These three shows are the culmination of the Lancaster University undergraduate degree programme in dance, drama, theatre and performance.  Several significant professional theatre companies of international standing first created work at this point in the Lancaster theatre programme. Yet, as is the case at other high-ranking research-led universities, the aim here is not to produce jobbing actors, but rather intelligent and able creatives who can integrate theoretical concepts with cutting-edge practical methods to explore contemporary issues in ways that engage, excite and challenge audiences. 

Theatre people are group people.  One of the hallmarks of the Lancaster theatre programme is that it provides rigorous training through all three years in collaborative creation and problem-solving.  This is not only why statistics indicate that our graduates are highly employable in many professions, but also why Lancaster is one of the highest ranked universities in the UK for Drama, Dance and Cinematics.  We are often top for student satisfaction.

As is so often the case, the three shows created this year involve very different approaches to performance. Fishtank enmeshes sophisticated video technology with live performance aping sitcom acting; Un/Tethered weaves together autobiographical speech, heightened gesture and contemporary choreography; WASTED blends psychologically charged text-based acting and an original shoegaze soundtrack played live.  Just as important are the creatives you don’t see who have used a wide variety of techniques to design costumes, lighting, set and sound. 

Yet for all this diversity which reflects the breadth of the Lancaster theatre programme, it’s hard not to notice some common themes. Fishtank and Un/Tethered, for instance, demonstrate intolerance with the objectification of the female body and a drive for emancipation through riotous release in the post-Weinstein era. With uncompromising honesty, Un/Tethered and WASTED expose the uncertainties and vulnerabilities of being a young adult in today’s world, but equally how such self-examination may lead to collective transformation. Finally, for all three shows, live performance doesn’t just express meaning but provides the very means by which meaning is created, particularly when the theatrical means of putting a fictional world on stage are exposed and tested to breaking point. 
Nigel Stewart, Senior Lecturer in Dance and Theatre

There is nothing quite like being a theatre student... No day feels the same. We adapt. We learn. We create. During our time here at Lancaster University, we have been able to gain such a variety of practical theatre-making, theoretical academic and post-university life skills. Alongside our amazingly knowledgeable and engaging professors, it has been a pleasure to grow with my cohort. Together, we have made memories and friendships to last a lifetime. As part of LICA390 ‘Advanced Theatre Practice’, three spectacular, complex and superbly put-together pieces of theatre have been born. Presented here as part of the LICA 2023 degree show ‘Disruption’, we thank you for joining us to watch ‘WASTED’, ‘Fishtank’, ‘Un/Tethered’!
Eleanor Goode, Theatre Student