Drury Lane Theatre

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

My current areas of research are:

London and New York Stages 1800 – 1850 with a particular focus on performance and acting styles of Thomas Abthorpe Cooper, George Frederick Cooke, Edmund Kean, Junius Brutus Booth, Mary Ann Duff, Charlotte Cushman, Edwin Forrest and William Charles Macready.

Improvisation: Relating theory and practice in the creation of an holistic character based on the observation and study of a living or fictional person. Seminal influences include: Constantin Stanislavski, Michael Chekhov, Michel Saint-Denis and Uta Hagen.

Membership of The Society for Theatre Research (STR) continues to inform my nineteenth century research, reinforced by annual visits to the USA.

2008: the STR celebrated its Diamond Jubilee and in and around the annual lectures four significant events were arranged: in January 2008 the STR co-organised the ‘John Rich and the Eighteenth Century London Stage’ weekend conference at the Royal College of Surgeons, the former site of Rich’s theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields; in February Society members travelled to The Hague in Holland to hear lectures about the Koninkliche Schouburg’s (Royal Theatre) history and a competition to redesign a replacement theatre in 1911 with Matcham and Fellner as the finalists: in the event neither of their designs was implemented and the theatre survived; In June there was a study weekend made up of a day spent at the National Theatre Archive: I was a panellist speaking about changes in actor training. The following day there was a garden party on Garrick’s lawn at Hampton by the River Thames and Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare: a final and rewarding conference was held over a weekend in October at Yorkshire’s Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond: the conference title was The Georgian Playhouse and its Continental Counterparts 1750-1850.

I also have membership of The Theatres’ Trust, the Theatre Information Group (V & A), and the Irving Society, which like the STR arranges a wide selection of talks and visits for their respective membership. I shall be giving a talk after the Irving Society AGM in February 2010 – ‘An Unrequited Profession’.