Welcome to the website of our two research projects, the first fully funded academic studies of amateur theatre in the UK.

We are publishing widely from our research - here are some of the highlights.

Our book, The Ecologies of Amateur Theatre, is contracted by Palgrave, and will be published in 2017.

There will be a themed issue of Contemporary Theatre Review in 2017, Amateur/ Amateurism/ Amateurish . The contents are:

Editorial: Theatre and the Amateur Turn, Nadine Holdsworth, Jane Milling and Helen Nicholson 


The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music:Musical Theatre at Girls’ Jewish Summer Camps in Maine, USA, Stacy Wolf 

‘Village Hall work can never be “Theatre”, it can only be “Entertainment”': The Arts Council of Great Britain, the Amateur, and the Development of British Theatre in the Immediate Post-War Period Taryn Storey 

The Sociable Aesthetics of Amateur Theatre Helen Nicholson and Erin Walcon

Amateur science in activist performance: towards a slow science Simon Parry 

Noh creativity? The role of amateurs in Japanese Noh theatre. Diego Pellecchia 

Performing Failure? Anomalous Amateurs in Jérôme Bel’s Disabled Theater and The Show Must Go On 2015 Sarah Gorman 


Materialities of Amateur Theatre, Curated by Cara Gray and Sarah Penny


Other publications include:

Nadine Holdsworth has an article ‘Performing Place, Heritage and Henry V in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’ in Contemporary Theatre Review (2016)

This article focuses on a reading of an amateur Royal Navy Theatre Association (RNTA) production: Collingwood RSC’s open-air Henry V, which took place alongside the iconic HMS Victory housed in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The production emerged as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages initiative and this article considers how the RNTA, and this production, became implicated in systems of cultural value implicit not only in Open Stages, but more specifically in the heritage re-development of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Helen Nicholson has published a short article 'Absent Amateurs' in the twentieth anniversary issue of RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance (2016).

Helen Nicholson has  co-edited a book, Participation and Performance (Palgrave, 2017) containing an chapter where she debates contemporary performances by innovative professional theatre-makers who involved amateurs in their artistic vision.