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Staff and Alumnx News – Heath Pennington

Heath Pennington (they/them/theirs), Associate Lecturer in Drama and alumnx (MA Performance and Culture, 2013), is pleased to be conducting a series of consent-forward events as part of their ongoing research into consent cultures within BDSM and intimacy coordination.

Heath is pursuing their PhD in Performance Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara and as a Visiting Postgraduate Research Associate in Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

A promotional poster for Heath Pennington's online workshop for Intimacy Coordination. Date deatured is 25th of January at 5:30 PM.As a certified intimacy coordinator, Heath works at the intersections of theory and practice to investigate how negotiation, bodily autonomy, and oppressions around gender, race, and class play out in consensual interactions.

After presenting in December at Goldsmiths PRF and Queen Mary’s Subtexts, in January Heath offered workshops and talks at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and the London Film School, and on February 29th they will host a salon with the Queen Mary Centre for Film and Ethics. Their consent-based workshop “The Dis/Assembly of Refusal” will be offered at PSi #29 in June.

Find Heath on Twitter/X @_h_penn or at

MA Dramaturgy and Writing for Performance – Alumnae & Staff News

Rhianna Ilube

Recent alumna Rhianna Ilube has a new work:

Samuel Takes A Break…,from Feb 9 – March 9 at The Yard Theatre (Hackney Wick)

Theatre Weekly – More Info

Fiona Graham

For the last two years, MA Dramaturgy and Writing for Performance Convenor, has worked as dramaturg with Alleyne Dance on Far From Home: Alleyne Dance Mentorship Programme

The first tour dates have just been announced for 2024:
1st March- Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth
7th March- The Venue Milton Keynes
26th & 27th March- The Lowry, Manchester

RePeaTer: Theatre and Performance Research Newsletter, Autumn/Winter 2023-2024

Welcome to the inaugural research newsletter of the Department of Theatre and Performance!

Katja Hilevaara

Katja Hilevaara is currently working on a new interdisciplinary project called, The Finch Girl. At the centre of this interdisciplinary research project is a unique archaeological find dating to 17th century Poland.

The skeleton of a young girl was discovered in a limestone cave, and a tiny skull of a chaffinch was found in her mouth. Scientific methods traced the girl’s origin to Finland; testified by her DNA and historical writings depicting Finnish soldiers and their families in that Polish region at the time of the burial.

A black and white image of a skull on the ground.

Finnish folklore and its close relationship with forests was used as evidence that could feasibly explain the idea of a ‘soul bird’ being placed in her mouth. However, the results were inconclusive, and this unique burial remains elusive.

The purpose of this project is to bring together a team of artists and scientists to work together, with the aim to discover more about the story. Scientists base the construction of a narrative on the most probable evidence, pieced together from a range of verified sources. Artists, it could be argued, employ imagination and speculation, and invent in the gaps where evidence might not be found.

The project asks: how might these different approaches to storytelling mutually benefit each other? How might we imagine other possibilities and uncover further so-called scientific data through conversation and creative exploration? How might the narrative uncovered so far be filled-out and re-told? The evidence questioned and verified in new ways?

The Finch Girl


Clare Finburgh Delijani

Clare Finburgh Delijani is working on two new books. A New History of Theatre in France, a twenty-two chapter volume she edited for Cambridge University Press, is now in press. Claire recently presented on the book at the University of Rouen, and shall be giving a talk on it at Sorbonne University in the spring.

Theatre in FrA book cover noting the title of Clare Finburgh Delijani's book ' A New History of Theatre in France'ance was the first in Europe to be written in the vernacular as opposed to Latin. It has provided the English language with the medieval word farce, the early-modern word role, and the modern term mise en scène. Molière is single handedly responsible for launching European-style playwriting in North Africa. Today, it’s only a slight exaggeration to say that it’s harder to get tickets for the Festival d’Avignon, one of the world’s largest theatre festivals, than for the Rolling Stones’ farewell tour.

Containing chapters by globally eminent theatre experts, many of whom will be read in English for the first time, this collaborative history testifies to the central part theatre has played for over a thousand years in both French culture and world culture. Crucially, too, it places centre stage the genders, ethnicities and classes that have had to wait in the wings of theatres, and of theatre criticism.

The second book is linked to a three-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship: A History of Postcolonial Theatre in France: Spectres of Empire.

The book tells, for the first time, the hidden history of theatre in France about, and by, people fromits former colonies; and the artistic conservatism and institutional restrictions they have surmounted. It celebrates artists who have, from the onset of decolonisation in the 1950s to today, contributed crucially to debates around immigration and nationalism by using theatre’s unique capacity to present on stage how meaning is made from words and images. Their works, often performed by postcolonial subjects themselves, enable audiences to recognise how racialized identities are constructed from language and images, and can be reshaped to foster new ways of understanding our postcolonial world.


