Rinkomania 2012

Beth Richards

Performed: 21st July 2012, Devonport Guildhall

Rinkomania is a collaboration between artist Beth Emily Richards and Plymouth City Roller Girls. This performance project is an ‘inexact reenactment’ of Plymouth’s roller skating history; taking inspiration from and celebrating skating rink stories from the area, between the 1870s to the 1920s. Plymouth had many skating rinks at the turn of the century, with events programmed such as obstacle races including ‘candle races’, where skaters must skate as fast as they can without the candle’s flame going out; ‘human skittles’ on skates; and even tug of wars on skates between local naval and army corps.

The performance also celebrates the strength and skill of the skaters from Plymouth City Roller Girls. Roller derby is an over-18s, all-female, full-contact sport on skates. It has seen a resurgence in popularity since the 1990s. Many contemporary leagues have a strong DIY ethos, with links to third-wave feminism and music movements such as Riot Grrrl.

 After the performance the audience was invited to join the skaters in a roller disco (itself a less choreographed or devised reenactment of turn of the century roller dances).

Neil Rose:

·      Composition of music used for the performance/skaters to perform the choreographed routine.

The Composition for Rinkomania brings together samples from a range of music historically associated with roller skating: brass bands, disco and references from the Riot Grrrl period. It was important to Beth (Richards) that this music be danceable and moves the Roller Girls but also built differing high energy atmospheres for the audience. Because of this Rose also plunders other music styles that focus on build in speed and energy, in this case Jungle.


Sound by Neil Rose

Costumes by Rose Savage

Lighting by Stuart Billinghurst and Charlotte Burton

Film by James Ellwood


Photos courtesy of Simon Keitch - http://www.simonkeitch.com/