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Gheorghe Williams

Drama and Theatre Studies, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

The Political Gothic and Twenty-First Century British Theatre

My research aims to further understandings of the extent to which Gothicism has permeated theatrical reponse to the precarious nature of Britain’s recent and ongoing social, political and national upheavals. 

In Britain, narratives of fear and terror have arguably become more visible and visibly commonplace in recent years. In this century alone, the global financial crash, the European refugee crises, modern terrorism and the uncertainty of Brexit are just a few examples of crises from which there has emerged a marked rise in narratives of xenophobia, nationalism, and stark national divisions. It is therefore no coincidence that, as such responses draw from a rhetoric rooted in Gothicism, political theatre is also noticeably drawing from the Gothic tradition to engage, negotiate, and come to terms with these crises and the divisive discourses which have surrounded them. 

This research aims to outline explicitly the ways that Gothicism has become a foremost constituent of contemporary political dramaturgy. In doing so, the project proposes that this (re-)emergence also provides opportunities to understand (and utilise) Stage Gothic as a practical, political methodology of instigating change in local, national, and educational contexts.

Research Area

  • Drama and Theatre Studies



'Performing the Unspeakable: Gothic Theatricalities as a Language for Communicating the Aftermath of Sexual Trauma'  Gothic Spectacle and Spectatorship, Lancaster University (1 June 2019)

Other Research Interests

As well as Gothic Theatre, I enjoy studying literary and cinematic Gothic/Horror, particularly in relation to the Posthuman. More widely, I am interested in Practice-as-Research pedagogies, theatre-making in education, and the applications of theatre/live performance to social and cultural progress for LGBTQ+ and queer communities.


IGA (International Gothic Association)