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David Edwards




Thesis - The application and relevance of Stanislavsky, and later exponents of his theories, in rehearsal and performance with specific focus on the portrayal of obsessive-compulsive disorder on the stage.

My PhD by creative practice explores the use of psychophysical performance methodologies in the rehearsal room and its relevance to the portrayal of obsessive-compulsive disorder on the stage. Practical research into the later rehearsal methods of Stanislavski, and his later students, has been advanced by many European practitioners and, with the rise in mental health theatre, my research will examine the potential links between body and mind in a rehearsal and performance setting.

My research has involved two productions so far. The first was a portrayal of Leontes as an obsessive-compulsive in a touring adaptation of ‘A Winter’s Tale’ for Common Ground Theatre Company. The second production was an Arts Council funded piece of verbatim multimedia theatre entitled ‘Just Checking’. Working with those with OCD, as well as academics, charity workers and MP’s, we toured the piece in 2015 with after-show Q&A’s supported by Newcastle University’s Psychology Department.

My research is presented both via these live productions but also fully logged rehearsal diaries, a dissertation and a full reflection on my findings during the process.

Supervisor: Dr Tom Cantrell



After reading English at King’s College London, I trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama before working professionally as an actor. In 2006 I established Vivid Theatre Company which has since gone on to produce over 25 plays including classical drama, contemporary works and new writing. Most of these were fully funded and several received support from Arts Council England.

In addition to this work, I am also Senior Lecturer in Acting at Newcastle College and primarily teach on the degree programme with a focus on ensemble performance methodologies and psychophysical performance techniques.



Conference Papers

“Playing Leontes: Obsessions, Compulsions and Infections – A Psycho-Physical Approach to Performance.”TFTV 5th Annual Postgraduate Symposium, University of York, June 2014.

“Ensemble Learning in the Classroom Environment”. Central European Drama Conference, Kosice, November 2009.

Contact details

Mr David Edwards
Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media