Visual arts

Date: Fri 13 June - Sat 14 June

Time: 20:00

Venue: The Yard Theatre

Additional information:

£12, £5 (concessions)

£5/£10 for the preview performances on the 27 & 28 May 

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The Manual Oracle explores the intersection between self-consciousness, theatricality and paranoia within a scenic montage that looks at immigration, xenophobia, surveillance, psychiatric services, corporate scheming and survivalist movements.

This new play is inspired by Baltasar Gracián’s Oráculo manual, a seventeenth-century ‘self-help-book’ that coaches courtiers in self-promotion, social skill and psychological cunning. However, Gracián’s worldly wisdom veils a much more paranoid message: others are only waiting to harm you.

Conceived and directed by Phoebe von Held, it features specially commissioned scenes by writers Natasha Soobramanien and Luke WilliamsSound-design: Jamie HamiltonStage-design: Moi TranLighting-design: studio ZNA.

The Manual Oracle script has been developed through collaborative practice with mental health service users, mental health professionals and researchers at the Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, sponsored through a Leverhulme Artists Residency. 

Phoebe von Held’s previous work as director, adaptor, translator and designer includes: Rameau’s Nephew [1998] and The Nun [2003] both at Citizens Theatre, Glasgow; and animation works; D’Alembert’s Dialogues, 2005 and Chrysalis [2008] shown at Crossing-Over: Encounters between Art & Biotechnology, Royal Institution, London.

The Visual Arts programme is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. 



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