Simon Dodi | The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Simon Dodi

Project Title

Camp: ‘Performativity’ through ‘Performance’ 


Dr. Stephen Farrier


BA, Applied Theatre and Education, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London (RCSSD)

MA, Performance Design and Practice, Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design


My doctoral thesis is a practice as research examination that aims to demonstrate the performative connections that the popular performance practice of male effeminacy identified as camp has to everyday enactments of campness that are set against a negative genealogy of camp visibility in the gay community. Camp signification in popular culture theory is defined as an aesthetic of artifice and subject of frivolity. When this term is used to describe a person the identifications are understood as affected and asexual. Such negativity feeds itself in the gay community through anti-camp rhetoric: non-camp men, and ‘straight-acting’ only. Through researching the inter-war history of male camp practice in London, the archive offers knowledge of camp as a queerly identified political strategy that is more courageous than a superficial surface reading might allow. By lip-synching and re-performing the archive of camp popular performance practice, oral archives of queer/gay history and contemporary discourse on camp and commonplace gay visibility, the performance practice of this research demonstrates camp ‘performativity’ through ‘performance’. 


I am a performer and performance maker from London. After completing my BA in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, I did my MA in Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins School of Art & Design. I started making solo and collaborative artistic work here and had the opportunity to present work in London, Italy and India. After my MA I have continually collaborated with the costume designer Anne-Sophie Cochevelou as the Luxurioux Snacks, making live, video and photography work.

As a PhD candidate at The Royal Central of Speech Drama I am pursing a practice as research inquiry, making solo performance work through the practice of lip-synching, where I use archive video and sound recordings to create live and recorded performance work. My interest in re-enactment and archive work has been explored through my professional practice as a performer and researcher. Whilst at Central my teaching experience ranges across undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, in a wide range of subjects related to critical theory, theatre, and performance and arts practice. I have had experience teaching by lecture, seminar and workshop, supervising groups as well as individual students, and assessing written and practical work. I have also completed the first Pedagogy Unit for the PGCert, Teaching and Learning in HE. 


2016 Volunteer research assistant. Lady Malcolm’s Servants’ Ball, Duckie, London

2015 Devising and performing as ‘Champagne Charlie’. City Hunt: Elephant and Castle, Ugly Duck Productions

2015 Devising and performing. Luxurioux Snacks, Barbican Halloween Ball, Guildhall Crypts, Unattended Items

2015 Practice as research performance. Keep Calm and Carry on Camping, Collisions – Annual practice as research postgraduate festival, RCSSD

2015 Devising and performing. Lady Austin: An Encounter, One on one performance, Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire

2013-2016 Hosting. Luxurioux Snacks at Hackney Wick Bingo Club, Bar Number 90

2013-2014 Devising and performing. Luxurioux Snacks: Ma Petitte Follie, Camden Peoples Theatre, ‘HASHTAG’ at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, ‘Underconstruction’ at Royal Vauxhall Tavern

2013 MA solo performance practice. In the Name of Love, Central Saint Martins

2013 MA solo performance practice. Douleur/Exquise, Central Saint Martins and Inteatro, Polverigi, Italy

2012 MA solo video practice. Jamais Je Ne Vivrai Sans Toi, Central Saint Martins

2012 MA collaborative performance practice. It All Came Out of an Egg, Central Saint Martins, University of Calicut, India (director Andrea Cusumano)

2011 MA collaborative installation. Made in England, Central Saint Martins, Trinity Laban and Somerset House (director Trish Lyons)

2011 Devising and performing. My Sugar Coated World, Solo performance, ArtsAdmin Summer Programme (led by Mark Storor)

Conference presentations

2016 ‘My camp is not your camp. Your camp is mine: Lip-synching as a Practical Method of Inquiry’, Intersections – The annual postgraduate conference of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

2015 ‘Is he so? Popularising Camp through the Performance of Polari’, Theorising the Popular Conference, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool

2015 ‘A Glimpse of Stocking: Historically Situating Camp Performance as a Commentary on Impact and Value’, Intersections – The annual postgraduate conference of RCSSD

2014 ‘Camp: ‘Difference’ as ‘Defiance’?’ International Federation of Theatre Research Congress, University of Warwick, Coventry

Academic events organised

14–15 January 2016 Organising committee, Intersections – The annual postgraduate conference of RCSSD

15-16 January 2015 Organising committee, Intersections – The annual postgraduate conference of RCSSD

Teaching areas/expertise


Gender and sexuality

Solo performance practice

Queer theory

Queer/gay history in London