Performing heritage: the use of live 'actors' in heritage presentations

Tivers, J., 2002. Performing heritage: the use of live 'actors' in heritage presentations. Leisure Studies, 21 (34), pp. 187-200. ISSN 0261-4367

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This paper investigates the phenomenon of 'living history' presentations of heritage, using live 'actors' to portray historical characters. Its aim is to discuss these presentations in the context of what may be understood as 'heritage', and of the nature of 'performance'. Four case studies of heritage sites, each important as a tourist attraction, have been selected for detailed study, together with a number of other examples of heritage performance. It is clear from the empirical work that different performance strategies are employed within the heritage industry and by individual 'actors'. Most of the performers take part as a leisure activity, and many do not consider themselves to be 'performing' at all. The greatest concern of participants lies in the degree of authenticity of the performance. Through 'living history', the 'actors' are drawn into an experience of heritage which has real meaning for them, and which may contribute both to a sense of identity and to an enhanced understanding of society, past and present. The popularity of such presentations with visitors also indicates that similar benefits are perceived by the 'audience'.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Leisure Studies
Creators: Tivers, J.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Date: 2002
Volume: 21
Number: 34
ISSN: 0261-4367
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:49
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2016 09:12

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