Cass Fleming

The Chekhov Collective, founded and co-directed by Cass Fleming, has recently launched its new website.

The website continues to be an important repository showcasing a range of activities and resources rooted in, or in dialogue with, Michael Chekhov’s technique.

Cass was also asked to do a filmed interview for Faculti earlier this year, exploring her work on Suzanne Bing.

The Chekhov Collective

Cass’ Faculti Interview


Danny Braverman

Danny Braverman is currently working on a new musical, Game 6, investigating how neurodiversity can inform dramaturgy in form, content, and process. The show is based on the life of 1972 World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer, exploring his autism, his Jewishness, and the backdrop of the Cold War.

On 24 February 2023, a colloquium was held at Theatro Technis in King’s Cross for an audience of performance makers.

A team of disabled and neurodiverse performers presented a rehearsed reading of a segment of the show, followed by contributions from a panel of neurodiverse artists: designer Emma Melati Wee, choreographer Emily Orme and director Matthew Xia.

Using chessboard grids as a mid-mapping tool, Emma led a conversation on the investigation. A video of the event, including contributions from the audience, is being put together for the New Year.

Goldsmiths’ involvement included producer-alumnus Tom Powell, and volunteering support from PhD candidate Hayley Wen, alumna Isobel Ewart, Musical Theatre Year 3 Ida Thorp, and Drama and Theatre Arts Year 3 Sungwon Jo on his Work Placement module.

Alongside the development of the script and songs, Danny and the team want to run community workshops with chess clubs and families with autistic members as part of audience development. Although it’s early days, it is hoped the project will contribute to exploring how Goldsmiths can develop as an incubator for new musicals.


Adam Alston

Adam Alston published a new book in October 2023, Staging Decadence: Contemporary Theatre and the Ends of Capitalism (Bloomsbury 2023), alongside a book chapter on ‘Decadence and the Antitheatrical Prejudice’ in a new collection on 1890s’ literature and culture.

He also has an anthology forthcoming with Bloomsbury in January – Decadent Plays: 1890 – 1930 (Bloomsbury 2024) – whichhe co-edited with Professor Jane Desmarais. These are the latest publications to come out of the Staging Decadence project, which developed from a two-year fellowship funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council into an ongoing platform for showcasing research and artistic practice concerned with the study, design, embodiment, and enactment of ‘decadence’ in all of its spectacular and provocative glory.

Key to this project has been Adam’s curation of live events and workshops, which this year included a residency at Goldsmiths with the trans artist Nando Messias, and a one-off event at Queen Mary, University of London – Staging Decadence: Dress to KillAn upside down image of person without a top on, wearing a crystal covered gas mask on their face. – that featured live performances from Sadie Sinner, Miss HerNia, and Hasard Le Sin, a performance lecture by Adam, an exhibition of decadent costume by Julia Bardsley, and specially-commissioned screenings by jaamil olawale kosoko, Toco Nikaido, and Angel Rose.

Check out the project blog for the latest articles and interviews, including an interview with the self-proclaimed ‘Queen of Filth’ Rose Wood, as well as the film and events pages, which are regularly updated with resources and updates:


Fiona Graham

Fiona Graham is currently working on a new book project – Becoming Dramaturg: Developing an Ethical and Expanded Practice – which will be out with Bloomsbury in 2025.

For the last year Fiona Graham has been working as a joint editor on this journal. There is something here for everyone: Critical Stages: Postmillennial Dramaturgies in Australia and Aotearoa / New Zealand, journal (issue #28)


She is also acting as joint editor for Critical Stages: Australasian Dramaturgy, which is out this month, and continues her work as dramaturg with award winning Alleyne Dance Company. Their current project, Far From Home, is touring internationally until 2025.


Gabriel Díaz

Gabriel Díaz is currently pursuing a PhD in Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths, and is also the co-creator of the Teatro Apátrida company.

He has recently been working on some new shows: Transits (2023) at La Nau Ivanow creation factory in Barcelona, Spain, and Medium: Chile Estalla a la Distancia (Medium: Chile explodes in the distance), which captures the voices of witnesses to the social protests in Chile since 2019.

The play, featuring five Chilean artists residing in Europe, aims to bridge the distance and reconnect with their native land. Through authentic testimonies and documents, the production provides a closeup of Latin American resistance and its worldwide impact.

