Night at the museum for City book
Dr Jenny Kidd is a lecturer in the Centre for Cultural Policy and Management. Her research interests include audiences, performance, community and digital media and museums. Her recent book, co-edited with Anthony Jackson, Emeritus Professor of Educational Theatre at the University of Manchester, Performing Heritage (2010. Manchester University Press), contemplates the sometimes controversial question of the place of heritage in today's culturally complex societies.
Launched in the imposing settings of the Theatre and Performance galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the book addresses the increasing use of performance in museums and at heritage sites that has been the subject of much comment and controversy within popular, professional and academic circles.
'Living history' and 'museum theatre' are often dismissed as 'edutainment' or seen as symptomatic of the 'Disneyfication' of culture, yet Performing Heritage aims to make a more critical and considered analysis of performance as a medium for learning, bringing together for the first time the range of voices (both professionals and audiences), debates and practices that constitute the field.
Citing case studies from across the world, the book grapples with the many definitions of heritage and provides insights into the ways in which performance can engage with it in contrasting cultural and social settings.