Dr Michael Pinchbeck
Reader in Theatre
Academic and Professional Qualifications
BA Theatre Studies and Creative Writing, Lancaster University
MA Performance and Live Art, Nottingham Trent University
PhD English and Drama Dept., Loughborough University
Fellowship of Higher Education Academy, University of Lincoln
I have worked at the University of Chester (2008-2010) and the University of Lincoln (2013-2020) where I was Associate Professor in Drama and joint MA Theatre Programme Leader. I initiated the Inspiring Cities exchange project with York St. John University and managed The Lincoln Company in Edinburgh for six years. I was PGT Lead for the College of Arts and chaired the forum of staff in the Lincoln School of Fine and Performing Arts on a Teaching, Scholarship and Professional Practice profile.
BA (Hons) Acting is a leading actor training based in the heart of Manchester. Led by a team of specialist and highly experienced directors, teachers and practitioners, the BA (Hons) Acting course at Manchester School of Theatre has an outstanding reputation for training actors with the skills necessary for a successful career in film, television, radio and stage. You will work from a wide range of practitioners and a wealth of inspiring teachers and professional practitioners. You will train in all aspects of the craft including Acting for Stage, Screen and Radio. The Acting course enjoys very strong links with many of the region's key employers including BBC, RNCM, the Hallé Orchestra, Royal Exchange Theatre, HOME, Bolton Octagon, Oldham Coliseum, Hull Truck Theatre and The Lowry. We also have creative partnerships with a number of national and international organisations including: New National Theatre, Tokyo, the ETFI, Carnegie Mellon University. This course is taught by tutors and visiting actors and directors with a wealth of experience and expertise.
BA (Hons) Drama and Contemporary Performance represents a unique opportunity to make, study and perform innovative new theatre and performance, in the centre of Manchester. Drama and Contemporary Performance at Manchester Met is all about your development as a theatre artist, performer, thinker and professional, and in close contact with the city’s vibrant theatre and performance scene. Working with leading theatre academics, artists and professionals, and drawing on established local, national and international networks, you will be part of a close knit course community, working in one of the most vibrant sectors of a city internationally acclaimed for its creativity. Drama and Contemporary Performance has a unique focus on cutting edge practices across contemporary performance and dramatic theatre. Combining artistic practice, academic enquiry and professional development, the degree has close relationships with Contact Theatre, HOME, The Royal Exchange and other Manchester-based theatre venues and organisations, as well as a number of international partners. Focused on finding exciting connections between different contemporary perspectives and theatrical/performance practices, the course builds on many years of experience in the teaching of Drama and Contemporary Theatre and Performance (CTP), and in the development of artists, performers, producers and teachers, in related fields and at all levels. When you leave you will have been introduced to a range of possible futures, and you will have actively engaged with some relevant career paths. You will be part of a network of emerging and established practitioners, and have developed the skills and confidence that comes with the wealth of artistic, academic and collaborative experiences on offer. You will have greatly enhanced your creative practice, your understanding of theatre and your intellectual potential, and take with you a real world appreciation of how to make the most of it all.
MA/MFA Contemporary Performance is a taught Masters programme that promotes the development of innovative, and professionally sustainable, contemporary performance practice. It is aimed at artists/graduates working within and across radical theatre and/or dance practice (whether categorized as Theatre, Dance, Dance Theatre, Performance, Physical Theatre or Live Art). The programme looks to enrich and develop participants practice, as contemporary performance makers, whilst enhancing their knowledge of, and connections with, the professional networks available to them both in the region, and European and international contexts. The programme includes regular teaching contact, and intensive, blocks of study that offer practical and theoretical ways into studying both the making of performance, and the role of the performer as maker. It offers students the opportunity to work directly with those currently working in the field, whilst developing their practice within a major supervised individual project, which is collectively showcased.
Postgraduate Research Supervision
I have supervised PhDs on new writing and dramaturgy at the University of Lincoln. I would be interested in supervising doctoral studies in one-to-one performance, immersive or site-specific theatre, postdramatic text and interdisciplinary practice.
