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Eleanor Chadwick



Supervisor: Margaret Shewring.

My research explores the notion that the emergent language of theatre, and more generally of modern culture, has links to much earlier forms of storytelling and an ancient worldview, and raises questions as to how theatre practitioners might best understand and utilise early modes of entertainment and ideologies in the creation of performance work today. It examines the emergence and history of theatrical performance in Britain, with particular focus on how early medieval ideologies and theatrical forms were absorbed into the practices of the first professional theatres in the early modern age, using Shakespeare's work as a core example. Further, it uncovers and interrogates, through practice, links between performance practices today and the ritual roots of native theatrical tradition: links which we have largely lost in the UK but which still exist in certain other cultures. As a practitioner I am interested in psychosomatic and embodied approaches, tension and interplay between residual and emergent ideas (tradition vs innovation), the relationship between body and mind, and the role of narrative in human cognition.


Published Work

'Fantasising History: Anachronism, Creative License and the Re-emergence of an Early Language of Storytelling', Paul Hardwick (ed), Vikings and the Vikings: The Norse World(s) of the History Channel Series (Jefferson: McFarland, 2018) [forthcoming].

Review of 'Theatre and Cognitive Neuroscience', for the South African Theatre Journal, 16 August 2016. (Click here.)


TH115 - From Text to Performance (2015 autumn term, 2017 spring term, 2017 autumn term)
(Units on Directorial Approaches, Theatre and Science)

TH241 - Plays and Playing Places & Performances in Medieval and Elizabethan England (2014-15)

Professional and Academic Background

Working to promote positive intercultural exchange and support local artists in Bali, Indonesia. For an interview with the renowned mask-maker Ida Bagus Anom Suryawan, please click here.

Currently a resident at Bristol Pervasive Media Studio working on developing Ergo Sum - an experimental piece of theatre exploring neurological and psychiatric conditions through immersive performance and new technology. See and

Recently produced new play Hashtag Lightie at The Arcola (January 2017), and working on Jet Propulsion Theatre's new project, Dante the Cosmonaut.

Co-founder of Avalon International Academy (a company which runs language courses and cultural exchange programmes in the arts and sciences):

Producer of immersive heritage festivals for the National Trust.


  • MFA with Distinction (Exeter)
  • BA First Class Honours (Bristol)


  • Arts Council England - Grants for the Arts (2017, Sleight of Hand Theatre), awarded for Ergo Sum
  • AHRC PhD Scholarship (2013-2016)
  • ArtUniverse grant (2016), awarded for subsistence during ArtsOasis residency, Monastero Santa Croce, Tuscany
  • IATL Pedagogic Interventions Funding (2016), awarded for Historically-Responsive Workshops project
  • IATL Pedagogic Interventions Funding (2015/2016), awarded for Ergo Sum Warwick event
  • Arts Council England - Grants for the Arts (2015, Sleight of Hand Theatre), awarded for Ergo Sum
  • Big Lottery Fund - Awards for All (2015, Sleight of Hand Theatre), awarded for Ergo Sum R&D
  • Unity Theatre Trust Grant (2015, Sleight of Hand Theatre), awarded for The Man Who
  • Arts Council England - Grants for the Arts (2014, Elysium Theatre), awarded for the Medieval May Festival project
  • Edwin Rudd Scholarship (2012, Exeter)
  • Heritage Lottery Fund - Young Roots Grant (2012, Elysium Theatre): awarded for "The Wars of the Roses Project"
  • Cymbeline Fund (2012, Exeter)
  • Tucker-Cruse Prize (2010, Bristol)