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I graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London with a PhD in Drama and Theatre, having also taken my Master’s degree there. My thesis was called ‘Angry Ghosts: Staging the Victorians in British Theatre after 1968’.
Since taking up a lectureship in the School of Arts and Creative technologies at York I have taught on a wide range of texts and performance contexts, from Victorian comedy to contemporary new writing. I’ve contributed to curriculum development, new programme design and approval, and coordinated department-level changes in my roles as Chair of the Board of Studies, BA Programme Leader, MA Programme Leader and Director of Learning and Teaching. I sit of the university’s Learning and Teaching Forum where I edit the university magazine Forum.
As a researcher, I write on the contemporary British history play and the relationship between new writing and the representation of the past. I’m also interested in the adaptation of texts between page, stage and screen, and on the cultural afterlives of Victorian fictional characters, authors, and other historical figures. I have published on, among others, adaptations and appropriations of Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Sweeney Todd, Dracula, Queen Victoria, Sherlock Holmes, Oscar Wilde, and Joseph Carey Merrick.
My books include Heritage, Nostalgia and Modern British Theatre: Staging the Victorians (Palgrave, 2011), Theatre & Empire (Palgrave, 2016), Sherlock Holmes from Screen to Stage: Post-Millennial Adaptations in British Theatre (Palgrave, 2017) and the edited collection Neo-Victorian Villains (Brill, 2017).
I am currently Director of Learning and Teaching for the School.
My research interests include contemporary British historical playwriting, especially works which evoke the imperial past or the nineteenth century. I have published widely on neo-Victorian plays and performances, and adaptations and appropriations of Victorian and neo-Victorian fiction on stage and screen. My most recent monograph was on Sherlock Holmes, adaptation and modern British theatre. My next book project is on the contemporary history play in the 21st century, and is due in 2022.
I welcome research proposals from students interested in British theatre and cultural history, and the relationships between theatre and history, memory, heritage and nostalgia.
Most recent publications
Book: Sherlock Holmes from Screen to Stage: Post-Millennial Adaptations in British Theatre, London: Palgrave, 2017
Article: ‘You can’t be here’: The Playwriting Dialectic in Ella Hickson’s Oil in Modern Drama 63, 1, pp. 21-38.
Book chapter: ‘Staying Dead: The Corpse, Burial and Exhumation in Three Contemporary British History Plays’ in Coward-Gibbs, M. (ed.), Death, Culture and Leisure: Playing Dead, Bingley: Emerald, 2020.
Edited collection: Jones, Kelly, Robert Dean and Benjamin Poore (eds.), Contemporary Gothic Drama: Attraction, Consummation and Consumption on the Modern British Stage, London: Palgrave, 2018.
I am a member of the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) and the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR). I am a regular peer reviewer for a range of adaptation and theatre journals, and review manuscripts and book proposals for Palgrave, Routledge, Oxford University Press, Edinburgh University Press and others.
As a scholar with a practical interest in processes of playwriting and adaptation, I have acted as script and research consultant for playwrights and theatre-makers.
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2012); Senior HEA Fellow (2018). External examiner for MA Applied Theatre at the University of Derby.