Dr Simon Murray
- Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies (Theatre, Film & Television Studies)
I joined Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow in September 2008 having moved from Dartington College of Arts in Devon where I was Director of Theatre. I graduated from Newcastle Polytechnic with a (London University) Honours degree in Sociology in 1971 and spent 15 years working in further, higher, adult and trade union education in the north east of England, the west of Scotland and in Seychelles. In my late thirties I spent a year (1986-87) in Paris training in movement, acting and theatre-making with Philippe Gaulier and Monika Pagneux. After 12 years as a professional theatre maker and performer I returned to higher education to teach theatre and performance. In 2008 I co- founded the Routledge journal, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training with Professor Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds). I was co-editor of this journal until the autumn of 2016 but remain a consultant editor. My daughter, Isla, is currently studying Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh and I am married to Glasgow based artist and filmmaker, Wendy Kirkup. We have a much-adored Labrador called Tally. I take great pleasure in walking the cliffs of North Cornwall, Northumberland and in the Coigach region of North West Scotland. I am a Hellenist and enjoy spending as much of my time as possible in Athens, the Mani peninsular of the Peloponnese and on the island of Zakynthos.
My research interests are interdisciplinary and constantly engage with a sociological and cultural studies past and a theatre/performance practices present. A preoccupation with political and social contexts frames and drives all my interests, regardless of the particular nature of the project in question. My research and writing have attempted to combine close readings of theatre forms – particularly physical and movement theatres - and locating these practices as cultural production. Today, my research interests coalesce around two inter-related and overlapping pathways of thought and interest. One of these continues to include physical theatres and the politics and regimes of actor and performer training, the pedagogies of Jacques Lecoq and Philippe Gaulier and contemporary performance practices and dramaturgies. The other embraces a wider cultural sweep and finds focus on WG (Max) Sebald, John Berger, Raymond Williams, the quality of lightness in performance, the politics of collaboration, and the relationship between ruins/ruination and theatre. In relation to the latter, I have recently completed a five-year research project concluding in a monograph entitled Performing Ruins, published by Palgrave in August 2020 as part of the Performing Landscapes series edited by Prof Dee Heddon (Glasgow) and Prof Sally Mackay (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama). I am a member of both the Dramaturgy as Critical Practice and the Performance, Ecology and Heritage research hubs within Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow. I am currently working on a jointly authored book with Prof Mark Evans from Coventry University entitled UK Mime and Physical Theatres: Critical Histories. This will be published by Routledge in 2022.
I welcome applications from MPhil and PhD students wishing to undertake research into contemporary performance practice, performer/actor training, mime and physical theatres, devised performance, interdisciplinary and cross art form practices, cultural materialist perspectives on late 20th/21st century theatre making, and theatre and ruins/ruination. I am currently hoping to supervise from autumn 2021 a student whose doctoral research is entitled ‘The performance of race and protest on the stages of the National Football League (NFL) and English Premier League (EPL)’.
- Kovacs, Nicole
“The phenomenal moment: A study in the phenomenological interaction between actor, audience imagination, and space; explored through a methodology of Meisner technique and reinterpreting Kabuki theatre aesthetics”
Examples of recent successful PhD supervisions
- Elucidating the compositional praxis of a living composer, Thea Musgrave, through archival papers. (Collaborative Doctoral Award with British Library London. With Music, 2018)
- ‘In Dance It’s Accepted’: Undoing Gender, Challenging Heterosexual Hegemony and the Limits of Transgression (with Sociology, 2015)
- Crossing the Clyde to the Riverside: Developing co-creational strategies for engaging local publics with and within the Riverside Museum – A practice-led approach. (Collaborative Doctoral Award with Riverside Museum, Glasgow, 2015)
- The work of a clown is to make the audience burst out laughing’. Learning Clown at École Philippe Gaulier (2014).
- Beckett in Performance (Theatre Studies: Honours option)
- Performing Memory (Theatre Studies: Honours option)
- Contemporary Devising Practices (MLitt Theatre and Performance Practices)
- Practice as Research Project (MLitt Theatre ad Performance Practices)
- Independent Practice (MLitt Theatre and Performance Practices)
- Modernism to the Postdramatic (Theatre Studies: Level II)
- Reading the Stage (Theatre Studies: Level I)
- Dissertations (Theatre Studies: Honours)
- Consultant Editor for the journal 'Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT): An International and Interdisciplinary Journal'.
- Guest editor for a special issue of TDPT on Dartington College of Arts (October 2018)
- Member of the International Platform for Performer Training (IPPT) (2015 – 2018)
- Engagement Officer for the School of Culture and Creative Arts (SCCA) at University of Glasgow (2016-18)
- National Theatre, London, November 2018. Panel member for educational programme on the pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq