On the Verge is a performance by Jez Colborne, a disabled actor, conceived in collaboration with UK theatre company, Mind the Gap. Critical analysis of work involving actors with intellectual impairments has largely been concerned with how the actor or “client” might benefit from the process of involvement. Rarely has it been considered relevant to ask what an audience might think. For work as aesthetically rich as On the Verge such a framework is at best inadequate and worse demeaning, This paper is a contribution to an emergent understanding of the field and offers a necessary corrective: Rather than ask how Colborne is “empowered” by performing, I engage closely with the aesthetic artefact of which he is the centre. What is at stake here is one version of a utopia: the possibility of a work by a learning disabled performer that is the aesthetic “equal” of that by any other artist.
|Title of host publication||Planting trees of drama with global vision in local knowledge: IDEA 2007 dialogues|
|Editors||Jack Shu, Phoebe Chan|
|Place of Publication||Hong Kong|
|Number of pages||548|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|