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Created by Adam Alston, Owen Parry and Sophie Farrell.

Staging Decadence is a film that introduces and maps how a few key performance makers and scholars have thought about decadence, and why they keep coming back to its pleasures and complexity. It offers a taste of various, promiscuously-sourced histories, journeying from ancient Roman actor-emperors, to ethereal plays of the 1890s, countercultural bohemians in the 1960s, the culture wars in the 1990s, right through to theatre makers and live artists in our own day

Filmed and edited by Sophie Farrell, with Moti Margolin. Presented by Adam Alston

Featuring interviews with Penny Arcade, Giulia Casalini, Alice Condé, Jessica Gossling, Richard Kaye, Shushma Malik, Nando Messias, Lucy McCormick, Owen Parry, Dan Rebellato, Normandy Sherwood, John Stokes, Selina Thompson, Ben Walters, David Weir, and Nia O. Witherspoon. And performances by Penny Arcade, Ron Athey, Steven Berkoff, Darkwah, DEEP TRASH, Hasard Le Sin, Nando Messias, Lucy McCormick, Selina Thompson, Normandy Sherwood, Sadie Sinner, Jack Smith, Théâtre de l'Entrouvert, and Nia O. Witherspoon.

Thumbnail credit: Jack Smith, Normal Love, 1963-65. © Jack Smith Archive. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery.

This film was funded and made possible by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and was supported by Goldsmiths, University of London. Find out more at:

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