As part of the inaugural Rutas Iberoamericanas project, Medium has been chosen to represent Chile in Spain. This initiative seeks to forge cultural ties and enhance the profile of Latin American performing arts across Europe.

In February 2024, the company is set to tour seven renowned venues in cities including Valencia, Bilbao, Madrid, Mallorca, Vigo, and Barcelona, in a cultural exchange bolstered by partnerships with Chilean and Argentine institutions.

Teatro Apátrida


Göze Saner

In September this year, Göze Saner reunited the Quick and the Dead for a week-long intensive period of practice research.

Founded in 2005, the Quick and the Dead are the seven-strong practice research collective who collaborated with Alison Hodge on developing the performer training practice documented in Core Training and the Relational Actor (Hodge, 2013) which has been hailed as a pioneering feminist approach and a ‘critical acting pedagogy’ (Peck 2020).

Their training is characterised by its emphasis on relationality. Focusing on the space between actors, it nourishes care, touch, sensuality and listening as opposed to individual virtuosity – in alignment with other feminist, queer, decolonial, anti-racist, anti-ableist and activist approaches to pedagogy. Re-encountering each other anew ten years on, after injuries, illnesses, marriages, divorces, cross-continental relocations, births and deaths, including Hodge’s passing in 2019, they found the practice instantly available and tangibly present.

three people move about an empty studio

From their new situated realities, new (and older) bodies, loss and grief, they experienced the practice as a space of pleasure, hope and connection. They confirmed that the ethics of the work, ‘to celebrate the [] uniqueness and the particularity of each encounter’, (Hodge 2013, 27), still held and made it possible not only to train meaningfully together after such a long period of separation, but also to take the work further with new inquiries.

They will reflect on this period of research at the upcoming International Platform for Performer Training in Finland, and address the pedagogy of the ‘relational actor’ and the principles of ‘attentiveness’, ‘embodied listening’, and ‘care-taking’, through the vocabulary of radical care (Hobart and Kneese 2020).


Rachael Newberry

Rachael Newberry has recently published a new chapter titled ‘Waiting in the Wings: The Economics and Ethereality of Theatrical Space in Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus’.

In this chapter she interrogates a range of theatrical spaces navigated by Angela Carter in Nights at the Circus (1984), a theatre novel which explores the intersections between sexual, transactional, and gendered performativity.

Engaging with Foucault’s work on heterotopic space, Baudrillard’s engagement with the simulacra, and more recent critical scholarly analysis examining the politics of gender and space as performance, Newberry examines themes of bought pleasure and the commodification of performance; the relationship between authenticity, power and public and private space; and where we might seek and find elements of the real in a novel that blurs historical and biographical ‘truth’.How might the audience, the reader, and the scholar, search for, discover, and dismantle the illusions that Fevvers, and Carter, sets up for us?


Shimeng Wang

Shimeng Wang is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Theatre and Performance working on the puppet animation of the Quay brothers. This year, they have presented at two notable conferences: ‘Lived Experience in Theory and Practice’, organized by the British Society for Phenomenology (Manchester Metropolitan University), and ‘A Screen or a Window? On Defining “Lived Experience” in Cinema’ in August this year.

Wang also participated in a workshop titled ‘Love and Sexuality’, which was held by the Centre for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark in November. Their presentation was titled, ‘Face and Hands: A Phenomenological Reading of Representation in Amateur Lesbian Porn’

British Society for Phenomenology

Love and Sexuality 


Molly McPhee

Since joining Theatre and Performance last February, Molly McPhee has been developing several projects. Her newest research, ‘Investigating the civic role of theatres: toward a “Nightingale Theatre” as multi-stakeholder public health intervention’ explores theatres that became inoculation centres and courtrooms during the pandemic, as what the government termed ‘Nightingale’ Courts and Hospitals.

Though now largely disestablished, the Nightingale format illustrates how arts organisations are currently being compelled by the government to co-deliver health and justice provision in a variety of ongoing (and far less overt) modes.

This project has been awarded a Goldsmiths Early Career Researcher Fund grant to work with a multi-disciplinary collective of practitioners and policymakers, as part of an R&D phase to develop a large-scale Wellcome Discovery Award/ AHRC bid. Across 3 workshops in spring 2024, we will explore how Nightingales prompt reclamations of theatres as places for acting ‘otherwise civically’ against seepages of dominant structures predicated on inequities, in ways that embrace the notion of both health and legal systems as inherently fleeting, changing, instable, and therefore, changeable.

Molly is also collaborating with criminologist Jennifer Fleetwood on her Strategic Research funded project working with Clean Break to develop the concept of ‘narrative care’, as a way to challenge the how women with justice experience are called to ‘tell their story’ in stigmatising and disempowering ways.

