Edge Hill University Performing Arts students perform Ursula by Howard Barker at Novas Contemporary Urban Centre, Liverpool on Friday 11th December, 8pm and Saturday 12th December, 2pm.
Howard Barker’s play is subtitled “fear of the estuary”. The estuary is not just the place where the river meets the sea: it is a metaphor for desire and the darker recesses of the body. The ecstasy we associate with female saints such as Teresa or Ursula is available through the sins of the flesh as well as through oneness with Christ. Barker offers us a postmodern Tragedy in which one path becomes confused with the other.
It is commonplace that religious art explores the relationship between beauty and suffering. The ideologies of medieval society are ironised here as a comment on our own passions and obsessions. If classical tragedy is a way of being reconciled with death, then Ursula stands defiant in its face. We hope our physical staging has taken inspiration from the body’s journey through the flood of hope, fear and desire, and journeys into the deep waters of the estuary.
Tickets are priced at £6 adults and £4 concessions, available from the Rose Theatre Box Office at Edge Hill University (01695 584480) and on the day at the Contemporary Urban Centre, subject to availability. The performance is directed by Laura Haughey.
The Performing Arts Department at Edge Hill University offers courses in Drama, Dance, Physical Theatre, Visual Theatre, Music and Sound and Design for Performance. For more information, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/performingarts.