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Plain Language Statement
Dr Alyson Campbell (Responsible Researcher)
Tel: +61 3 9035 9185 Email:
Jonathan Graffam (Research Assistant) Email:

Thank you for your interest in participating in this research project. The following few pages will provide you with further information about the project, so that you can decide if you would like to take part in this research.
Please take the time to read this information carefully. You may ask questions about anything you don’t understand or want to know more about.
Your participation is voluntary. If you don’t wish to take part, you don’t have to. If you begin participating, you can also stop at any time.
What is this research about?
The purpose of this research is to investigate the way artistic decisions we make about the content, structure and form of our performance can open up possible dialogues and conversations about fat- and queer-identifying individuals.

This work is part of a research project at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), in the Faculty of the VCA and MCM (Melbourne Conservatorium of Music), The University of Melbourne.

You are invited to participate in this project, which is being conducted by Dr Alyson Campbell and Jonathan Graffam of the Faculty of the VCA and MCM (The Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music) at The University of Melbourne. This project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee.

The aim of this study is to enhance our understanding of the processes that are occurring within the rehearsal and development of Cake Daddy, a performance work about the intersection of fatness and queerness. A core part of the research will involve the creation of a new cabaret/theatre work, documenting and analysing the rehearsal process and analysing the performance. The particular part of the study your participation will contribute to is in evaluating choices by the creative team and what effect they have on you as an audience member.
What will I be asked to do?
Having seen a performance of Cake Daddy (maximum length 90 minutes), should you agree to participate in the research, you would be asked to fill out a questionnaire asking you about your individual responses to the work. The questionnaire will be given out and collected by me and/or my research assistant in the foyer of the performance venue.

Alternatively, there will be a weblink to the same questionnaire provided in the program/workbook given to you at the performance that can be accessed up to two weeks following the performance. You can answer all or some of the questions. The data gathered will be kept, anonymised, in two secure files.

If you are a student / employee / family member of any researcher, please be assured that your involvement in this project will not affect any ongoing assessment / grades / management and it is your choice to participate or not participate in the project.

Your involvement in the project is completely voluntary and you are free to withdraw your contributions at any time.

How long is my contribution expected to take?
We estimate that the time commitment required of you would be approximately 90 minutes for the Cake Daddy performance, then around 20 minutes (maximum 40 minutes, depending on length of answers) to complete the questionnaire in the foyer of the performance venue. The total time commitment is approximately 2 hours.

What are the possible benefits?

We hope the possible benefits of the research will include:
• Supporting new conversations on ‘fat/ness’ in the North of Ireland and Australia that are free from the pathologising confines of medical and health frameworks by establishing narratives that address other qualities of the ‘fat person’ experience: the emotional, physical, racial, legal, cultural, psycho-social, sexual, financial, and more;

• building on and advancing the current discourse on fatness and fatness in performance by creating an alternative understanding of fat/ness from inside the experience;

• disturbing long-held, well-established beliefs and stigmas about the situation of the fat person through the performance itself;

• the potential positive benefit of having the voices or stories of non-normative subjectivities heard, or reflected, in a public performance. This is through resisting the silencing and erasure of fatness from representation including, notably, within LGBTQI subcultures;

• since there is the potential for this community to contribute their own personal experience to the development of the performance, witnessing how their own unique understanding or experience of fatness has fed into the process and, with anonymity, has given them an avenue to speak out.

What are the possible risks?
The risks involved in this project are envisaged to be minimal as, other than what you would normally do when viewing a performance, you will simply be asked to give your response in a written form and this will be kept anonymous unless you request to be identified. We would protect your anonymity to the fullest possible extent within the limits of the law and any records of your contribution will be kept on the researcher’s password-protected computer. If you would like to be named as contributing to the research please indicate this on the consent form you will be asked to sign.
The other possible risk is that the content matter may be distressing to you. If you experience distress in considering any of the questions we would invite you to follow up with our partner The Rainbow Project, who offer counselling:

Do I have to take part?
No. Participation is completely voluntary. You are able to withdraw (quit) at any time until the data has been submitted for publication.

Will I hear about the results of this project?
The results will be seen in the creative work itself – the performance of Cake Daddy – and in academic articles and a potential Masters dissertation. If you request it on the consent form, we will provide digital copies of written material before it is published for you to check and approve and will provide you with an electronic copy of any published work.

What will happen to information about me?
We will use this data to help us write academic articles and papers for conferences that may deal in part with how audience members responded to what we made. We may refer to it on our company and artists’ websites. It may be used to help us rethink the work for future production runs. Materials collected during this study will be retained indefinitely by the Researcher as they are of artistic value.

Completed questionnaires and all identifying information are to be kept in locked files available to named researchers only to protect the confidentiality of the data that you provide. There are legal limits to data confidentiality. It is possible for data to be subject to subpoena, freedom of information request or mandated reporting by some professions.

Who is funding this project?
The British Council are currently funding development of this work. We will seek funding from Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Creative Victoria and the Australia Council.

Where can I get further information?
If you would like more information about the project, please contact the researchers Dr Alyson Campbell [], or Jonathan Graffam [].

Who can I contact if I have any concerns about the project?
This research project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of The University of Melbourne. If you have any concerns or complaints about the conduct of this research project, which you do not wish to discuss with the research team, you should contact the Manager, Human Research Ethics, Office for Research Ethics and Integrity, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010. Tel: +61 3 8344 2073 or Email: All complaints will be treated confidentially. In any correspondence please provide the name of the research team or the name or ethics ID number of the research project.

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