Rachel Clements

Dr

  • Lecturer in Drama, Theatre & Performance, Drama
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Personal profile

Biography

I am a lecturer in drama, theatre and performance and specialise in Postwar British theatre, with a particular focus on playwriting and contemporary performance. My interests span a broad spectrum of arts practice and creative writing, from the mainstream to the experimental. My work often focuses on questions concerning spectrality, absence, and relationships between form and content which have developed from my PhD titled 'Hauntology and Contemporary British Political Theatre (1995-2010)', from Royal Holloway. I hold a BA in English Literature from the University of Oxford and an MA in English (‘Issues in Modern Cultrure’) from UCL.

I have had a long involvement with TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association), as a Postgraduate Representative (2007-10), as a co-convenor of the Performance, Identity, Community working group (2012-15), and as a member of the organization. Since its inception in 2013, I have been a member of the 'Inside/Outside Europe' research network, co-ordinated by Marilena Zaroulia and Philip Hager. During my PhD I was on the editorial board of Platform, a postgraduate eJournal of theatre and performance, and since summer 2016 I’ve been New Theatre Quarterly’s Book Reviews Editor.

A significant strand of my teaching focuses on supporting students in their creative writing. I work with playwrights and theatres – particularly the Royal Exchange – in my role convening the MA Playwriting and the third year practical options, ‘Writing for Performance’. My teaching on our practice, study and core courses builds on my experiences at other universities: prior to arriving at Manchester in 2012 I was a visiting lecturer at Kingston University and the University of Reading, a distance learning and study support tutor for Rose Bruford College, and both a visiting lecturer and then a full time Teaching Fellow (2011-12) at Royal Holloway.

Research interests

I am a theatre scholar whose research explores Postwar British theatre, with a particular focus on playwriting and contemporary performance. I am interested in both the making and the reception of theatre, in the relationships between politics, content and form, and in questions concerning spectrality, absence, and responsibility.

I am currently working on projects that explore the plays of Robert Holman; the international production history of Sarah Kane’s Cleansed; and the legacies and reappearance of agit-prop in austerity Britain.

I have been a member of the research network 'Inside/Outside Europe' run by Dr Marilena Zaroulia (CSSD) and Dr Philip Hager since 2013, contributing a chapter about representations of the 2011 ‘riots’ on stage and screen for the edited collection, Performances of Capitalism, Crises and Resistance (Palgrave, 2015). I have also published several articles and chapters on the work of Caryl Churchill, and on Martin Crimp and Katie Mitchell.

I am committed to work and to research which reaches beyond the academy, and have written the commentary and notes for the Methuen Drama Student Edition of Joe Penhall's Blue/Orange and Lucy Prebble’s Enron, and programme notes for several productions at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Between 2015 and 2017 I worked with the Royal Exchange Theatre on ‘You, The Audience’, collaborating with Amanda Dalton on the shape of the project and its 2017 symposium at the theatre, and co-organising and chairing public events and post/pre-show discussions at the theatre.

I welcome enquiries from potential PhD scholars in areas related to Postwar and contemporary theatre practice and, in particular: playwriting; dramaturgy; documentary theatre; feminist practice; and the relationships between performance and politics.

 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Creative Manchester

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