Funding, product placement and drunkenness in Punchdrunk's The Black Diamond

Adam Alston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article responds to Stella Artois Black's recent hiring of Punchdrunk members for their 'immersive' theatre-marketing venture The Black Diamond (Scene 1). What happens to immersive theatre when product placement enters its world? And what happens to the product, having entered the world of immersive theatre? These questions are addressed in relation to Arts Council England funding policy and Punchdrunk's award of a significant rise in ACE funding. Balancing ACE's framework for 'sustainable' art against the threat of 'selling out' to commercial interests, a critical approach is proposed that addresses how audiences might assume partial responsibility for recognizing and responding to the control of art production at the institutional level. With tongue only half in cheek, drunkenness is explored in relation to product placement as a means to this end.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Theatre and Performance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Immersive theatre
  • risk
  • product placement
  • Punchdrunk
  • The Black Diamond
  • Theatre funding

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