Her ongoing work with Fuel Theatre was also awarded a £120,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and £20,000 grant from National Archives to produce several public engagement projects, including an XR archiving initiative which she is undertaking in partnership with Queen Mary, University of London.

Over the summer, she collaborated with colleagues in Psychology and Computing, together with Siobhan Davies Dance, to produce the ERC-funded NEUROLIVE experiment ‘Performing and Not Performing, performed by Jia-Yu Corti’ and in November she published a new article, ‘The Letter Cloth: Sensory Modes of the Epistolary in Prison Theatre Practice’ in the journal Humanities.

Dr Fiona Graham: An interview with alumna Juliet Gilkes Romero

Over recent weeks, Dr Fiona Graham has embarked on an exciting project interviewing alumni from the MA Dramaturgy and Writing for Performance programme. As the Programme Director, Fiona was interested in finding out about their memories of studying on the MA programme at Goldsmiths University.

First up is alumna Juliet Gilkes Romero, an established and award-winning writer for Theatre, Radio and Film. Juliet had a positive experience studying for her MA at Goldsmiths, stating:

‘The MA Dramaturgy and Writing for Performance provided me with the space to be creative, to meet other people and to learn about myself as a writer. You had to learn to participate. When we worked with the actors and directors, we were able to see the subtext underneath the words’. (Juliet Gilkes Romero, 2021)

Juliet Gilkes Romero on set.

Image Credit: Copyright of Steve Tanner RSC

Since graduating from the MA Dramaturgy and Writing for Performance programme at Goldsmiths, Juliet has won multiple awards including the Alfred Fagon award for Best New Play 2020, the Roland Rees Bursary 2019 and the BBC World Service Alexander Onassis Research Bursary.

Her plays include The Gift a retelling of Medea filmed for Jermyn Street Theatre’s 15 Heroines of Greek Tragedy season 2020, The Whip performed at the RSC’s Swan Theatre 2020 and Day of The Living performed at The Other Place, as part of RSC’s Mischief Festival 2018. A full list of Juliet’s projects can be found on her website.

In addition to her extensive collection of plays, Juliet also has an impressive catalogue of screen and audio work including, Soon Gone; A Windrush Chronicle, which was co-produced by Sir Lenny Henry’s production company Douglas Road and the Young Vic Theatre and One Hot Summer broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

More recently, Juliet was appointed as the RSC/Birmingham University Creative Fellow and for several years has worked as a BBC foreign affairs reporter and producer. Juliet’s work with the BBC World Service Radio and BBC World TV has seen her report from countries across the globe, including Ethiopia, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

To watch the full interview with Julia Gilkes Romero.

To read more about Juliet Gilkes Romero’s work, you can visit her website.

Find out more about the MA Dramaturgy and Writing for Performance programme at Goldsmiths.

Sue Mayo: Breaks and Joins for Being Human Festival

Being Human is an annual national festival of the Humanities, with events across the UK during November.  This year’s theme was ‘New Worlds’, and I was very excited to win the funding for Goldsmiths’ contribution to the Festival for my project, Breaks and Joins.

I’m working with filmmaker Chuck Blue Lowry on this project, exploring repair as an act of resistance. Our contribution to the Festival, Fixing it, comprised 9 online public events, ranging from practical repair with Rose Sinclair from the Textile Department, and Mo Sumah from Telegraph Hill Centre, to an exploration of plurality and Nationalism with Sudip Chakroborthy, and Community building with Raj Bhari. Chuck and I led creative workshops to celebrate broken objects, and Claire MacDonald led a reflection on the acceptance of brokenness.

As well as having fascinating conversations, meeting some awesome people, who were local and global, Chuck and I gained loads of ideas for the next stage of the project when we’ll work with local communities to make a film with interviews, original artwork and repair tips, as well as a podcast. From the person who completely disassembled her toaster to find the fault, to the Mum who wrote a beautiful piece about mending the soft toy her daughter made for her, to the participant in Dacca who spoke about painful community divisions, we learned that, whether it’s material, human or communal, we all experience breaks and joins, damage and mending. This feels like a theme that’s always been relevant but that is especially prescient in these strange times.

To read more about Sue Mayo’s work you can visit her website.

Introducing Dr Owen Parry, Researcher on Staging Decadence

Hello everyone!

I’m Owen, I’m an artist and researcher working across contemporary theatre, live art, visual arts and digital processes, and I am very pleased to be joining Dr Adam Alston as Researcher (part-time) on his exciting AHRC project Staging Decadence over the next year or so.

