Adrian Howells Collection

The Adrian Howells Collection is a series of DVD’s featuring video documentation and films by Adrian Howells, as well as a TV programme (Accidental Tourist, 2009) in which he appeared.

This collection can be viewed in the Live Art Development Agency Study Room located in London, UK. Adrian Howells (1964-2014) was one of the leading, international figures in the field of one-to-one, intimate performance practice. Developed over more than a decade, Howells’ award-winning work initiated new challenges and innovations in performance art, “intimate theatre,” and socially engaged art. Howells left behind a significant corpus of work that extends from his early Adrienne shows — including Adrienne’s Dirty Laundry Experience (2003), Adrienne: The Great Depression (2005) and Salon Adrienne (2006) — and other autobiographical works such as May I Have the Pleasure? (2011 – Total Theatre Award), to his one-to-one performances, including Held (2007), Foot Washing for the Sole (2008 – Total Theatre Award), The Garden of Adrian (2009) and The Pleasure of Being: Washing/ Feeding/Holding (2011). Howells’ rich portfolio of practice also includes his work with Citizens Theatre and collaboration with Leigh Bowery, Ivan Cartwright and Stewart Laing in the early 1990s; works with the late Nigel Charnock; and devising with Tim Crouch (The Author, 2009).

This collection can be viewed in the Live Art Development Agency Study Room located in London, UK. 

It's All Allowed: The Performances of Adrian Howells edited by Deirdre Heddon & Dominic Johnson and published by LADA and Intellect Books is available to buy on Unbound.

Works included in the collection

 

Adrienne at Home (2006)

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Four videos of Adrian Howells in drag: he interviews his family members about his childhood, visits his infant school, and performs other interventions. Made in collaboration with the filmmaker Ben Wright and shown in many performances of An Audience with Adrienne (2006).

Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Adrian Howells.

 

The Night I Grooved To Disco Tex and the Sex-o-Letts in Barry Blue’s Poncho (1995)

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Performed at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, as part of the Glasgay! LGBT arts festival. It is largely comprised of four dramatic monologues delivered by Howells in four different personas: ‘a glamrock has-been singer, a campy dancer, an obnoxious old actress, and a vituperative child star’ (in Howells’ words). Performed with Russell Barr, Ian Sizeland and Max Sharp.

Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Adrian Howells.

 

Accidental Tourist (2009)

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Pilot episode for a series of short documentaries made for Israeli television, focusing on international visitors to Israel. Howells explores Tel Aviv, struggles with haggling, ill-advisedly dives underwater in the painfully salty water of the Dead Sea, learns first-hand about homophobia in the streets of Tel Aviv, and questions the misogyny of local drag acts. With Ella Finer. Directed by Shiri Kleinman and Timi Levi for Channel 8/Noga Productions (Israel).

Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Adrian Howells.

 

Lifeguard (2012)

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A co-production between the National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) and The Arches, and in association with Govanhill Baths Community Trust, staged in the disused Govanhill Baths in Glasgow. With Minty Donald and Nick Millar (design and video), Rob Drummond (dramaturg), Jane Mason (choreographer), Mike Brookes (lighting designer) and Nichola Scrutton (composer). Performed with Ira Mandela Siobhan.

Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Adrian Howells & the National Theatre of Scotland.

 

Garden of Adrian (2009)

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A one-to-one performance lasting around 40 minutes, presented across two days as part of Howells’ and Dee Heddon’s symposium i confess... (13-14 June 2009), at Gilmorehill, University of Glasgow. Created as the final performance of Howells’ period of funded research as Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at University of Glasgow, 2006-9. Designed by Minty Donald.

Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Adrian Howells.

 

An Audience with Adrienne (Glasgay 2006)

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Howells’ most widely performed work with collective audiences, presented internationally in many versions between 2006 and 2010. Directed by Ben Wright.

Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Adrian Howells.

 

Adrienne’s Dirty Laundry Experience (2005) and Adrienne’s Room Service (2005)

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Adrienne’s Dirty Laundry Experience was a one-to-one performance in which Howells (in drag as Adrienne) conversed with an audience-participant while washing and drying the latter’s clothes. Howells writes, ‘Been through the mangle recently? In a lather about your life? Want to put some much-needed softness back where it belongs? […] Adrienne promises to penetrate you deeper and harder, and guarantees to put the freshness back into your whiter than white life!’

 

Adrienne’s Room Service was performed at the Great Eastern Hotel, Bishopsgate, London. Adrienne is called to a specific room by an audience-participant, and delivers a meal, glass of wine, and dessert on a trolley; Adrienne and her customer-cum-date sit or lay on the bed together, while the latter eats, and they talk. Adrienne shares a dessert with the guest, then leaves, returning to the hotel’s kitchen to await another order.

Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Adrian Howells.

 

The 14 Stations of the Life and History of Adrian Howells (2007)

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A challenging one-to-one performance, and one of Howells’ most clearly autobiographical performances. Stations of the performance include scenes in which the audience-participant is induced to play a part in – or at the very least to observe – Howells drinking vinegar, being brought to tears, or showered in ice. In the document, Howells performs at Arches Live, The Arches, Glasgow, with Dee Heddon as the audience-participant.

Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Adrian Howells.

The Homosexual (1993)

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Including a performance by Leigh Bowery.

 

Credits

All works have been reproduced with permission of the Estate of Adrian Howells.

Lifeguard has been produced with the permission of the Estate of Adrian Howells and the National Theatre of Scotland.

This collection has been produced by LADA in conjunction with Dominic Johnson and Deirdre Heddon and has been supported by a grant from Creative Scotland.