Mr Quiver

Rajni Shah as Indian bride in Mr Quiver. Photo by Theron Schmidt.
Rajni as Elizabeth I in Mr Quiver. Photo by Theron Schmidt.
Rajni Shah as Indian bride in Mr Quiver. Photo by Theron Schmidt.

The first in a trilogy of performances questioning cultural identity, Mr Quiver is a durational event that combines the intensity of performance with the intimacy of installation. Exploring themes of identity, theatricality, and our relationship to the land we live on, this performance is built and then destroyed over the space of four hours. Audience members enter and leave as they wish, and may walk amongst the performers or sit back and enjoy the spectacle around them.

Rajni Shah (director/performer), Lucille Acevedo-Jones (costume/set designer), and Cis O’Boyle (lighting designer) create three performative loops that weave in and out of synchronisation during the four hours of the performance. By repeatedly inhabiting and abandoning the figures of Elizabeth I and a traditional Indian bride, Rajni gently invites the audience to question their own identity.

Complete with haunting original vocals (live and recorded) and a stunning series of costumes, this delicate and probing performance offers up questions and images that will stay with an audience long after leaving the theatre.

This four hour performance weaves together two identities and two continents and does so with few words and subtle imagery. The almost hypnotic calm and subtlety of the show belies a passionate and engaging performance which manages to be both a spectacle and a highly personal and intimate performance ... On a personal note I can truly say that I am entranced by Mr Quiver and find it both intellectually engaging and achingly beautiful.

- John Knowles, Coastal Currents

Every now and again you see a piece that engraves itself on your mind. Without warning your memory replays it on the bus, down the pub, across the park on a routine cycle home. Images linger and you wish you had a flick-book to retrieve the interstices between the moments that remain the most vivid. Such is the way with Mr Quiver ... Pouring salt on border wounds, the performer draws you in, without sentimentality, nostalgia or recrimination. I have to confess that I have seen Mr Quiver twice, in its earlier form as a black-box piece, and latterly as a durational installation in a gallery. I would gladly see it a third as this is work that singularly commanded my attention, asking important questions while creating a visual feast.

- Nikki Tomlinson, Artsadmin


Exeter University (2008)
The Bluecoat, Liverpool (2008)
Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster (2007)
Sensitive Skin Nottingham (2007)
Fresh festival, Southampton and Hastings (2006)
National Review of Live Art, Glasgow (2006) - see footage here (requires online registration)
South Hill Park, Bracknell (2006)
Spice festival, Hackney Empire, London (2005)
Sprint 2005, London (2005)
ROAR 05, London (2005)
camden peoples theatre, London (2005)
Chisenhale Dance Space, London (2005)

A promotional DVD for Mr Quiver is available to watch in the Live Art Development Agency's Study Room in London.

Mr Quiver was developed with support from Arts Council England

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