I am a performer, theatre maker, researcher and teacher working in the fields of participatory and devised performance. My research activities are predominantly practice-based, and often conducted through in-role and immersed peformance in public spaces, heritage sites and studios. I research practices and topics related to performance, comedy and laughter.
I have worked on numerous interdisicplinary projects with staff in the School of Health and Society at Salford University and with the Salford Institute for Dementia and am currently PI on a project with Dr Claire Dormann (University of Liverpool): Modelling Interactive Clown Practices for Virtual Game Design Applications in Dementia Care. I frequently collaborate with and am a board member with Ridiculusmus performing in The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Lapland (2015) and contributing to the development of a trilogy of work about mental illness: Dialogue as The Embodiment of Love.
I was Joint Artistic Director of Triangle Theatre Company and over the last 12 years I have been developing a performer training method with applications for Museums, Heritage Sites, Care and Education settings. Associated with this, I worked with The National Trust to develop a Performance Manual for interactive performance at National Trust properties.
I have an active research interest in immersive theatres, a chapter on this appears in Frieze, J. Ed. (2017) Reframing Immersive Theatre: The Politics and Pragmatics of Participatory Performance. London: Palgrave
I am Programme Leader for BA Hons Comedy Writing and Performance and teach Physical Comedy. I also teach on the MA in Contemporary Performance Practice in the Performance, English and Creative Writing Directorate in the School of Arts & Media. My PhD research investigated the figure of the contemporary clown and its theoretical reflections and was conducted largely in role and published as a website: The Clown Who Lost His Memory: Multiple Faces of the Clown in Practice and Theory. An alter ego, "Dr Kurt Zarniko" continues to shadow my research and participate in my teaching and operates as a form of insitutional critique. Related to this I have published work on innovation in re-enactment performance in the Performance Learning and Heritage Project (Manchester University/AHRC).
Other practice-as-research projects (Roehampton University and Leverhulme Trust) deployed immersive and participatory strategies to investigate memories of compulsory sport and "discipline" in performance. I have taught internationally including for postgraduates at Zagreb, Kingston and Brunel Universities, staff at The National Trust and researchers at the National Museum of Australia.
In 2003 Triangle Theatre took their homage to the 1950s Danish singing duo, Nina and Frederik, on tour to Denmark. The production, På Genhør Med Nina og Frederik (Listen again with Nina and Frederik)... more >>.
The presentation will draw on the documents, traces and evidence from The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland (2012- 2015) based on my experience as a performer throughout the process of making and touring, ... more >>.
The paper introduces current research activity in the Performance Research Group (PRG) and the School of Arts & Media more broadly. Subsequently, the paper brings together an analysis of creative research in the laboratory ... more >>.