Media Information: new immersive arts performance to premiere in Sheffield
'We have to live through metamorphosis to understand who we really are.’
Alone and exiled in the forest, Philomel reflects on her life and journey into a place of savage and tenuous safety. Half woman, half bird she is confined to a large nest on the forest floor. Images of her previous life are presented to the audience, combined with a powerful and deeply moving soundtrack that echoes her sadness and chimes with the playing of live cello.
This collaboration between arts practitioner Shirley Harris, and poet Seni Seneviratne, ‘Lady of Situations’ is an Arts Council funded immersive performance that combines theatre, poetry, digital art and music. Drawing on the classical stories of Philomel and Tiresias, this powerful piece explores timeless themes that are increasingly relevant in the contemporary world.
Issues of power, gender, experiences of exile, asylum and containment, are all explored through a rich tapestry of multisensory elements including live performance and music.
The production will be launched as part of Sheffield’s Off the Shelf Festival which since its launch in 1991 has built up a national reputation for supporting live literature events. Lady of Situations has been supported by renowned West Yorkshire based Theatre Director Amanda Huxtable, and also features commissioned pieces of art for the installation from artists living in Sheffield and the Peak District including a latex and steel wing sculpture by Claire Lee, forest design by Henk Littlewood, art perfume by Michael Borkowsky , nest by Billie Riley and costumes by Amanda Wells. Live Cello will be played by cellist Liz Hanks.
Sheffield’s burgeoning arts scene is hosting the Lady of Situations through live performances and an accompanying exhibition.
Performance - Tuesday 25 October, Theatre Delicatessen, The Moor, Sheffield S1 4PF, 7.30pm (part of the Off the Shelf festival of words)
Exhibition – Wednesday 2 to Saturday 12 November, Bank Street Arts, 32-40 Bank St, Sheffield S1 2DS
Reading – Friday 11 November, 32-40 Bank St, Sheffield S1 2DS
Exhibition - Monday 21 November to Friday 2 December, Exchange Place Studios, Exchange Place, Sheffield S2 5SZ
Performance – Friday 25 November, Exchange Place Studios, Exchange Place, Sheffield S2 5SZ
For more information, please contact Shirley Harris:
Contains sensitive material which may not be suitable for a younger audience.
Off the Shelf has grown into one of the largest literary festivals in the UK, attracting some of the best known names in literature and media to Sheffield each year.
Profiles of the artists who have contributed to Lady of Situations can be found at
'Beautifully remarkable. Remarkably beautiful. A poignant mixture of sensuous experiences: intriguing, emotional and inspirational. You took me on a journey to a special place – one that is freeing and evocative; thoughtful and spiritual. Beauty in essence and form. Props were masterful and sound resonant of all levels of feelings. Poised movements intoned words shed light on our own personal stories and our troubled world. Images and words will be carried with me as my voice lifts within the trees.'