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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. 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’ve served as a member of the University’s Learning and Teaching Forum, editing Forum magazine, and I’ve also led on two research projects on dialogic pedagogy.
As a researcher, I write on the contemporary 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 Brontë 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, 2012), 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). My new monograph, The Contemporary History Play, is due to be published by Methuen Drama in 2024.
I am currently part of the admissions team for the BA Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance.
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 book project is on the history play in the 21st century, and is due in 2024.
I welcome research proposals from students interested in British theatre and cultural history, and the relationships between theatre and history, memory, heritage and nostalgia.
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 (2020), 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, Cham: Palgrave, 2018.
I am a regular presenter at the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) World Congress as part of the Political Performances Working Group. I also undertake peer review 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. I’ve also contributed to exhibition research and public events on staging the past in collaboration with Barley Hall in York.
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2012); Senior HEA Fellow (2018). External examiner for Aberystwyth University.