It’s also great to be back at Goldsmiths (although virtually at present!) having both completed my PhD in the Visual Cultures department in 2014, and also worked as an Associate Lecturer in Fine Art Critical Studies at Goldsmiths 2016-18. I am really looking forward to working with Adam and the project team across what promises to be a thrilling set of events and activities; and I hope to get to know some of you in the Theatre and Performance department and learn more about what keeps you ticking in these weird times!

A bit about me: I completed my PhD on Trashy Tendencies in Contemporary Art and Performance at Goldsmiths in 2014, exploring waste and excess as logics of cultural production. I have since gone on to develop the Fan Riot project exploring fandom as a subversive network that drove the internet, including a post-doctoral fellowship at IASH, University of Edinburgh 2018-19 exploring subversive performance from meme magick to conspiracy theories in the online culture wars.

I have an expansive performance and visual arts practice synthesising avant-garde and pop culture with the creation of fictional artefacts and fake occultist techniques. Through my practice I create playful situations and experiences (often with others) for the production of new, imaginary languages, communities, worlds and images.

You can check out my work on my website and find me, however reluctantly, on Twitter.

Go safely!


Creative Quarantine 2020: Lockdown #2 Inspiration

TAP lecturer and all-round legend Katja Hilevaara has rounded up the best online performances to keep you entertained and inspired through lockdown 2.0! Have a gander at the list below…

Dante or Die: USER NOT FOUND

Dante or Die – USER NOT FOUND: A video podcast

“For this new digital adaptation of the 2018/19 critically-acclaimed live show, Dante or Die have created a virtual site-specific world. Charge your phone, plug in your headphones and find a quiet space for this intimate, meditative and funny story of one man grappling with something deeply private.”

See The Guardian’s article here.

Forced Entertainment: Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home

“In this ‘At Home’ edition of Complete Works – Forced Entertainment’s audacious project to retell all 36 of Shakespeare’s plays using everyday items on a table top – the dramatis personae of household objects return to a domestic setting in a unique staging directly from the performers’ homes to yours.”

Stan’s Cafe: For Quality Purposes

Made in five days of lockdown, this performance allows us to hear the voices of those working in call centres, those that are trying to help and make things better.

Visit Stan’s Cafe website here.

Performance Live: The Way Out

Performance Live: The Way Out

“A surreal, theatrical adventure in which a young person escapes into a seemingly empty building at night and meets a mysterious guide who offers them an alternative way out.

Filmed in Battersea Arts Centre, in one continuous, unbroken shot, this is an immersive journey through a labyrinth of rooms and corridors, propelled by performances by extraordinary artists.”

See The Guardian’s article here.

Zodwa Nyoni: Nine Lives

“Fleeing from his home where a fresh wave of homophobia threatens his life, Ishmael has sought sanctuary in the UK. Dispersed to Leeds, Ishmael waits to hear his fate, he waits for a new life to begin amongst strangers. But not everyone is bad… can he find a place to call home again?”

Slam poetry filmed at Arcola Theatre, 2016.

Imitating the Dog: Online theatre works

“Through lockdown, we put some of our previous show recordings online to fill a few hours for people and hopefully go some way towards filling the void of cancelled shows and events.”

Pina Bausch: Palermo Palermo

“Video footage of the piece Palermo Palermo, which was taken shortly after the piece’s premiere in 1989, has been digitally restored.”

Corey Baker: Swan Lake Bath Ballet

BBC iPlayer Culture in Quarantine

Lots of great content on BBC iPlayer, including…

Jade Anouka and Grace Savage: Her & Her

“Part Poetry video. Part music video. This experimental short film is a lyrical and musical story told using poetry and beatboxing.”

Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young: Revisor

“Young and Pite revise an archetypal comic plot to serve as the basis for a production that blends contemporary theatre and dance. Revisor explores conflict, comedy and corruption in the potent relationship between language and the body. “

Rachel Bagshaw and Chris Thorpe: Where I Go (When I Can’t Be Where I Am)

“A powerful and intimate insight into the isolation of living with a rare, synaesthetic chronic pain condition. It is adapted by the team behind the award-winning theatre show The Shape of the Pain.”

Corey Baker: Swan Lake Bath Ballet

“27 elite ballet dancers from renowned dance companies perform a modern-day Swan Lake from their own home (filled) baths. Award-winning choreographer Corey Baker worked with dancers across the globe to choreograph and film Swan Lake Bath Ballet completely remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Guardian: Hottest Front Room Seats (Article)

“From live-streams of new plays to classics from the archive, here are some of the top shows online now or coming soon – this page is updated regularly”

Get in touch if you have your own recommendations. Happy watching!

