Drama and Theatre Studies, University of Birmingham
My doctoral research project is a study of how Gothic modes have been adopted and adapted by contemporary British playwrights in political dramas since the turn of the century. The project builds upon the growing body of work by scholars such as Kelly Jones, Jeffrey N. Cox and Emma McEvoy, who in recent years have laid foundations for acknowledging Gothic theatre as a vibrant and vital yet continually understudied field. I explore how the Gothic in contemporary performance–with its irrealist and fragmentary strategies, uncanny returns, and engagements with the political power of “transgressive” emotions such as terror and rage–provides a strikingly relevant theatrical vocabulary for exploring some of the most pressing sociopolitical debates in twenty-first century Britain. My thesis is divided into four thematic chapters, each representing a range of urgent social and political issues which have been keenly addressed by political theatre over the last two decades, but whose relations to and resonations with the Gothic have gone unaccounted for: ‘Nation’, ‘Nature’, ‘Gender & Sexuality’, and ‘Race’. I am particularly interested in the work of debbie tucker green, Caryl Churchill, Alistair McDowall, Martin McDonagh, Stef Smith, Mike Bartlett, Rona Munro, and theatre companies such as Imitating the Dog, Proper Job, and DARKFIELD.
Research featured in the Westmere Images of Research 2019 Exhibition: 'Gothic Theatre Audiences', and a spectral photograph taken from the stalls in a 2019 production of William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist.
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 the LGBTQIA+ communities.