Exploring the power of performance to transform people, places, ideas and culture.

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About us

The Centre for Performance Practice and Research (CPPR) brings together researchers who have diverse research interests in the fields of theatre, dance, performance studies, and interdisciplinary studies in creative practice. We believe in the potential and power of performance to transform people, places, ideas, and the dynamics of our wider culture.

In their research, CPPR members espouse a diversity of approaches to making, viewing and analysing performance in all its forms, from live theatre and dance to film and cultural performance more broadly, with further approaches to theatre history and the lives and works of specific artists. Many of our researchers have an interest in notions of community and community practices, and this thread can be seen in a variety of forms, from interests in collaborative practices and applied theatre to research that engages with wider communities of practice on a thematic and cultural level.

As a community of researchers, we regard our diversity as a strength that produces lively and productive tensions in approaches to the study of performance. Within the Centre there are groups of researchers who share broader thematic or methodological approaches to their work, for example in areas of research through practice, or through interests in the politics of performance, musical theatre, ethics, gender, or performance histories. The interaction between a shared approach to research and diversity of research content offers the potential for a dynamic exchange of ideas and the fostering of a rich, fertile and politically engaged research culture within our broader field of study.

Our aims

  • To advance excellent research in diverse fields in the performing arts;
  • To foster an environment of collaboration and dialogue among members of the Centre, whether academic researchers, research students or associate members/fellows of the centre;
  • To create opportunities for interdisciplinary conversations with academics in other departments at the University and beyond, in national and international contexts;
  • To disseminate findings of research by promoting the research of the Centre's members to non-academic interested parties and to engage with the public at large, nationally and internationally;
  • To provide a strategic framework that will maximise impact from high-quality research;
  • To encourage Centre members to generate income, including exploring possibilities for funding research students attached to specific research projects;
  • To develop appropriate Masters provision to maximise the potential progression routes from undergraduate to postgraduate research.

Background image

Background image: Secrets in the Sand, by Gary Bennett. The image represents Fallout, a collaborative project by Gordon Murray, Senior Lecturer in Drama (Community Theatre & Media).

Gordon Murray has been working with descendants of veterans who tested nuclear weapons in Australia in the 1950s. Part political campaign, part verbatim theatre and part museum exhibit, Fallout is a collection of audio pieces that mix original testimony with drama and narrative poetry. Find out more about the Fallout project.

Gary Bennett is the official artist of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association.

Meet the CPPR team


Dr Noyale (Sandrine) Colin


Academic team

  • Prof. Peter Billingham
  • Revd Prof. June Boyce-Tillman
  • Dr Richard Cuming
  • Dr Helen Grime
  • Nicola Hatton
  • John (David) Lee
  • Matt Lockitt
  • Gordon Murray
  • Prof. Tim Prentki
  • Charlotte Purkis
  • Adam Rush
  • Catherine Seago
  • Marianne Sharp
  • Dr Stevie Simkin
  • Philip Stanier
  • Dr Olu Taiwo
  • Prof. Millie Taylor
  • Marilena Zaroulia

Visiting Professors

Visiting Research Fellows

Research Assistant

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