Robert Daniel (Dan) Ford


Thesis - The Actor in the Immersive Theatres of Punchdrunk, Slunglow and Look Left Look Right

My PhD examines the role of the actor in the current explosion of immersive, interactive and participatory theatre in Britain. This is a field of work which uses different techniques to place the audience ‘inside’ the drama. It creates a new dynamic between spectator and actor, whilst also presenting a series of technical and logistical challenges in performance. My thesis, based upon interviews with working actors and my own performance practice, looks at the skills and techniques actors have developed to support this audience relationship, how the methodologies of creating and performing this work may differ from conventional theatrical models, and what challenges and opportunities this form might offer the actor. Case studies include the work of Punchdrunk, Slung Low and Look Left Look Right. I receive AHRC Studentship funding to support my research.



Prior to my PhD I completed my BA and MA in the Department for English and Related Literature at York and trained as an actor at LAMDA.

I have spent 8 years as a professional actor. In that time my credits have included the West End, BBC, touring, regional and devised work. I have worked with world renowned directors like Neil LaBute and Jamie Lloyd and enjoy rugger collaboration with groundbreaking theatre companies like Slung Low (“maybe the greatest theatre company around” Time Out), Analogue (the bright young things of British theatre” Observer) and Coney (“the future of British theatre now” Guardian). Since 2011 I have taught on the BA (Hons) Writing, Directing and Performance. I’ve designed and implemented modules in Voice and Movement and taught modules.

Contact details

Mr Robert Daniel (Dan) Ford
Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media