External Examiner Roles
I am currently an External Examiner at Leeds Beckett University on their MA Performance programme and previously have been External Examiner for MA Performance Practice at Sheffield Hallam University. I have been on the Board for Third Angel (2013-2018) and now sit on the Board of Trustees for Derby Theatre.
A Fortunate Man (2018)
A touring performance to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS and 50th anniversary of A Fortunate Man by writer, John Berger, and photographer, Jean Mohr. What they revealed about the life of English country GP, Dr John Sassall, remains as fresh, urgent and relevant in the present day. Through a combination of Berger’s words, Mohr’s images, archive film footage and contemporary reportage, New Perspectives collaborate with theatre-maker Michael Pinchbeck to create a new multi-media performance that takes the pulse of the NHS today. Toured to Camden People’s Theatre, Summerhall (Edinburgh), Singapore Fringe Festival and Theaterszene Europa at studiobühneköln (Cologne).
A Seventh Man (2020)
In 2020, Pinchbeck & Smith make a new show inspired by A Seventh Man, the 1975 book about migration by John Berger and Jean Mohr. Using verbatim interviews and photography the performance is part slideshow, part documentary, part adaptation, and explores the book to mark its 45th anniversary. The narrative follows workers leaving home, crossing borders and facing questions about the work they do and taking medical tests to see if they are fit enough. Three performers read directly from Berger’s book as if both narrating and acting out its portraits of a generation of young men who travel across a continent in search of a better life. The piece follows a three act structure - Departure, Work, Return - and will be shown in a mobile research centre – S.H.E.D. Supported by Arts Council England, the project is commissioned by Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, New Perspectives and Nottingham Playhouse.
At the edge of the world (2020)
In lockdown, Michael Pinchbeck & Ollie Smith devised a digital duet out of images and text they sent each other every day. This method of virtual exchange continued for 36 days with a single photo being sent per day as the stimulus for writing 36 sentences. Inspired by Berger and Mohr’s book, At the Edge of the World reflects on notions of mortality and memory. Continuing explorations of image and text, site and space, At the Edge of the World is the final part of The Berger & Mohr Trilogy and will be developed as a slideshow in 2021.
In 1928, Maurice Ravel wrote Bolero in Paris. In 1984, Torvill and Dean danced to it at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. Eight years later the stadium where they won gold was bombed. Working with the music as a bridge, Bolero takes a journey from Paris to Sarajevo, from 1914 to 1994, from the First World War to the Bosnian War to the present day.
Supported by Arts Council England and the British Council, Bolero was a co-production between Nottingham Playhouse, ODA Theatre (Pristina) and Sarajevo War Theatre. Developed at Dance4, the National Ice Centre and Primary with support from the University of Lincoln.
An immersive musical experience inspired by Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, featuring world-renowned concert pianist Nicholas McCarthy. Infamous pianist, Paul Wittgenstein, commissioned Ravel to write him a concerto after he lost his right arm during the First World War. At the same moment, assassin Gavrilo Princip was in prison, his withered arm tied up with piano wire. Unravelling narratives such as these surround this music’s composition and together they weave a true story that spans 100 years. Pinchbeck’s Concerto is a deconstructed exploration of the legacy of war and the healing power of music that explores his research into composed and orchestral theatre.
This performance was supported by Attenborough Arts Centre and features the University of Leicester Orchestra and Knighton Chamber Orchestra conducted by Dr Paul Jenkins. Commissioned by Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, Attenborough Arts Centre and Nottingham Lakeside Arts. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
Cyclical sees Michael Pinchbeck cycle on an exercise bike in his home for 7 hours, the time it would take to get from Nottingham (where he spent lockdown) and Manchester (where he works). He will cycle the equivalent distance of 85 km and audience members will be invited to join him for 15 minutes at a time to accompany him on his journey and share stories of bikes and bike rides and the cyclical nature of working from home. He is cycling to work. He is cycling from home to HOME. He is busy going nowhere. Commissioned for Homemakers by HOME. Supported by Derby Theatre, In Good Company and Manchester School of Art Research Centre.
