red Thread - A Panel 
6 - 7.30pm, Bar Area 

A discussion and open workshop with leading artists and producers Claire MacDonald, Liz Aggiss, Judith Knight, Geraldine Pilgrim, Nikki Milican, and Anne Bean.

This event will address the ways in which feminism has impacted on Live Art and Live Art has impacted on feminism, and also create a space to reflect on the names, encounters and personal stories that connect along the paths we take as artists, producers and audience members. 

As part of the Restock, Rethink, Reflect Three project on Live Art and Feminism, LADA recently invited artists to create home-made maps that represented their personal journey to, or through, Live Art and Feminism. In response, the artist and thinker Claire MacDonald created The Red Thread project in which she literally threaded together the written names of particular women who had made a difference in her life. For Old Dears, Claire continues this project by inviting the panelists and audiences at Chelsea Theatre to join her in telling stories, recounting moments and stringing names along a red thread as a means to retrieve overlooked parts of the past, and to mark them in the present. All materials will be provided. 

The event is an opportunity to explore the feminist threads that connect our lives and the significant encounters that have shaped us. 

‘If a map suggests a potential journey, or a set of journeys, a thread is a tool that helps the traveller navigate her way through it. The thread can be the means through which the journey itself unfolds. The thread that makes links.’ Claire MacDonald

The Red Thread created this evening will then live on in LADA’s Study Room. 


Marcia Farquhar, Recalibrating Hope: (h)old dear and let go
7.30pm, Bar Area 

Marcia Farquhar plays from a collection of 7” singles listening back to look forward. She will play the songs to which she danced, and dreamed of becoming a woman back in sixties' Chelsea. Returning to the World's End she will face the music and talk over the before and after of the period in-between. 

Marcia Farquhar is known for her work in performance, installation, video and object making. Conceptual in nature, much of her practice revolves around the stories and interactions of everyday life, as well as the engineering of unexpected social interactions in which the distance between audience and performer is frequently breached. Her site-specific events have been staged and exhibited internationally in museums and galleries, as well as in cinemas, kitchen showrooms, pubs, parks and leisure centres.

Rocio Boliver and Collaborators: Between Menopause and Old Age, Alternative Beauty
9pm, Theatre and surroundings

A performance by Mexican artist Rocio Boliver and a group of women who have just taken part in her workshop on issues facing older women artists, like ageing bodies, disempowerment, and invisibility. Rocio describes her workshop as “demystifying "the horror of old age", inventing my own deranged aesthetic and moral solutions for the "problem of age." Come and see what this fearless group of warrior women got up to.

Collaborating artists: Katherine Araniello, Giovanna Maria Casetta, Katharine Meynell, Sheree Rose, Teresa Albor, Kate Clayton, Sarah Kent, Wanda Zyborska, Pascale Ciapp, Helena Waters. 

Rocio Boliver’s practice is a sharp and focused critique of the many repressive ideologies that burden the lives of women in Mexico. Since 1992 she has made performances in Mexico and in festivals in Europe, Asia, North and South America, including ]performance s p a c e [, London, Grace Exhibition Space, New York and City of Women Festival, Slovenia. She has recently been awarded the Scholarship Promotion Projects and Joint Ventures FONCA Cultural granted by National Council for Culture and the Arts.

Rocio Boliver’s contribution is part of Live Art Development Agency’s programme for the EU funded Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP).

The first version of Old Dears was presented at Camden Peoples’ Theatre in 2014. 

Old Dears is the culminating event in LADA’s Restock Reflect Rethink Three project (2013-15) on Live Art and Feminism.


Cheslea Theatre
7 World’s End Place
King's Road
SW10 0DR