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Having gained a BA in English at Worcester College, Oxford, I went on to complete an MA in Theatre (Playwriting) at Royal Holloway, University of London, where I stayed to write my doctoral thesis. My first monograph, Heritage, Nostalgia and Modern British Theatre: Staging the Victorians, was published by Palgrave in 2011.
Since taking up a lectureship in the Department of Theatre Film and Television at York in 2008, I have been teaching on the BA and MA courses in Writing, Directing and Performance, with texts ranging from Victorian comedy to contemporary political drama. I have also taught extensively on the adaptation of Victorian novels to stage, film and television.
Recent reference papers have included two ruminations on Bernard Shaw and late Victorian farce, Shaw's Galvanic Theory of Laughter versus Victorian Farce at the 'Theorising the Popular' Conference, Liverpool Hope University, and '"You Never Can Tell": Bernard Shaw and Popular Theatre in Early English Dramatic Modernism' at International Federation for Theatre Research World Congress, Ludwig-Maximillians-Universitat, Munich. I have published on melodramatic villainy in adaptations of Dickens and Wilkie Collins, representations of Nancy in Oliver Twist, and Bernard Shaw and music hall.
Other research interests include contemporary plays with historical settings, the uses of melodrama and music hall in contemporary theatre, and adaptations and appropriations of Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Sweeney Todd, Dracula, Queen Victoria and Oscar Wilde.
I am currently the acting Chair of the department’s Postgraduate Examinations Board and sit on the department’s Teaching Committee.
My research interests include neo-Victorian plays and performances, and adaptations and appropriations of Victorian and neo-Victorian fiction on stage and screen. The teaching of Victorian drama has led to a research interest in Arthur Wing Pinero and the early work of George Bernard Shaw. I also have a developing specialism in theatre and its relation to empire and imperialism, and in Sherlock Holmes, adaptation and fandom in the 21st century.
I am currently planning an edited collection of essays on the theme of Neo-Victorian Villainy (that is, the influence of Victorian narratives and performances of wickedness on our modern representations of evil, across a range of media), which is a development from the Neo-Victorian Villainy symposium held in May 2013.