Sit with us for a moment and remember (2021)
Drawing on images from the University of Nottingham's archives, Sit with us for a moment and remember is a 45 minute immersive sound experience that involves audio walks around a lake and tracks to be experienced on four benches installed with plaques – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Each bench track explores the different seasons and how the landscape changes over time. Drawing attention to different views across the lake and the way benches are often associated with acts of remembering, the piece invites you to encounter the history of the lake, to inhabit the past, to reflect on the present and to look forward to the future. Commissioned by Lakeside Arts. More information: https://www.lakesidearts.org.uk/visit-us/explore-the-campus-highfields-park/Sit-With-Us-For-a-Moment-and-Remember.html
An intimate and interactive performance installation inspired by Maurice Ravel’s violin piece – Tzigane, Solo is a poetic, poignant 10-minute experience based on real-life events. It is played out for audiences of two at a time, from the moment the music was conceived to a curtain call. The audience plays the role of a violinist and a composer as you enact a true story of how this piece of music came to be. Devised with Ollie Smith as a sequel to Bolero (2014) and Concerto (2016). Commissioned by Attenborough Arts Centre, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre and Frequency Festival. Supported by Arts Council England.
The Beginning (2012)
Inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Beginning is the second in a trilogy of works deconstructing Shakespearean stage directions that later became The Shakespeare Trilogy. The Beginning was developed at Lakeside Arts Centre (Nottingham), Leeds Met Studio Theatre, Loughborough University and The Junction (Cambridge). Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and commissioned by the World Event Young Artists 2012. Selected for the British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase 2013. The Beginning was co-devised by Nicki Hobday and Ollie Smith. An excerpt from The Beginning ('This is a love story') features in the recent Routledge edition, The Twenty-First Century Performance Reader.
The man who flew into space from his apartment (2015)
An immersive slideshow inspired by an installation by Russian artist Ilya Kabakov performed in a non-theatre space. A guest performer follows instructions they have never heard before in front of an audience of ten. The performance draws on notions of escape and makes a journey, like Kabakov, between east and west, flying and falling, attempt and failure. Commissioned by hÅb Arts (Manchester) and Lincoln Performing Arts Centre. Developed at First Bite, Forest Fringe, Frequency Festival and Hatch. Supported by Arts Council England, the piece was performed over 30 times over three years in factories, galleries, school halls and tower blocks.
I am a Nottingham-based writer, director and theatre maker with over 20 years of experience. I co-founded Metro-Boulot-Dodo in 1997. I was commissioned by Nottingham Playhouse to write The White Album (2006), The Ashes (2011) and Bolero (2014), premiering at Nottingham Playhouse before touring Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kosovo supported by the British Council. My work has been selected four times for the British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase. In 2018, I was commissioned by New Perspectives to write and direct a play inspired by Berger and Mohr's 1967 book, A Fortunate Man, which toured to the Edinburgh Fringe, Singapore Fringe and Theaterszene Europa, Cologne. I am now working on a sequel, A Seventh Man, supported by Arts Council England, New Perspectives, Nottingham Playhouse and Lincoln Performing Arts Centre.
I have written articles for Contemporary Theatre Review, Dance Theatre Journal, Repertorio, Studies in Theatre and Performance and Performance Research. My work has featured in Podium, DIY: Do It Yourself and the Routledge publication - The Twenty First Century Performance Reader. I recently co-edited Staging Loss: Performance as Commemoration for Palgrave Macmillan and Acts of Dramaturgy: The Shakespeare Trilogy for Intellect. I am now working on a new publication for Intellect, The Ravel Trilogy: Following the Score. My ongoing research explores relationships between dramaturgy and practice-as research. I am interested in the intersections between composed theatre and orchestral theatre and 'staging scores', taking musical approaches to dramaturgy and dramaturgical approaches to music. My recent practice-as-research explores the notion of performance as commemoration and how theatre remembers.
