ANU Productions: The Monto Cycle by Brian Singleton

By Brian Singleton

This e-book units out recommendations of study of the award-winning tetralogy of performances (2010-14) via ANU Productions often called ‘The Monto Cycle’. Set inside 1 / 4 sq. mile of Dublin’s north internal urban, colloquially referred to as The Monto, those performances featured social matters that experience blighted the realm during the last a hundred years, together with prostitution, trafficking, asylum-seeking, heroin habit, and the scandal of the Magdalene laundries. whereas putting the 4 productions of their social, old, cultural and monetary contexts, the e-book examines those performances that operated on the intersection of functionality, install, visible paintings, choreography, site-responsive and neighborhood arts. In doing so, it explores their issues with time, position, heritage, reminiscence, town, ‘affect’, and the self as agent of action.

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7 The destruction of the Monto over the last century meant that there was no site, but there is an extant geography of the area. The brothel in the foyer of The LAB was on the site of May Oblong’s brothel and she stood guard on the top floor. Harriet Butler pointed to the spot on the pavement where she was shot in the face. 8 These sites positioned the contemporary audience in relation to history, marking their absence by affirming a performative presence, embedding the audience within history. Seated at the window spectators were perfectly positioned to be seen from the outside along two perpendicular streets and from above.

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.

While the State initially had no direct role in these institutions (and there were 12 of them in existence throughout Ireland at their height), women could be committed there simply by a male family member and there was no restorative justice for those women. Further, The Criminal Justice Act was amended in 1960 and allowed for the courts of the State to send women prisoners on remand to the St Mary Magdalene Asylum (the site of Laundry) rather than to a female prison. Thus the State, by this act and by making payments to the Asylum for each woman remanded there, legitimized the laundries’ function as a means of societal control.

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