Diana Damian Martin, BA, MA, AFHEA

Job title

Lecturer, Performance Arts


I am a writer, critic, curator and academic working in the fields of performance and live art. I have published widely on experimental criticism, writing as performance, performance and political philosophy, and politically engaged performance and live art. I have a longstanding interest in examining the politics involved in the critical act, placing emphasis on criticism as a mode of discursive, political engagement with culture, as well as a form of creative practice.

With a background in dramaturgy and theatre-making, I moved from Romania to the UK to study on the BA (Hons) Theatre Practice: Performance Arts course here at Royal Central and completed an MA in Performance and Culture: Interdisciplinary Perspectives at Goldsmiths. I am in the final stages of my doctoral project Criticism as a Political Event: Theorising a Politicised Practice of Contemporary Performance Criticism funded by the Royal Holloway and Bedford Excellence Scholarship at Royal Holloway University of London. I have lectured and taught at Royal Holloway, King’s College, Queen Mary, University of Porto, University of Oslo and NYU Tisch School of Arts. Conference presentations have included London Theatre Seminar, Live Art Denmark, Performance Philosophy and the International Federation of Theatre Research.

My academic writing has been published in Performance Research, Critical Stages, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training and Contemporary Theatre Review, and I have contributed chapters to books published by Routledge, Palgrave and Oberon, as well as making a regular appearance in The Live Art Almanac. I was Editor of Platform: Journal of Theatre and Performance (2012-2015), and founding editor of Generative Constraints: a practice-based publication at Royal Holloway, University of London (2013-2015). I am on the editorial boards of the Journal for Body, Space and Technology, Sinais de Cena (Journal of Theatre and Performance Studies) and a contributing Editor for Critical Stages. I am also currently a Contributing Editor for Exeunt Magazine, where I also founded and edited the Performance section (2009-2015).

As a critic, I regularly host and curate panels, post-show discussions, and interviews, and have worked with Tate Modern, V&A, Barbican, The Yard, Battersea Arts Centre, as well as at venues internationally, including in Berlin, Oslo, Bergen, Bucharest, and Rome. These partnerships have included training programmes for young writers, developing new writing platforms, experimental writing projects, exhibition curation and research, audience development and outreach work.

I am a Fellow of the International Association of Theatre Critics and Associate Fellow of Live Art UK. I have received funding from Arts Council England, EU Culture Programme, Royal Holloway, Goldsmiths College, a-n network, Anonymous Foundation and was a Fellow for the Cultural Leadership Programme ran by People Create and Battersea Arts Centre and a participant in the EU-funded project Writers on the Move. Memberships include Performance Philosophy, Theatre and Performance Research Association and the International Federation of Theatre Research.


Performance Arts, BA

Drama, Applied Theatre and Education, BA

Theatre Criticism and Dramaturgy, MA

Scenography, MA/MFA

Other Details

  • Performance theory
  • Dramaturgy
  • Performance writing and criticism
  • Performance curation
  • Politics of the archive and performance documentation
  • Performance philosophy and critical theory
  • Feminist theory and performance
  • Live Art
  • Political theatre
  • Performance historiography

Research Areas

  • Performance criticism and creative critical practices
  • Political philosophy and performance
  • Performance curation
  • Institutional critique
  • Poetics, art writing and performative writing
  • Writing and the digital realm
  • Live art, with a particular interest in Eastern Europe

Key Publications

Book Chapters:

2016. ‘Virtual embodiment: critical writing and liveness’ in The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice, edited by Emily Orley and Katja Hilevaara (London: Intellect).

2016. ‘Between art and criticism: a phenomenological poiesis’ in Performance Phenomenology: The Things Themselves, edited by Matthew Wagner and Jodie McNelly, ( London: Palgrave).

2016. ‘Criticism as a Political Event’ in Theatre Criticism: Changing Landscapes. Edited by Duska Radosavlijevic (London: Bloomsbury).