Introducing TAP’s new Associate Researchers: Grace Arber and Christina Camara

Following the introduction of TAP’s new Associate Artists, we are equally thrilled to announce the winners of TAP’s Associate Researcher and new Associate Black Researcher Award. Huge congratulations to winners Grace Arber and Christina Camara!

The Associate Researcher/Associate Black Researcher Awards recognise an outstanding academic track record and dissertation. The recipient acts as a writing and research mentor for undergraduates and assists with events that promote a research culture among students in addition to receiving mentoring from academic staff.

Here are Grace and Christina talking about their research and how they hope to further it over the coming year…

Grace Arber

Describe your BA dissertation in three words?

Clowning, Boris, society.

Give an overview of your dissertation and how you hope to further your research?

My dissertation was called ‘Boris Johnson: A Modern Clown Performance’, and it explored the ‘performances’ of Boris Johnson throughout his political career and how he made it to where he is now (or, 6 months ago!). It was an investigation into the cohesive power of clowning as performance, and how Johnson’s skill set has enabled him to perform successfully (but ultimately very poorly).

To further my research, I wish to explore how the use of clowning techniques could be used to aid social cohesion post-pandemic, and how laughter can be used as a healing technique for social groups.

What drives your research?

My own personal need for laughter and humour to process and discuss aspects of life. Also the desperate need for communal laughter and silliness in our current global climate.

What is the process of creating your work?

I consume a large amount of the news and like to keep up to date with the ‘performances’ of our politicians. As a drama student I naturally then analyse their performances as if they’re acting a character. My thoughts/concepts/ideas all then stem somewhere from there! My process is something that is in continual development and I hope to start refining it over the course of this year.

What do you hope to achieve this year?

A better understanding of my writing process, and to work together with lots of students in the department to further our understanding of essay writing! I also hope to continue my research in postgraduate study one day and I hope to develop my critical thinking to a postgraduate level this year.

What does being an Associate Researcher mean to you?

I will love being a part of the department community for another year, which is important to me, especially during these strange times! I also feel very grateful to have the opportunity to have my research mentored as I continue to develop my thoughts and ideas.

Christina Camara

Describe your BA dissertation in three words?

Exciting, challenging, rewarding.

Give an overview of your dissertation and how you hope to further your research?

As a Performance, Politics and Society student, I’ve got the chance to do a practice-based research (called Major Research Project) instead of doing the usual 10K dissertation. My MRP explored the possibilities of multicultural education in Cote d’Ivoire – reconciling traditional African education and colonial methods currently used in Ivorian schools, using Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy and drama games. So, I designed workshops that I have facilitated in Abidjan with participants from diverse age groups.
I hope to further my research on education in Africa by continuing my work with young people in Abidjan, and hopefully expand this project to other West-African countries.

What drives your research?

1/ I’m African and therefore this research is very close to my heart and my roots.

2/ The lack of education is stopping most African countries to reach their full potential

3/ Learning should be fun and accessible

What is the process of creating your work?

A lot of research, more research, a lot of drafts… the answer cannot be short but I guess throughout my process I never stop questioning what I know/what I think I know.

What do you hope to achieve this year?

1/ I hope to be useful for my department

2/ Take my current research about Pan-Africanism to the next level (whatever that means)

3/ Not taking a 2 hours tea break after each paragraph I write…

What does being an Associate Researcher mean to you?

Very honoured! Also excited to be the first Associate Black Researcher. I hope to contribute to decolonising our curriculum and making our university more diverse.

Any further comments?

Wash your hands, people!

Introducing TAP’s New Associate Artists: Seven Veils Collective and Jim Osman

We are delighted to at long last introduce the recipients of TAP’s Associate Artists Award and brand new Associate Black Artist Award!

Each year, the Associate Artist(s) Award is given to a BA Theatre and Performance student or group, recognising outstanding success in their final year project, TAP In ’20. The Associate Artists receive a bursary and are nurtured in their first year after graduation. The Award can be used for research and development, technical and resource support, outreach, mentoring, and business development.

When COVID-19 restrictions forced TAP’s yearly theatre festival to go online, student reps suggested that money saved from unspent performance budgets should be used to promote Black students’ work. And so, this year we excitedly invited applicants for the Associate Black Artist Award.

Now, without further adieu, meet are our Associate Artists, Seven Veils Collective, and Associate Black Artist, Jim Osman!

Seven Veils Collective

A screenshot of a zoom call between members of Seven Veils Collective. They all look into the camera and smile.

Describe Seven Veils Collective in three words:

Provocative, corporeal, intermedial.

