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Roehampton academic’s solo performance, Searching Shadows, to feature at the One Festival

Dr Emily Orley, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance, will be presenting her solo performance Searching Shadows at the One Festival in London in January.

Posted: 21 December 2016

image for news story Roehampton academic’s solo performance, Searching Shadows, to feature at the One Festival
Dr Emily Orley in a scene from Searching Shadows.

This solo show weaves together a story about the early days of the x-ray and the life of her immigrant grandfather, a radiologist in the 1930s. The piece is inspired by a range of objects that belonged to him, mainly a jumbled collection of his memoirs, old photographs, and a book he had written on neuroradiology.

Dr Orley says "I wanted to work with these objects and these histories in an open-ended and generative way rather than fixing any narratives. I felt that by challenging myself to work in short segments, this would let me do a kind of remembering that could be shared and kept 'un-fixed'."

Searching Shadows is presented as a journey through 27 segments, and is put together in a way that Dr Orley likens to arranging the 27 bones in a human hand. With the discovery of the x-ray in 1895, people began experimenting with x-rays of their hands and suddenly there was a proliferation of pictures of the bones in human hands.

Dr Orley commented, "I wanted to see if, by exploring how x-rays were first made, I might x-ray someone who was no longer here, using only a handful of objects they had left behind."

After discovering the collection of her grandfather's memoirs, objects and photographs, Dr Orley was interested to explore these objects with the idea that the dead are still with us.

Searching Shadows will be available to see on Saturday 14, Wednesday 18, Sunday 22, Friday 27 and Sunday 29 January 2017 at the One Festival. Christopher Heighes, Senior Research Officer in the Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance is directing the performance.

The One Festival is now in its fifth year, and runs over three weeks in January. The festival is a mix of stories, told in a range of exciting ways that reflect on life as it is, has been and could or never will be. The common thread through each piece is that they are performed by just one actor.

For more information and to book tickets to Searching Shadows please click here.

Roehampton's Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance offers BAs in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and Drama Studies as well as an exciting master's programme in London's Theatre and Performance and partners and collaborates with a number of theatres and cultural institutions in London.

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