In Case There is a Reason: The Theatre of Mistakes at Raven Row: 30 June – 6 August 2017

The Theatre of Mistakes, The Street, 1975. Photographer unknown

Raven Row, London: 30 June – 6 August 2017
Hours: Friday to Sunday 11am to 6pm

In Case There is a Reason: The Theatre of Mistakes

Artists’ group The Theatre of Mistakes (1974-81) developed a structured performance art relating to architecture, choreography and poetry as well as visual art. They formed in London in the early 1970s out of a series of workshops which used instructions and games-based exercises. These informed The Street (1975), their performance with the residents and environment of Ascham Street in Kentish Town. Co-founders of the group Fiona Templeton and Anthony Howell distilled the workshop exercises into a publication, Elements of Performance Art (1976), arguably the first manifesto for performance art in the UK. Later a core group constituted over an agreed five years to produce contained and systematic works, where strict planning also allowed for chance ‘mistakes’.

Live elements in this exhibition mark two key phases of The Theatre of Mistakes. Each afternoon, live in the galleries with open participation, Anthony Howell will re-visit exercises from the original workshops. While each Friday and Saturday evening performances will take place of the significant later work Going (1977). Directed by Fiona Templeton, a cast of five will play out clichéd mannerisms of departure in five tightly choreographed acts, attempting to be each other.

The Theatre of Mistakes logged its working life and practice in detail, both diaristically, for instance describing divisions of labour and in analyses of group discussion, and formally, in a wide variety of spatial and choreographic notations, as well as in photography. The exhibition will explore this unique legacy.

The exhibition is curated by Jason E. Bowman. For further booking information about Going and information about participation in the workshops, please see


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