Give an overview of your TAP In’ 20 performance, Pallas/Athena, and how you came up with the concept…

Using found materials stemming from an interest in mythology, we wanted to explore how we can subvert the expectations of storytelling. We did this using dance and movement as a material alongside written myths of how the goddess Athena got her name. Due to Covid-19 and transforming our show into a digital, interactive experience, we presented the implications of contemporary adaptation, in both its potential and its restrictions.

If I was coming to a Seven Veils show, what should I expect?

Expect a shift in your role as an active audience member. We aim to curate a space that re-orientates your natural perception of material and narratives. We do this by challenging the conditions in which bodies and theatrical elements interact on stage.

What is the process of creating your work?

Devising as an ensemble, we work from found materials such as poetry, music and film, as well as the personal experiences of our group. We use improvisation exercises grounded in movement to explore this material and introduce the presence of technology.

What do you hope to achieve this year?

We hope to refine our dramaturgy and technique as a group. We also want to facilitate student workshops and local outreach, and we will create a new project for the public (whether live or digital!).

What does being an Associate Artist mean to you?

During this period of uncertainty in the arts and culture, we are so pleased to have the support of the department and a creative environment to work in during our first year as freelance theatre makers.


Jim Osman

Jim Osman stands against a white wall looking into the camera, smiling.


Describe your art in three words?

Deciphering, provocative, accessible.

Give an overview of your TAP In’ 20 performance, Elven Hipsters, and how you came up with the concept…

Elven Hipsters is a mockumentary with Jim Henson-style puppets and explores the topic of gentrification in London through a Tolkienesque/fantasy lens. The show intends to critique gentrification and stereotypes of the British working classes whilst at the same time deconstructing the racial narratives in Tolkein’s The Lord of The Rings. The idea started as a concept for a card game, using the puppets to promote the game at board game conventions. The performance was originally going to be a theatre play but when we had to make our theatre projects into films for our end-of-year show, the mockumentary format seemed the most appropriate for the concept and the time and resources I had.

If I was coming to a Jim Osman show, what should I expect?

There aren’t really any strong unifying factors that I’d say encompass all the work I make. Except that I often explore Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I don’t always work in those realms. Audiences can expect to see things they are familiar with explored in a new way, I tend to interpret life in an intersectional-feminist/Marxist framework so even if the piece I’m doing isn’t inherently political, expect to see popular themes deconstructed and displayed in a way that makes us think twice about accepted styles and norms. I hope that my work is empowering and inspiring, and that the performers are enjoying the experience of performing.

What is the process of creating your work?

It varies from project to project, I love working collaboratively and exploring different rehearsal methods. Organisation is incredibly important, I use the Trello app for project management. If it’s a classical work I strongly believe in ‘serving the text’, though I often decide that classical works are begging to be re-worked and made accessible to a contemporary audience! I don’t believe in crowbarring a contemporary setting into a classical piece, however, I don’t think we should make the same tired ‘museum pieces’ that just rehash old styles and aren’t communicating something thought-provoking or timely.

If it’s a brand-new contemporary piece then I think I work in a similar way to Quentin Tarantino (minus the misogyny and cultural appropriation), in the sense that he takes story-telling forms audiences are already familiar with and deconstructs them, putting a magnifying glass to a particular element that most people don’t usually see or focus on.

What do you hope to achieve this year?

For the award, I’ll be making a cyberpunk/SciFi opera, Mother Lode. It’s an opera for electronic music, two vocalists, two violinists and will be on at Gossamer Fog, a gallery focused on Science and Technology in Deptford. The opera is about two E-sports (competitive video gaming) players in a dystopian cyberpunk Megacity i.e. Judge Dredd, Blade Runner. The show will be a homage to cyberpunk fiction, 80s nostalgia and a poignant metaphor for Bernaysian propaganda in late capitalism. It’ll be in August – October 2021 and my hope is that we do a UK tour!

I got funding from Folkestone Puppetry Festival to do another episode of Elven Hipsters, the next one will be much shorter, about 5 minutes. We’ll also be creating the Elven Hipsters card game and will be presenting it at board game conventions around the UK.

Lastly, I’ll be directing a baroque opera for the classical music department at Goldsmiths, which I am particularly excited about.

What does being an Associate Artist mean to you?

It means a lot, I have loved being at Goldsmiths so I feel validated to have received this award. I’m very happy to be able to represent Goldsmiths moving forward into my professional life.

The award I received was an associate black artists award but my current piece Mother Lode, despite the fact it will have a non-white cast, doesn’t explore any racial themes. I hope that it will be empowering for people to see artists of colour making work that isn’t specifically to do with their heritage and identity. That isn’t to say I am not a fan of identity-based work, but I think it’s important for minorities to be able to make work that interests them without feeling a pressure to make the work they think the world expects them to make.

