It’s All Allowed: The Performances of Adrian Howells
Eds. by Deirdre Heddon and Dominic Johnson
Published by Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books, 2016
24cmx 17.5cm, 336 pages, paperback with colour photographs throughout
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"The publication is a not just equally fascinating and important; for those wanting to engage in acts of intimate performance, it’s possibly the most comprehensive reference book available….Some bits made me cry, some bits challenged me with the complexity of their thought processes, the vast majority fascinated me. I was repeatedly moved, bored, stirred, enlightened and more. As I read, the thing that struck me most was how we need this collection of essays, opinions, perspectives.
Jo Verrent, Huffington Post 2016
"The book celebrates not just his pioneering approach to intimate and one-on-one performance but also his generosity as a performer and a collaborator, and the way his own mental health issues were intrinsic to his work. It is, as Adrian himself would have said, “gorge-arse”... It is not just a celebration of an extraordinary body of work but also a handbook for those working in the tricky, ethically fraught area of intimate performance; of how to negotiate the territory in order to explore the greatest of all possibilities and yet also ensure the safety of audiences and makers."
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian 2016
"It’s All Allowed proves itself something more than a posthumous book. It becomes a living archive of one man’s intimate career.”
TDR/The Drama Review, 2018
"The judges felt that the collection was an intimate response to Howells’s work, but one that is also a profound meditation on the potential effects of performance itself. Carefully curated with a significant eye to detail, the volume draws together essays written by a diverse selection of contributors who have used a range of forms (critical, impressionistic, interview, etc), but nevertheless sustains a consistency of argument, message, and voice, supported by an introduction which weaves together the different contributions that comprise the volume with new material and extensive references. This labour of love is a critical volume that will be useful to readers; it is also a beautiful object in its own right".
Dee Heddon and Dominc Johnson win the TaPRA prize for Editing 2017
Adrian Howells (1962–2014) was one of the world’s leading figures in the field of one-to-one performance practice - the act of staging an event for one audience participant at a time. Developed over more than a decade, Howells’ award-winning work initiated new challenges and innovations in performance art, “intimate theatre,” and socially engaged art.
Citing his permissive mantra as its title, It’s All Allowed includes new writing from leading scholars and artists, as well as writing by Howells himself, an extensive interview, scores, and visual materials, which together offer new insight into Howells’ ground-breaking process.
It’s All Allowed is the first book devoted to Howells’ remarkable achievements and legacy. Contributors here testify to the methodological, thematic and historiographical challenges posed by Howells’ performances. Citing his permissive mantra as its title, It’s All Allowed includes new writing from leading scholars and artists, as well as writing by Howells himself, an extensive interview, scores, and visual materials, which together offer new insight into Howells’ ground-breaking process. The book includes essays on Howells’ work by Deirdre Heddon and Dominic Johnson, Stewart Laing, Jon Cairns, Caridad Svich, Helen Iball, Rachel Zerihan, Marcia Farquhar, Kathleen Gough, Robert Walton, Rosana Cade, Fintan Walsh, Lucy Gaizely, Gary Gardiner, Ian Johnston, Shelley Hastings and Jackie Wylie, Stephen Greer, Tim Crouch, Laura Bissell, Jess Thorpe and others, Nic Green, and Jennifer Doyle.
Deirdre Heddon is professor of contemporary performance practice at the University of Glasgow and the author of numerous books, including Autobiography and Performance.
Dominic Johnson is a senior lecturer in the Department of Drama at Queen Mary University of London and the editor of Pleading in the Blood: The Art and Performances of Ron Athey.
Co-published by the Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books, as part of the Intellect Live book series. View other titles in the Intellect Live series.
The publication is supported by Creative Scotland, Live Art Development Agency, Arts Council England, University of Glasgow, Society for Theatre Research, Battersea Arts Centre, National Theatre of Scotland, and Queen Mary University of London.
Past Book Launch details
Gilmorehill Theatre, Glasgow
Saturday 18 June 2016
7.30pm, Free to attend
Book launch with presentations from Dee Heddon and Dominic Johnson, Rosana Cade, Stephen Greer, Ian Johnston, Gary Gardiner and Lucy Gaizely.
Battersea Arts Centre, London
Monday 4 July 2016
7.30pm, Free to attend
Book launch with presentations from Dee Heddon and Dominic Johnson, Rosana Cade, Tim Crouch, Marcia Farquhar and Stewart Laing.
LADA Screens, London
Monday 18 July 2016
7pm, Free to attend
Screenings of Adrienne At Home, Accidental Tourist, and Adrienne’s Room Service, and presentations by his collaborators and colleagues Deirdre Heddon, Dominic Johnson, Nic Green, Katy Baird and Ella Finer.
Films will also be available online, 18 - 1 August 2016