2022-23 | 'Ed Gaughan: Words and Music (aka Gorilla Tactics)'
TORCH Knowledge Exchange Innovation Fund Awardee
Professor Wes Williams | Faculty of Humanities | University of Oxford
Ed Gaughan, Flywheel
Ed Gaughan is a polymath performer, writer, and musician, with over 20 years experience. Flywheel is a production company, formed with producer Peter Smith in 2004, to develop collective work. Ed's has not made a solo show since Radioplay, created (with Wes Williams) in 2005. This is now the right time to do so.
This project will create a new solo show hybrid of theatre/comedy/clown/music and storytelling about national, regional, and class identity, exploring the boundaries of the human. Our focus is how colonial cultural legacies intersect with the perceptions, prejudices, and preconceptions that structure our sense of ourselves and others as beasts and/or humans. These questions, explored through the historical prism of Ed Gaughan's own family, ancestry, and recent lived experience, will be re-imagined through the creative interference of Wes Williams's research on the pathology of the monstrous imagination and the politics of early modern colonial/confessional conflict. We will be asking a basic research question: what does it mean to be recognised
as fully and properly human?
We will explore this question, so vital for where we are now both within the University and within wider culture, with jokes, live
music, maybe a dance, and possibly a seance-cum-trial scene. There will also be good old-fashioned therianthropy -- human beings metamorphosing into animals. Ed Gaughan (celebrated for his ability to shape shift on stage) will embody a multitude of characters as the central figure of the piece (inspired in part by Kafka's 'A Report to the Academy') is called upon to prove his humanity.