By Brian Singleton
This booklet units out innovations of study of the award-winning tetralogy of performances (2010-14) through ANU Productions often called ‘The Monto Cycle’. Set inside of 1 / 4 sq. mile of Dublin’s north internal urban, colloquially referred to as The Monto, those performances featured social issues that experience blighted the realm during the last a hundred years, together with prostitution, trafficking, asylum-seeking, heroin dependancy, and the scandal of the Magdalene laundries. whereas putting the 4 productions of their social, ancient, cultural and fiscal contexts, the publication examines those performances that operated on the intersection of functionality, deploy, visible paintings, choreography, site-responsive and neighborhood arts. In doing so, it explores their matters with time, position, heritage, reminiscence, the town, ‘affect’, and the self as agent of action.
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Like many poor inner-city districts in Dublin in the 1980s and early 1990s this area was blighted with heroin addiction and attendant crime. While Dublin proﬁted from a property boom in the late 1990s economic fortune eluded this local community. 42 ANU PRODUCTIONS As an individual spectator with no other cospectator as referent, I had no memory appertaining to the particular site of the Asylum. I had no knowledge of this particular Asylum’s existence, though I was aware through post-closure documentary of its existence and of the women incarcerated within.
She did not have a name. She did not even speak. But in my mind I attached possible names to her: she was Alison Brady, Bridget Brady, Cecilia Anne Brady, Mary Brady. As I held a bucket of milky white water, I, too became part of the community of the incarcerated. I was in a performative situation, or ‘transferential space’11 in which I was awakened into ‘anamnestic solidarity’ with this and all subsequent women I was to encounter, affording me the possibility of political engagement. But I had to remember them as individuals and not by their colloquial generic name (Maggie) that erased their identities: Alison Brady, Bridget Brady, Cecilia Anne Brady, Mary Brady.
The bottles ﬁlled with methylated spirits was probably my favourite scene thanks to an eerily scary turn by a barely recognisable Niamh Shaw as the most fearsome Madam in the locality. 15 2 WORLD’S END LANE 31 The gestures to history through performative encounters, all based on traces of real people and events were conduits primarily to the performance not of yourself as spectator in performance, but the performance inside you as spectator. The multi-sensory stimuli of the performative gestures moved the spectator away from being inside a drama, to being inside a production, and within that production was the spectator who contributed to those gestures and was left marked by them on a sensory and synaesthetic level.