Clare Brennan

MA (University of Edinburgh), Dip (Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Dip (Sheffield Hallam)



Thesis - Making the Invisible Visible: Framing Movement

Examines the movement-graphing work of Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne-Jules Marey (in particular, instantaneous photography and chronophotography) and its consequences for performing arts. Focuses on the practices of theatre and film makers in France and Russia from the mid-1880s to the late 1920s. Explores interconnecting interdependencies - science, politics, social sciences, industry and arts - in development of performance styles and practice.

Supervisor: Kristyn Gorton. Start date of part-time programme: January 2011.



Theatre Director / dramaturg: created devised and scripted work for professional, touring and building-based theatre companies in the UK and Europe. Performance sites ranged from streets to grass fields to parks (with and without staging apparatus); from village halls to fully equipped theatres.

Workshop leader: developed and delivered workshop programmes in a range of skills (including clowning, commedia del’arte, mask work, mime, movement for theatre, devising) for professional performers, schools, universities and groups of all ages and levels of experience.

Grants: successful bids for Arts Council funding for a number of small-scale tours; also raised private sponsorship from companies, institutions and individuals.

Further professional training: with Philippe Gaulier and Monika Pagneux (directing, clowning, “le jeu”) in France and the UK; also in the UK, workshop courses with Mike Leigh (devising) and Frankie Armstrong (voice).

Journalism: arts and culture articles and reviews published in national newspapers (The TimesThe Sunday Times, The ScotsmanThe Observer). Writing on other subjects for variety of magazines and national newspapers. As a senior editor on national newspapers commissioned arts reviews, features (across a spectrum of subjects) and new music. Currently, out-of-London theatre reviewer for The Observer.

Volunteering: Zaire / Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda: theatre classes; language classes (fully trained in TESOL); administrative assistance, health centres; advocacy for nutrition programmes. Successful fund-raising (grants and private donations) for health and education projects, also for women’s co-operatives.

Rwanda: assisted women’s skills-improvement project in refugee camp.



Research Interests

The relationship between science and the arts; the influence of designers on theatre practice; movement in theatre - conception, training, execution; devising; dramaturgy; playwriting; translation; theatre criticism in print and online.

External Activity

External Activity

Member of Equity, member of the NUJ, member of the Critics’ Circle, and judge on panel for UK Theatre Awards.



Publications / Reviews

  • ‘‘The Eye in Motion’ book review for Film & History , Issue 46, Number 2, Winter 2016
  • ‘Movement made visible: Marey and Lecoq’ Chapter in Rik Kemp and Mark Evans ed.s, The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq , Routledge, April 2016
  • Entries on ‘Chronophotography’, ‘Instantaneous Photography’ and ‘Photojournalism/photomontage’ for The Edinburgh Dictionary of Modernism , ed V Kolocotroni & O Taxidou, Edinburgh University Press, 2016
  • Weekly theatre reviews for The Observer


  • 2015 : Translation (with Olga Bukhova): It’s All Her Fault by Andrey Ivanov (recently completed)
  • 1995 to present : Reader for published writers of fiction, biography and criticism
  • 2000 : Novel (unpublished) God Slept
  • 1982-1995 : Co-creator of original professional productions with companies including: Faceback (Scottish tours), Splash Theatre Company (Hull and Humberside tours); Théâtre de Complicité (national and international tours); Theater Titanick (German tours).

Contact details

Ms Clare Brennan
Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media