2016. ‘Community/Resistance: Reflections on discourse and community’ in Audience ( R )evolution: Taking the Stage, edited by Caridad Svitch (New York: Theatre Communications Group).

2015. ‘Riding Romance: Three Brief Scenes on Performance, Aesthetics and Territory’, Nebelmeer: Riding Romance Trilogy, edited by Anette Pettersen. Oslo: BIT. pp.25-30.

2015. ‘Werner Schwab: Poetics of Radical Dramaturgy’ in Dead At Last, At Last No More Air by Werner Schwab, trans. Meredith Oakes. pp 19-36.

2012. ‘The Politics of Difference: Conversation Pieces’ in M21: From Medieval to 21st Century’ edited by DASH (London: DASH/Live Art Development Agency), pp 6-10.

Selected articles:

2016.’Deliberation, embodiment and oral criticism: a case study on Spill Festival of Performance’ in Critical Stages, 13.

2016.’Unpeeling action: critical writing, training and process’ in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal, Special Issue: Showing and Writing Training.

2015. ‘Theatre Criticism and Digital Poetics: a case study’ in Critical Stages 11.

2015. ‘Towards a poiesis of critical practice: 1000th LIVE and the politics of appearance’ in Performance Research: On Poetics and Performance. 20:1, pp 96-104.

2015. ‘Reflections on Editing and the Digital’ in Contemporary Theatre Review: Interventions 25:1.

2014. ‘Tim Crouch’s Adler and Gibb: Dematrialised Theatre in Material Times’ in Svet A Divadlo Issue 6:14.

2014. ‘Poetics of discourse: Rajni Shah’s Glorious’ in Klaxon, Issue 1.

2013. ‘Live Art and Criticism’ in A Space for Live Art: 2008-2013, A Space for Live Art.

2012. ‘Three Kingdoms: A pan-European portrait’ in Svet A Divadlo 5:12


My recent projects include a series of live critical writing projects with Exeunt and Forced Entertainment, writing residencies and programmes for Spill Festival of Performance and Fierce Festival, collaborations with Something Other, a project that examines the relationship between writing, performance, and digital space, as well as partnerships with The Live Art Development Agency. I have also taken part in writing residencies at international festivals including Bruxelles, Berlin, Bergen, and Lofoten.

I am a founding member of Generative Constraints, a committee that practises open-ended collaborative research into art, politics, and theory. We experiment with processes and structures of criticism, performance, poetics, and writing. Our activities include organising conferences and public dialogues, teaching, making original creative works, as well as digital publishing and exhibition curation. Generative Constraints has received funding from the Faculty Initiative Fund and the Departments of English, Drama & Theatre, Media Arts, and Music at Royal Holloway, University of London; practice research unit at Kingston University; and Heritage Arts Company; and is currently funded by the Creativity Theme Interdisciplinary Initiative at Royal Holloway, University of London. Activities have included organising a conference at the Centre for Creative Collaboration on constraints in artistic practice; a performance at PolyPly 2014; Anti-Body: a series of workshops and a performance at the Vault Festival 2015.

For the past six years, I have been working at the world’s leading art and design museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, most notably in the Department of Theatre and Performance. Other curatorial activities have included the following projects: Lock-in: mpa-Berlin (2015), About the Stand Off (2914) Smash Lab at Book Club (2013), Ghost in the Machine (2012), The Others Live (2010-2011).

I am the co-founder of Writingshop, a collaboration that examines the changing landscapes and languages of contemporary dance and performance criticism through the framework of site-specific projects. Between 2009-2015 I developed the Institute of Critical Practice, a nomadic [non] organisation that explored the ways in which criticism currently manifests itself in contemporary performance as a mode of inquiry and production, strategy for visibility and practice of dissemination.

I also undertake regular dramaturgical work, most recently on There There’s Eastern Europe for Dummies (Bojana Jankovic and Dana Olarescu) and Werner Schwab’s Dead at Last, At Last No More Air (dir. Vanda Butkovic).

Register of Interest

Nothing to declare.