Disability, Public Space Performance and Spectatorship: Unconscious Performers by Bree Hadley (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

Sharon Mazer


In Disability, Public Space Performance and Spectatorship: Unconscious Performers, Bree Hadley investigates what she identifies as ‘interventionalist performances’ by people with disabilities: performances that make acts of looking visible to those who look. In the public sphere, the disabled body is a spectacular body, and people with disabilities are involuntarily cast into the ‘daily social drama of disability’ (2). The way people with disabilities are seen is circumscribed by social narratives and tropes that lock them into the dominant cultural discourse. For Hadley, this paradigm holds as a subtext that threatens to surface in everyday exchanges and encounters even when the disability is not visible. Her selection and readings of performances in Disability, Public Space Performance and Spectatorship are driven, in large part, by her own experience as someone who uses a cane to walk and has, she says, become conscious of just how much this sense of self as social performer informs the practices—not just the content, but the structure, staging and performer-spectator interface—of many of those who choose to touch on their disability in their performance-making (3).

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.