“Helen and Paula arranged the magical elements of telematic performance in a montage of stuff, poetry, sound, images, dialogue, polemic and actions. The evening was constructed so that participants engaged with lots of different parts of themselves: spectator, performer, builder; (inner)-child, learner, team-player. It was utterly engrossing and left us all with a thrilling sense of the unexplored potential of theatre and performance in the networked age.” Ruth Catlow, Furtherfield.

make-shift in Pescara

make-shift at Magfest Pescara, Italy, 6 January 2012.Photo: Massimo Camplone

make-shift is an intimate networked performance and discussion event that re-imagines the private actions of our domestic lives as multiple, interconnected and with global consequences.  Each event takes place simultaneously in two ordinary houses connected through an online interface, accessible through the Live Stage link on this website to anyone around the world with internet access. Not only telematically connecting artists in two different spaces nor working in a purely online chat/graphic format: make-shift combines the two, creating real-time dialogue between houses and people across the globe.


The work has an important ecological theme which is raised and discussed through both form and content in a light but meaningful way. Participants are asked to bring all the plastic they have used in the previous 24 hours to the event where they are invited to join in some easy games and tasks. Paula and Helen (one in each house) guide the evening through elements of personal stories and experiences, webcam choreography, avatar puppetry and audience interaction with participants co-authoring the work as it progresses. Everything that happens in the houses is streamed to online audiences who can also join in the activities and contribute text chat visible on the interface to everyone participating. The event ends with a sharing of food in the houses and a discussion around the consequences of global connectivities and consumption.

make-shift is an ecologically aware house party with a difference. As well as experiencing the intimacy, viscerality and shared experience of a live performance event; local and online audiences participate in a call-and-response between people, landscape and culture to discuss the themes of consumption and disposal in their broadest sense. We talk about the responsibilities of nesting and feeding, the relationships between mobility and becoming unstuck. About how contrary to our feeling of political disempowerment, our small daily actions accumulate and irrevocably transform the world we live in. We talk about stuff and how it breaks down – and that how ever hard you try to make it go away – nothing is ever really gone – just re-arranged.

We perform in English, sometimes with live translation into the host house’s native language. For more practical information about make-shift please see the hosting make-shift page.

  • On-site audiences: please contact the host or host venue for bookings and directions to the performance you wish to attend.
  • Online audiences: click on the Live Stage link to enter the performance interface, which will be active from at least 15 minutes before the performance begins.

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