IMy early adventures took place in the pages of books and the dark auditoriums of Manchester's fine theatres. I followed these passions, completing a first class undergraduate English Literature degree at Aberystwyth University amidst the wild winds and swirling seas of the Cardigan Bay coastline. I then moved to the University of Edinburgh where I completed an MSc in Writing and Cultural Politics against the gothic backdrop of Auld Reekie's wynds and closes. Following this I received a University Scholarship to fund my PhD entitled 'Tradition, Innovation and Politics: the stagework of Ewan MacColl and Theatre Workshop'. During the course of these studies I returned to my dramatic roots, becoming increasingly fascinated by the way performance and politics have interacted throughout the long twentieth century. I was awarded my PhD in 2007.
I stayed in Edinburgh for a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities where I began to write my first book, British Avant-Garde Theatre (Palgrave MacMillan 2012) while overlooking the Meadows tennis courts. While in the city I also had the opportunity to teach at the University of Edinburgh and Queen Margaret University, to organise an archive for ground-breaking company Theatre Workshop, to work for the Scottish Government (including administering a new health initiative in Scottish prisons), as well as perform and tour with Rudsambee Company of Singers. After working at the University of Lincoln and De Montfort University, in Spring 2018, I joined Loughborough University as Senior Lecturer in English and Drama as part of the institution's Excellence 100 programme. I sit on the Executive Committee of the British Association of Modernist Studies, co-convene the Northern Modernism Seminar, and provide a bit of commentary for Arts Council-funded Wrestling Resurgence art-house wrestling company. I became Professor of Performance and Physical Culture in August 2021.
I live on the border of three counties - Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire - and am an avid faith follower, animal lover (especially my golden retriever Jackson), trainee gardener, fitness nerd, world traveller, rock fan, book reader, and tea drinker.