I co-edited Staging Loss: Performance as Commemoration with Andrew Westerside (University of Lincoln). I am currently co-editing The Ravel Trilogy: Following the Score with Ollie Smith (De Montfort University). I have co-authored articles for Performance Research with Rhiannon Jones (University of Derby) and Mick Mangan (Loughborough University). I have worked with various theatre companies as a dramaturg, writer, deviser and performer such as Reckless Sleepers, Strange Names Collective, Dog Kennel Hill Project, Hetain Patel, Zoi Dimitriou, Gabriele Reuter and Tom Marshman. In 2012, I was an outside eye for the Meeting Place at Southbank Centre featuring Lea Anderson, Candoco, Boris Charmatz, Siobhan Davies and Thomas Lehmann. I am dramaturg-in-residence on the S.H.E.D project at the University of Derby which is now a Tate Associate.
I was invited to take part in Text & Performance and Expanded Practice and Curation as Creative Process at Manchester Metropolitan University. I am now attending the AHRC Research Network 'Representing Classical Music in the Twenty-First Century' at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in April 2020.
I co-convened two academic conferences - Staging Loss: Performance as Commemoration (University of Lincoln) and Where From Here: 21 Years of Third Angel (Leeds Beckett University). I am currently planning a number of symposia for the Manchester School of Theatre including Staging Time in 2021.
Expert Reviewer for Journals and Publishers
I have peer reviewed for Studies in Theatre & Performance. I was an Arts Council England assessor and a jury member for ARENA Festival (Erlangen), Circuit Festival (Leicester) and Presence (Dartington). I was an Ambassador for UK Young Artists in 2012.
• Producing Solo and A Seventh Man — awarded £15000 by Arts Council England in 2019
• Producing Concerto & Solo — awarded £10000 by Arts Council England in 2018
• Concerto 2.0 — awarded £10000 by Arts Council England in 2017
• Concerto — awarded £15000 by Arts Council England in 2016
• The man who flew into space from his apartment — awarded £5000 by Arts Council England in 2015
• Bolero — awarded £75000 by British Council in 2014-2016
• Bolero — awarded £15000 by Arts Council England in 2014
• Bolero — awarded £5000 by Making Tracks in 2013
• The Beginning — awarded £10000 by Arts Council England in 2012
• The End — awarded £10000 by Arts Council England in 2011
• Sit with me for a moment and remember — awarded £5000 by Arts Council England in 2010
• The Post Show Party Show — awarded £5000 by Arts Council England in 2009
Michael Pinchbeck is a member of the Art and Performance Research Hub.
A selection of recent research outputs.
Pinchbeck, M., 2020. 'The Trilogy: Acts of Dramaturgy', Intellect.
Westerside, A., Pinchbeck, M., 2018. 'Staging Loss', Springer International Publishing.
Pinchbeck, M., Baynton, R., 2022. 'Co-creation'. In Reason, M., Conner, L., Johanson, K., Walmsley, B. (eds.) Routledge Companion to Audiences and the Performing Arts (2020), Routledge.
Pinchbeck, M., 2020. 'Conversation is part of the cure: Dramaturgy in Dialogue for A Fortunate Man'. In Jones, R., Connelly, H. (eds.) InDialogue: artistic research and dialogic practices, Palgrave Macmillan.
Pinchbeck, M., Westerside, A., 2018. ''Conclusion' in Pinchbeck, M and Westerside, A. (2018) Staging Loss: Performance as Commemoration. London: Palgrave Macmillan.'. In Pinchbeck, M., Westerside, A. (eds.) Staging Loss: Performance as Commemoration, Palgrave Macmillan.
Pinchbeck, M., Westerside, A., 2018. '?Introduction? in Pinchbeck, M and Westerside, A. (2018) Staging Loss: Performance as Commemoration. London: Palgrave Macmillan.'. In Pinchbeck, M., Westerside, A. (eds.) Staging Loss: Performance as Commemoration, Palgrave Macmillan.