Any further comments?

Thank you for the award! I’ve been so inspired by artists, lecturers and researchers at Goldsmiths! I hope to be a researcher at a University myself one day and think it’s amazing that environments like Goldsmiths exist, they are so important.


You can watch Pallas/Athena and Elven Hipsters at

A Lesson in Unpredictability: 2019/20 Associate Artist Liv Ello signing off

Liv sits on a stool facing the camera, leaning forward, hands gesturing, mid-sentence

Liv performing at The Bunker for WoLab’s Actor Writer Showcase

As my time as the Associate Artist in the Theatre and Performance department draws to an end, I reflect on the position with great fondness and gratitude. As the Associate Artist, I have not only had the privilege of having my performance work supported, but I have developed invaluable experience as a facilitator and practitioner through assisting students with their practical and academic projects.

The greatest personal journey I have experienced in this position is a lesson in patience and unpredictability. Of course, 2020 has brought along personal and professional hardships for almost everyone. These unprecedented times have provoked feelings of loss and uncertainty as we navigate the loss of work, opportunities and human connection.

Like many artists, I have had work cancelled or postponed this year. My solo show SWARM was meant to be performed at The Brighton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe, but fortunately, both events will be taking place next year instead. The absence of live performance from my work has indeed made me reconfigure my ‘professional game plan’.  Before lockdown, I had the privilege of taking part in WoLab’s Actor-Writer development programme, as well as performing SWARM at Camden People’s Theatre, and also performing with OPIA Collective in This Queer House at VAULT festival. As an emerging artist, the absence of creative spaces means missed connections and opportunities that are integral at this stage in my career. As the future of live performance continues to be uncertain, I am reminded that the artistic industries have always been precarious pathways that require much determination and dedication. I am grateful that my position at Goldsmiths has provided me with stability to negotiate new realms of creativity, whilst allowing me to be a figure of support to students as they also venture into unsettled new worlds.

Liv, wearing a beige shirt and trousers, stands stage right looking through a large wooden frame into the eyes of another performer, also wearing beige

Liv performing in This Queer House at VAULT Festival

For many creatives like myself, ‘work’ is not just for monetary gain, but rather an outlet for expression; and the closure of performance spaces, as well as the overall treatment of the arts during the pandemic, has not only been detrimental to livelihoods, but also to the voices of resistance and innovation in our society. It is almost as if the maltreatment of the arts by the government is an intentional tactic to disempower radical voices of dissent… but ANYWAY, I digress…

By definition, we cannot prepare for the unpredictable, but rather stay present and adapt. We must embrace change as a means of dismantling our own complacency and developing our capacity for openness. When we allow ourselves to move away from the rigidity of structure and expectation, we facilitate a space for versatility and compassion.

Liv stands on stage dressed as a fly, behind them a large screen reads "BARFLY Drosophila Melanogaster". In the foreground of the shot is a laptop screen, indicating that the shot was taken from the theatre's control booth.

Rehearsals for SWARM in Goldsmiths’ George Wood Theatre

Whilst we may not be able to plan out our immediate futures in the same way as before, we can now focus on the changes we can make as individuals and as a collective in this given circumstance. As a result, I highly regard Goldsmiths’ approach to the adaption and diversifying of their teaching methods during this time, as well as the crucial introduction of the Black Associate Artist & Researcher Awards. Goldsmiths, along with all other educational institutions, must continue to listen to the needs of their students to continue being exceptional places to learn, create, grow and inspire. I feel very fortunate to have been nurtured by an establishment that champions the new, the bold and the radical, and I have Goldsmiths to thank for shaping the artist I am today.

I would like to thank the Theatre and Performance department for this incredible opportunity, with particular thanks to Katja Hilevaara, Ben Levitas and Philippa Burt for their continued support. I would also like to thank Rosie Scanlan-Leroux and Jacqueline Ahwieh for all their assistance over my time as the Associate Artist. Although I am sad to be leaving this position, I look forward to experiencing new opportunities, as well as continuing my work in the department as an associate lecturer. As I pass the imaginary baton to the new 2020/2021 Associate Artists, I can’t wait to see what opportunities lay ahead for these artists, the current students, and indeed the department itself. I would also like to take this moment to once again congratulate the graduating classes of 2020 for all their fantastic work and embracing unpredictability to their advantage.

Thanks to everyone who has continued to support my work over this past year. It means so much more than I can put down in words. I hope you will all join me on this next part of my journey.

Not a goodbye – but cheerio!

Liv Ello

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