Pinchbeck & Swettenham, C.Julian Hughes (6).jpg

Photograph: Julian Hughes

Neal Swettenham and Michael Pinchbeck: How To Write A Play Under The Influence of Deep Trance Behaviour 


Richard Foreman has been creating avant-garde theatre in New York since 1968, the year in which he founded his Ontological Hysteric Theatre Company. His 2008 production, Deep Trance Behaviour in Potatoland combined video footage shot in the UK and Japan with live onstage action.

How To Write A Play is an essay, by Foreman first published in 1977 that seeks to explain and elucidate his unusual approach to making performance. The work was an opportunity for Michael Pinchbeck and Neal Swettenham to view Foreman’s video material in the context of, and sometimes in direct conflict with, his thoughts on what is needed to “make a kind of beauty that isn’t an ALTERNATIVE to a certain environment”.

Neal Swettenham worked for many years as an actor and musical director before taking up a post as lecturer in drama at Loughborough University in 2003. He also curates the Richard Foreman Research Archive, which contains, amongst other things, recordings of many of Foreman’s own productions, offering a unique opportunity to study his work in performance.

Michael Pinchbeck is a writer, live artist and performance maker based in Nottingham. He co-founded Metro-Boulot-Dodo in 1997 and now works with numerous artists and companies as a performer, deviser and dramaturg. He is currently studying a PhD at Loughborough University. 

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