Pinchbeck, M., 2018. 'A dance of absence: (in)visible dramaturgies within A Duet Without You'. In Dechery, C. (eds.) Performing collaboration in solo performance: A Duet Without You and practice-as-research, Intellect.
Ellin, D., Lawrence, C., 2018. 'After Them, The Flood: Remembering the Dam Busters and Bomber Command through Performance'. In Pinchbeck, M., Westerside, A. (eds.) Staging Loss Performance as Commemoration, pp. 109-129, Palgrave Macmillan.
Pinchbeck, M., 2018. 'Making Bolero: dramaturgies of remembrance'. In Pinchbeck, M., Westerside, A. (eds.) Staging loss: performance as commemoration, Palgrave Macmillan.
Crossley, T., Woods, N., Pinchbeck, M., 2018. 'MAKING POSTDRAMATIC THEATRE: A HANDBOOK OF DEVISING EXERCISES'. In Crossley, T., Woods, N. (eds.) MAKING POSTDRAMATIC THEATRE: A HANDBOOK OF DEVISING EXERCISES, pp. 59-68, Digital Theatre +.
Pinchbeck, M., 2017. 'This is a love story'. In Witts, N., Fenemore, A., Teresa, B. (eds.) Twenty-First Century Performance Reader, Routledge.
Pinchbeck, M., Lewis, S., 2015. 'Bolero'. In Burnett, K. (eds.) Make believe: UK design for performance 2011-2015, pp. 109-109, The Society of British Theatre Designers.
Pinchbeck, M., 2014. 'The DIY aesthetic: somewhere between a hobby and a job'. In Daniels, R. (eds.) DIY (do. it. yourself), pp. 95-96, University of Chichester.
Pinchbeck, M., 2014. 'This is a love story'. In Pour les: Podium Nr. 171/172, pp. 6-9, Podium Literature.
Pinchbeck, M., Egan, K., 2012. 'Dramaturgy in Dialogue: Kevin Egan (Outside Eye Project)', https://outsideeyeproject.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/dramaturgy-in-dialogue-kevin-egan/.
Pinchbeck, MD., Egan, K., 2022. 'Staging Scores: Devising Contemporary Performances from Classical Music', Volume 8, 8 (1).
Babbage, F., Pinchbeck, M., 2020. 'Backpages 30.4', Contemporary Theatre Review, 30 (4), pp. 575-600.
Pinchbeck, M., 2019. 'Backpages 29.3', Contemporary Theatre Review, 29 (3), pp. 343-354.
Pinchbeck, M., Mangan, M., 2019. 'Somewhere between Remembering and Forgetting', Performance Research, 24 (3), pp. 122-131.
Jones, R., Pinchbeck, M., 2019. 'Treasuring Detritus', Performance Research, 24 (5), pp. 101-104.
Pinchbeck, M., 2018. 'Open Your Eyes', Performance Research, 23 (1), pp. 113-116.
Pinchbeck, M., Westerside, A., 2017. 'Acts of Communion Encountering taste in Reckless Sleepers' The Last Supper', PERFORMANCE RESEARCH, 22 (7), pp. 57-66.
Pinchbeck, M., 2016. 'No rehearsal is necessary: The man who flew into space from his apartment', Repertorio: Teatro & Danca, 27, pp. 59-68.
Pinchbeck, MD., 2013. 'Thinking inside the box: an internal dramaturgy at work in Reckless Sleepers? Schrödinger', Backpages 23.3, Contemporary Theatre Review, 23, pp. 450-463.
Pinchbeck, M., 2013. 'Training grounds: training and... Travel', Theatre Dance and Performance Training, 4, pp. 420-421.
Pinchbeck, M., 2010. 'Ten characters in search of a narrative', Studies in Theatre and Performance, 30 (1), pp. 51-58.
