All posts by n.walker

A Response to King Lear: They Kill us for their Sport


Wednesday 13th & Thursday 14th May 2015

8:00pm at Guildhall

Book Tickets

Through fragmented images, snatched conversations and half remembered events, York St John’s second year theatre students have created their production as a reconsidering of William Shakespeare’s King Lear.  It has been composed in response to the student’s recent secular pilgrimage to Auschwitz; to try and answer the question “how will we remember when all the witnesses are gone?”

This work is presented as part of the York International Shakespeare Festival.

Please note that the meeting point for this event is York St John University, we will then walk to The Guildhall for the performance. More information


Inspired by the illustrations of Marcel Dzama, Level 1 Ensemble Theatre Students present


'Dzamaland' York St John University Theatre
‘Dzamaland’ York St John University Theatre
Tuesday 12th May, 8:30pm
York St John University Quad

Take a walk into the forest and experience Dzamaland first hand. Take in the night time noises whilst you surround yourself with narcoleptic trees, swaying in their dreams. Be careful and beware as the sleeping sickness catches the tourists as they wander. Their eyes watching from every crevice staring you down you as you continue to wonder. Moving deeper and deeper into the ink-stain-dark.

After the crash, the crash that went bang, banging and echoing through every still and single branch and every soft yet shaking paw. The moonshine shone on the souls of the forest and the moonshine will shine again on you, illuminating the pathway that would otherwise be clouded in a cloak of darkness.

As we settle into the forest, we are settling in to the unknown world, into a world filled creatures dancing in the moonshine. Watch reality burn away into the shadows as you stumble along the path that has been stumbled upon many times before, or had it been encountered at all?

You decide what is real and what is not, who to help whilst thinking who would help you…Open your eyes and open your mind as you trickle through a web of misinterpretation.




*Please note this is an outdoor performance

Students perform at East Riding Theatre

Theatre at York St John are pleased to announce DRIFTING EAST, a festival showcasing Four current third year BA Theatre students have been invited to perform at the recently established East Riding Theatre (ERT) in Beverley, East Yorkshire.

The shows will platform new work developed as part of the Independent Practice as Research module that all third year students undertake as part of their studies and will provide a professional opportunity outside of the University.

Performances by Chance Marshall, Clare Marsh,Cameron Morton & Orlando Wind-Cowie will happen on Monday 23rd March at 7:30pm. Free Tickets can be obtained by contacting ERT on 01482 874050 or emailing

Drifting East 2015
Drifting East 2015


Drifting East - J Merrylees - Website Version Image 2 copy



Theatre Graduates and Staff work with NSPCC and Yorkshire County Council

We are delighted to be working in collaboration with North Yorkshire Safe Guarding Board, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and Connecting Youth Culture (CYC) at North Yorkshire County Council.

Theatre academics Rachel Conlon and Jules Dorey Richmond have been commissioned to produce a participatory play for the campaign and are employing recent BA Honours Theatre graduates to create and perform the theatre performance to raise awareness, and explore paths out of harmful and dangerous situations surrounding E-Safety. This high profile project will initially be delivered to young people within secondary school settings throughout North Yorkshire, but it is envisaged that this highly beneficial work will be developed for both a younger audience and parents in a bid to stop sexual exploitation of vulnerable young people.

This project is part of the Faculty of Arts commitment to social engaged arts practice, and sits alongside the Prison Partnership Project, the International Centre for Community Music, and Converge.

Theatre Lecturer publishes new book of Performance Scores

Action Score Generator, Nathan Walker, If P Then Q Press
Action Score Generator, Nathan Walker, If P Then Q Press

Senior Lecturer in Theatre  Nathan Walker has a new book of poetic performance instructions published by Manchester based poetry press IF P THEN Q. The book ‘Action Score Generator’ is an exploration of performance writing, performance scores and poetry.

The Action Score Generator book is a print version of Nathan Walker’s website of the same name that runs a JavaScript code. The code produces a text of six words in length for six seconds. Every six seconds the six word text is replaced by another six word text and so on and so, the six word texts disappear. The print version is a sixty-minute performance by a machine writing ten six second texts every minute using only six words at a time. They are ordered as they were produced and remain unedited. The book also features an Afterword written by Dr. Mark Leahy that critically explores the work.


You can visit the Action Score Generator website and might even try performing the instructions as scores or simply reading them aloud as poems. You can by the book here



Theatre Academic research with Yorkshire Innovation Funding

Arts Company KMA is chasing further success thanks to £29k funding from the Yorkshire Innovation Fund (YIF), a project part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Through the YIF programme, the company will undertake its latest challenge: a research development project with York St John University, which aims to re-develop their business model to capitalise on the company’s reputation within the public arts market.  The audience enhancement research will be conducted by Dr. Eirini Nedelkopoulou (YSJ), whose expertise focuses on participatory approaches to interactive and digital practices in art and performance.

The funding follows a joint smaller innovation project between KMA and York St John University one year ago also led by Dr. Nedelkopoulou, which helped the company to examine how audiences react and engage with a particular work. The public and interactive nature of KMA’s work brought about the necessity to expand on audience building mechanisms and experiment with the making and ‘breaking’ of communities within the public sphere. This knowledge helped to inform the company how to design work that reaches more heterogeneous audiences and different markets.


