Prof. Simon Shepherd, MA, MLitt, PhD

Job title

Professor Emeritus of Theatre


Simon Shepherd joined Central in 2001. Previously he was Professor of Drama at Goldsmiths, University of London, and before that Professor of Drama at the University of Nottingham, which he left in 1996.

He came to Central in the new role of Director of Programmes, with responsibility for all learning and teaching, research, outreach and technical support. Prior to his retirement in 2014 he was Deputy Principal, with a brief including all areas of academic administration, library and quality assurance.

His current role is a 'non-teaching' one but, once upon a time, in his first academic post, Simon was required not only to teach but to direct shows, of which he did many and various. Now his output is confined to written publications and vegetables.

Research areas

Current research project is concerned with the craft of directing (for Palgrave). Currently he is writing the Cambridge Introduction to Performance Theory for Cambridge University Press. The interest in bodies and theatre persists, now being extended into an exploration of the relationship between (staged) body and national identity.

External memberships

Society for Theatre Research


BA (Hons) First Class English Language and Literature, Oxford University

MA, Oxford University

MLitt Amazons and Warrior Women, Oxford University

PhD Marlowe and the Politics of Elizabethan Theatre, University of Nottingham


Research Degrees (MPhil/PhD)

Other Details

2013 Direction (Readings in Theatre Practice) Nasingstoke; Palgrave

2010 associate editor with Simon Donger, and ORLAN, ORLAN: A Hybrid Body of Artworks London: Routledge

2010 'The Matter of ORLAN' in ORLAN: A Hybrid Body of Artworks London: Routledge

2010 with Mick Wallis, Studying Plays (third edition) London: Bloomsbury

2010 The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Theatre Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

2009 co-editor with Richard Gough, Performance Research 14.2: On Training

2009 'The Institution of Training', Performance Research 14.2

2009 and ongoing: general editor, Palgrave Readings in Theatre Practice Basingstoke: Palgrave

2006 Theatre, Body and Pleasure London: Routledge

2004 with Mick Wallis, Drama/ Theatre/ Performance London: Routledge

Papers & presentations

2014 'Football Hooligans, Hippies and the emergence of Performance Theory' Kingston University

2011 'The Researching Conservatoire', Norwegian Theatre Academy

2009 panellist, Dido Queen of Carthage, National Theatre Platform series, National Theatre, London

2007 guest lecture 'Training the National Body', drama guest lecture series, University of Kent

2007 'Clipped Voices and Class Crisis', London Theatre Seminar

2006 facilitator: AHRC event on practice-based research, London.

2006 with Ross Brown,' The Gesture-Object - and how it works' Quorum seminar series, Queen Mary, University of London

2006 with Andy Lavender, 'Early-modern Mise-en-scene and Postdramatic Process', International Shakespeare Conference, The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham and Magdalen College, Oxford (inaugural lecture in new theatre series)

2005 respondent: Mapping Performance colloquium, University of Leeds with Centre for Performance Research, Leeds