Photo by Veronica Teo for Disrupted Rhyrhms
Expanded Work in Progress Session. (In-venue and Online – 17th May 2022)
May 5, 2022
Podcast 35: Queer Bloomsbury w/ Madelyn Detloff
May 17, 2022

Thinking through the Poetics of Failure with Sara Jane Bailes (In-venue and Online – 7th June 2022)

Rinne Groff and Leslie Boxbaum in Total Fictional Lie (1998) by Elvaror Repair Survice. Image (c) John Collins
Rinne Groff and Leslie Boxbaum in Total Fictional Lie (1998) by Elvaror Repair Survice. Image (c) John Collins
Rinne Groff and Leslie Buxbaum in Total Fictional Lie (1998) by Elevator Repair Service. Image (c) John Collins

“Failure works.” Sara Jane Bailes notes in her 2011 book Performance Theatre and the Poetics of Failure. To say that failure works suggests that there might be something generative about failure. It also signals to it as a practice of labor, or as thinking/behaving that does something. If failure “signals the breakdown of an aspiration or an agreed demand, breakdown indexes an alternative route or way of doing or making.” In exploring failure and the way it generates alternative routes, Bailes examines how the staging of failure can help us to think about alternatives to an individualist politics “defined by a competitive culture of productive “winners””.  In doing so Bailes draws upon Samuel Beckett, performance art, Buster Keaton, Punk, Karl Marx, Bertolt Brecht, Walter Benjamin and the performance theatre of groups like Forced Entertainment, Goat Island, and Elevator Repair Service. In this session we will be joined by Sara Jane to discuss these and other examples that failure, considered as a generative modality both in and beyond theatre, might lead us towards.

This session will be run as part of the Exploding Appendix Avant-garde Art Practice and Research Group’s meetup every three weeks. The sessions are free and open to everyone. No prior knowledge of the subject matter is needed, but if people are interested, further reading can be found here:

Sara Jane Bailes, Performance Theatre and the poetics of failure: Forced Entertainment, Goat Island, Elevator Repair Service.

This session will take place both online via Zoom and in person at The Artist Residence, Brighton, UK. The Artists Residence can be found on 33 Regency Square, Brighton, BN1 2GG. Join us in Venue from 7pm and online from 7.30pm.  To book a free place in the venue, click here. For any questions  please message me at

The online session will take place via Zoom ( The meeting ID is 826 5256 4323.  The passcode is “774409“.

This session will be run by Bradley Tuck and take place on the 7th June 2022 from 19:30 – Late (UK time). If you have any questions please message me at

Follow the event on Facebook here.