KMA develops cutting-edge technical pieces of film, music, theatre and public art installations which have been shown around the globe, from Shanghai to Trafalgar Square. Their work has included live visuals and interactive projections for the likes of Paolo Nutini and Prince, and they are currently working on a feature-length film adaptation of Macbeth. KMA public works are large scale hybrid digital-performance works of art that are designed to engage the general public with public spaces in new and innovative ways.

Theatre Students work with Graeae Theatre and FUSE on Campus

Fuse Theatre and Graeae with YSJ Theatre Students
Fuse Theatre and Graeae with YSJ Theatre Students

During February half-term over 60 young people from FUSE Theatre, an inclusive & accesible youth theatre project, trained on campus with the London based, nationally acclaimed Graeae Theatre company. Level 2 BA Hons Theatre students from the ‘Theatre and Social Context ‘module had the fantastic opportunity to shadow and work on the project across the week.

FUSE Theatre is an inclusive & accessible youth theatre project delivered by Connecting Youth Culture part of North Yorkshire County Council. Fuse aims to offer young people from across North Yorkshire the opportunity to take part in weekly theatre workshops in seven areas of the county, delivered by professional theatre directors.

Graeae is a force for change in world-class theatre, breaking down barriers, challenging preconceptions and boldly placing disabled artists centre stage. Graeae champions accessibility and provides a platform for new generations of Deaf and disabled talent through the creation of trail-blazing theatre, at home and internationally.

Graeae worked throughout the week exploring their Iron Man production with the young people.

Clean Break Performance & Workshop

Clean Break Performance at York St John University. Photo Jen Todman,
Clean Break Performance at York St John University. Photo Jen Todman,

Last week we were delighted to present  ‘Sounds Like an Insult’ – by Clean Break Theatre Company. ‘Sounds like an Insult’ was commissioned by Clean Break in association with NOMS and the Department of Health and performed by graduates of Clean Break’s theatre education programme. Written by Vivienne Franzmann the show explores the experience of women offenders with complex mental health needs and the challenges of diagnosis and treatment within the criminal justice system. This event was in association with the Prison Partnership Project.

The Prison Partnership Project was conceived back in September 2013 by Rachel Conlon in the theatre programme, within the Faculty of Arts at #YSJ, HMP Askham Grange and the nationally acclaimed theatre company Clean Break. It was born out of the idea and desire to provide a unique, creative arts partnership between education, the arts and the prison service.

The aims of the partnership are to support the already recognised work of Clean Break at HMP Askham Grange, to give York St John theatre and arts students an invaluable, enhanced learning experience of working in the community and to gain real-world understanding of the social impact of theatre and the arts within a criminal justice setting

Clean Break presented the work as part of our Performing House series of programmed performances on campus. Followed by a Q & A and drama workshop with Anna Herrmann (Author of Making a Leap – Theatre of Empowerment) and Head of Education for Clean Break.

Upcoming Studio talk on Narrative, Art and Democracy

As part of the International Centre for Art and Narrative, York Theatre Royal and York St John University jointly curate a series of talks. For each event we bring together different voices that provide different perspectives for an engaging, stimulating and convivial evening of debate.

The next event on Monday 3rd November, 7.00pm at York Theatre Royal considers Narrative, Art and Democracy and asks Can you have democracy without art? Is there democracy within art? What democratic importance of sharing stories? What is the relationship between narrative and cultural difference?

Speakers include:

Paul Allen, broadcaster.

Damian Cruden, artistic director of York Theatre Royal

Jonothan Neelands, professor of Creative Education, University of Warwick

Zodwa Nyoni, Channel 4 writer in residence, West Yorkshire Playhouse.


This event is free, please book via the Theatre box office in advance or on the night:

Personal Archive # 1 Exhibition at York St John


Theatre Lecturers Jules Dorey Richmond & David Richmond have exhibited their work ‘Personal Archive #1’ at York St John University as part of the International ‘Cultures of Memory Symposium  II‘. (8th – 11th October) Here they talk about the reasons behind opening up their personal archive:

Personal Archive  - Exhibition & performance 010

We have often claimed that our work occupies the space that lies in the void and the nexus between fine art (the object) and performance (the living body). This work-in-progress is offered as a furthering of a conversation, which began at last years Cultures of Memory Symposium and is conceived in response to a constellation of events:


In an after show discussion we were thanked for opening-up our personal archive, which immediately excited us as we had not thought about our work in this way before.

In October 2013 we journeyed to Zagreb to the Museum of Broken Relationships and wondered what a museum of unbroken relationships would look like.

Personal Archive  - Exhibition & performance 013

This is the first step of our collaborative practice-led PhD. We are interested in the small, everyday detritus of life and the various memories and associations that these simple objects invoke. Whilst agreeing with Kuhn when she asserts that, ‘[T]elling stories about the past, our past, is a key moment in the making of ourselves,[1] we are aware that this idea is problematised within embedded lives. Lives in which time lived together out-weighs time lived apart. Slippages and gaps of memory provoke doubt, contestation, frustration, and, an unsettling feeling of an unknowable and unstable sense of the past and the present

[1] Kuhn, A. Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination (1995) p2