Pinchbeck, M., 2007. 'Performance and Place [edited by Leslie Hill and Helen Paris ]', Platform: Theatres of Resistance, 2, pp. 104-107.
Pinchbeck, M., Baynton, R., 2018. 'A Fortunate Man: work-in-progress', in Hold Everything Dear: Performance, Politics and John Berger.
Pinchbeck, M., 2018. 'Errors of memory, memories of error: slip-roads and pit-stops on the long and winding road', in Association of Art History.
Lang, M., Grimwood, T., 2018. 'The politics and aesthetics of error [conference panel]', in Association for Art History?s Annual Conference 2018.
Pinchbeck, M., 2017. 'Rear view mirror: blogging as a reflective tool for practice as research', in TaPRA Postgraduate Conference.
Pinchbeck, M., 2017. 'Sit with me for a moment and remember - TaPRA Gallery 2017', in TaPRA Gallery 2017.
Pinchbeck, M., 2017. 'This is a love story', in You, The Audience Symposium.
Pinchbeck, M., Butler, L., 2016. 'Building the room: remembering Third Angel's Presumption', in Where From Here: 21 Years of Third Angel.
Pinchbeck, M., 2016. 'Making Bolero: dramaturgies of conflict', in TaPRA.
Pinchbeck, M., 2016. 'No rehearsal is necessary: the politics of the guest performer in The man who flew into space from his apartment', in Expanded Practice and Curation as Creative Process.
Pinchbeck, M., 2016. 'Sit with me for a moment and remember: a provocation', in Owning Your Walrus: A cross-disciplinary symposium on Loneliness & Performance.
Pinchbeck, M., 2014. 'Or in the future: Utopian and dystopian dramaturgy in Forced Entertainment?s Tomorrow?s Parties', in What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English.
Pinchbeck, MD., 2012. 'Mirror, signal, manoeuvre: reflections on the role of the dramaturg in contemporary performance', in 'You May!' Symposium.
Pinchbeck, M., 2019. 'A Fortunate Man'.
Pinchbeck, M., Smith, O., 2019. 'Solo'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2018. 'A Fortunate Man'.
Pinchbeck, M., Pinchbeck, M., 2018. 'A Fortunate Man'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2018. 'Dramaturgies of Remembrance'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2018. 'Requiems for Sarajevo: The dramaturgy of ruins, the musicality of repair'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2018. 'Sit with me for a moment and remember'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2018. 'The Ravel Trilogy'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2017. 'Sit with me for a moment and remember'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2017. 'Sit with me for a moment and remember - Audio Recordings'.
Pinchbeck, M., Smith, O., 2017. 'Solo'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2017. 'The man who flew into space from his apartment'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2016. 'Concerto'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2016. 'Concerto'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2016. 'Concerto'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2016. 'Concerto'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2016. 'The man who flew into space from his apartment'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2016. 'The trilogy'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2015. 'The man who flew into space from his apartment'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2014. 'Bolero'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2014. 'Bolero'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2014. 'Bolero'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2014. 'Bolero'.
Pinchbeck, MD., 2013. 'The beginning'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2013. 'The middle'.
Pinchbeck, MD., Pinchbeck, AD., 2013. 'The middle'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2012. 'Sit with me for a moment and remember'.
Pinchbeck, M., Hobday, N., Smith, O., 2012. 'The beginning'.
Pinchbeck, MD., 2012. 'The beginning - Blog entitled 'Making The beginning''.
Pinchbeck, M., Smith, O., 2011. 'The end'.
Pinchbeck, MD., Smith, O., 2011. 'The end'.
Pinchbeck, MD., Hobday, N., Smith, O., 2010. 'The beginning [programme]'.
Pinchbeck, MD., 2010. 'The end [blog]'.
Pinchbeck, MD., Smith, O., 2010. 'The end - durational performance'.
Pinchbeck, MD., Smith, O., 2010. 'The end [programme]'.
Pinchbeck, M., 2007. 'Ways of Staging: A Fortunate Man and A Seventh Man'.