Drama, Theatre and Performance

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Contemporary Theatre and Performance Practices

Our research in this area explores feminist and queer performance (including immersive, socially engaged practices; the politics and erotics of 1960s New York theatre; feminist lineages in visual art performance; and gender and sexuality in spectating) and curatorial practice (including practice-research in exhibitions).

The Scene of Foreplay: Theater, Labor, and Leisure in 1960s New York (Northwestern University Press, 2017)

Giulia Palladini

In a study that spans the fields of theatre history, performance studies, and cultural studies, Giulia Palladini analyses artistic performances, social performances, archival remains, and memoirs of the underground theatre scene in 1960s New York.

Sex, Suffrage and the Stage: First Wave Feminism in British Theatre (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

Leslie Hill

Marking the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage, Leslie Hill provides a survey of the history of first wave feminism in British theatre, from the London premiere of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House in 1889 through the militant suffrage movement. Hill explores some of the pivotal ways in which theatre makers both engaged with and influenced feminist discourse on topics such as sexual agency, reproductive rights, marriage equality, financial independence and suffrage.

Situated, Mobile and Socially Engaged Performance Practices

This grouping focuses on research that interrogates the politics of performance as social practice (meeting and assembly in corporate or political contexts; mobility and performance); global localities and ethnicities (Yorùbá performance and Roma communities; belonging and ‘lived citizenship’); and site-responsive interventions (practice-research exploring pedagogic institutions and intangible heritage; in situ environmental science collaborations on ‘plant life’).

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Trig Point

Trig Point 51.4134° N, 0.2115° W

Ewan Forster and Christopher Heighes

A research project by artists Forster and Heighes that explored perspectives on the design and use of pedagogical space and the technical and material resourcing required for innovative theatre making and performance practice across the educational, architectural and planning sectors. Commissioned by Wimbledon Space, the 3-week research residency formed part of a curatorial series, entitled Impermanence.

Staging Citizenship: Roma, Performance and Belonging in EU Romania (Berghahn, 2018)

Ioana Szeman

Based on over a decade of fieldwork conducted with urban Roma, author Ioana Szeman offers a powerful new perspective on one of the European Union’s most marginal and disenfranchised communities.


Writing, Memory and History

Research in this area focuses on questions of adaptation for radio, screen and stage (the performance of witness and a subject’s relation to memory and history; Shakespeare's circulation, reception and citation in television and live broadcasts to cinemas); and critical practices for performance (the politics of spectatorship and creative-critical writing).

Shakespeare and the 'Live' Theatre Broadcast Experience (Bloomsbury, 2018)

Susanne Greenhalgh

This ground breaking collection of essays, co-edited by Susanne Greenhalgh is the first to examine the phenomenon of how, in the twenty-first century, Shakespeare has been experienced as a 'live' or 'as-live' theatre broadcast by audiences around the world.

The Illuminated Theatre: Studies on the Suffering of Images (Routledge, 2015)

Joe Kelleher

Joe Kelleher's Illuminated Theatre explores theatricality and spectatorship in the early twenty-first century. In a wide-ranging analysis that draws upon theatrical, visual and philosophical approaches, it asks how spectators and audiences negotiate the complexities and challenges of contemporary experimental performance arts. It is also a book about how European practitioners working across a range of forms, from theatre and performance to dance, opera, film and visual arts, use images to address the complexities of the times in which their work takes place.

Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table

Graham White

Graham White’s body of adapted and original audio dramas, including his acclaimed take on the ‘Periodic Table’, a twelve-part adaptation of Primo Levi’s collection of short stories, have drawn on the performative elements of audio dramaturgy to explore the problematics of witnessing, memory and historical knowledge.

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Research Staff

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External Engagement

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Research Projects

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Doctoral Culture