Funding, Product Placement and Drunkenness in Punchdrunk's The Black Diamond

Alston, Adam. 2012. Funding, Product Placement and Drunkenness in Punchdrunk's The Black Diamond. Studies in Theatre and Performance, 32(2), pp. 193-208. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

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.

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Studies in Theatre and Performance on 21 June 2012, available online:


Arts Council; Punchdrunk; audience; funding; immersive theatre; sponsorship

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


June 2012Published
6 January 2014Published Online

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Date Deposited:

24 Jan 2020 11:14

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 14:14

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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