Richard Gough

Richard Gough


1996 …2022

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests


Professor Richard Gough


Professor of Music & Performance – Faculty of Creative Industries, USW (Cardiff)

Emeritus Professor Theatre & Performance – Aberystwyth University

Fellow of the International Research Centre <Interweaving Performance Cultures> - Freie Universität Berlin

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)



Tel/Ffôn: 01443 668564


Professor of Music and Performance/ Athro mewn Cerddoriaeth a Pherfformiad
Faculty of Creative Industries/Cyfadran y Diwydiannau Creadigol
University of South Wales/Prifysgol De Cymru,

Room/Ystafell: CA402
Adam Street/Heol Adam,
CF24 2FN
Wales/ Cymru





REF Lead for FCI

Teaching on BA (Hons) Theatre and Drama


Member of the FCI Research Committee

General Editor: Performance Research (journal and book series)


Independent of USW/FCI:

Director: Centre for Performance Research (CPR)

Director: CPR Resource Centre, Collections and International Theatre Collection (ITC)

Advisory Board Member: Digital Theatre +





Theories and concepts of performance and world theatre (nonwestern theatre/performance); dramaturgy and comparative dramaturgy (specifically Indian, Japanese and Chinese dance/theatres); history and function of European laboratory theatres; 20th Century theatre directing, devising theatre and multi-sensory theatre; performance, process and documentation; performance food and cookery.


Directing and facilitating theatre and performance productions:

Like Water for Chocolate – as part of the Mexico Theatre Festival autumn 2018

Dziady – as part of the Polish Theatre Festival autumn 2019


Supervising PhD and MPhil candidates




Performance in relation to other disciplines and artistic and social pursuits – current concerns include performance and photography; performance and tourism; performance, health and medicine and an ongoing interest in performance food and cookery.


Artistic led research/practice and practical creative work as a curator, devisor and director.




Richard Gough was born in North Wales, went to school in Hereford, grew up in Cardiff and began working with Cardiff Laboratory Theatre at the age of eighteen.  As Artistic Director of Centre for Performance Research (1987 -), and its predecessor CLT (1979 – 86), he has curated and organised numerous international theatre projects which include conferences, research projects, summer schools, workshop programmes, and international festivals, as well as producing nationwide tours of experimental theatre and traditional dance/ theatre ensembles from around the world. He has directed over seventy productions many of which have toured Europe and he has lectured and led workshops throughout Europe and in China, Japan, India, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Brazil, Philippines and Kenya.


Richard Gough was the founding President of Performance Studies international (PSi) and developed the association between 1997 and 2001 and directed the 5th PS conference Here Be Dragons in 1999. Extending his interest in the education of young people and the promotion of a world view of theatre, he was the Chief Examiner, Theatre Arts (world-wide) for the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) 2002-05 and supervised the re-writing of the curriculum for that programme.


He published his first journal at the age of nineteen – Masquerade – containing articles by Barba, Brook, Grotowski and Kantor, as an initiative of Cardiff Laboratory Theatre and has continued throughout the past 45 years to publish books, magazines and programmes as a part of the multi-faceted CPR (editing, writing and curating). He is the General Editor and co-founder of Performance Research (The Journal of Performance Arts published as eight themed issues annually by Routledge, Taylor & Francis). He is series editor and publisher of Black Mountain Press (a division of CPR) and founded Performance Research Books which is an independent venture of Performance Research the journal. Performance Research Books comprises three complementary series and has already published twelve titles. He co-edited A Performance Cosmology – the 30th year anniversary book of CPR published by Routledge (2006) and edited the 100th anniversary issue of Performance Research – On Reflection: Turning 100. His major publishing ambition is to write on artists’ engagement with food throughout the twentieth century through a project entitled Leaving the Table. He has also served on the editorial boards of nine theatre/dance/performance journals (print and on-line projects) and continues to advise two major UK publishers.


His own performance work in relation to performance, food and cookery continues to develop with a series of productions and installations based around the theme of ‘Last Supper’ and an evolving sequence of performance banquets for a variety of international events and conferences realised in America, Europe and Australasia. He has a developing interest - both theoretical and practical - in the relationships between performance, photography and portraiture as well as relationships between documentation, process, and performance: he continues to develop the CPR Resource Centre and Collections and plans a major research project exploring the relationship of the archive and archiving to performance.




Performance Research (Journal) – Editors’ website:


Performance Research (Journal) – Publisher’s website:


Centre for Performance Research


Additional Information:


            Awards & Honours:


  • 2019 TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association) Prize for Editing. Awarded for the 520pp 100th anniversary issue of Performance Research 24 (3) - On Reflection: Turning 100 
  • Recipient of the Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz Prize (The Witkacy Prize) by the Polish Government for forty years of promoting Polish culture (theatre) worldwide - March 2016
  • Invited Fellow, International Research Center ‘Interweaving Performance Cultures’ Freie Univeristat, Berlin, Germany (October 2013 to December 2015)
  • Canterbury Visiting Fellow-Erskine Fellowship, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (September- November 2011)
  • Visiting Artist/Scholar, Madison Arts Institute Fellowships, University of Wisconsin, Madison September to December 2003
  • Guest of Honour & Award Recipient of the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre September 2002 (in recognition of life-long commitment to experimental theatre)
  • Award of Honour from the University of Khartoum, Sudan, November 1999 (in recognition of sustained work to encourage exchange and mutual understanding).
  • Life-Long Honorary Member of PSi Performance Studies International (in recognition of achievements as inaugural president and in establishing the association world-wide).



Project Management and Budgetary Responsibility:


As Director of the Centre for Performance Research Ltd, Richard Gough has been responsible for the realisation of complex national and international projects involving several hundred scholars and practitioners in any one year.  Working in close association with CPR Executive Producers since 1986, and a team of administrators and Project Directors in various combinations across the last thirty five years, Richard Gough has been accountable to the CPR Board of Directors (and formerly Trustees), UA/CPR Management Committee, Funding Authorities & Councils for project budgets of between £20,000 and £350,000.


Across forty years work in excess of nine million pounds worth of arts and research funding has been effectively and responsibly managed by Gough, Christie and Gethin - with and through CPR. Richard Gough is currently principle investigator, consultant and co–investigator on several research projects (some of which are seeking AHRC support) and CPR is lead partner and co-partner on several major international bids and collaborations and was the holder and Principal Investigator of a Leverhulme International Network Grant (2012-2014).




Selected Performances & Installations in the Public/Professional Domain (recent):


After the Earthquake in Chile (theatre production and performative banquet) – with the Free Theatre Company and the community of Addington, Christchurch, New Zealand, October 2011


Out of the Box: Unfolding Feasts / Allan o'r Blwch : Agor Gwleddoedd (Exhibition, film, installation and performance meal) with Iachus gyda’n gilydd / Healthy Togetherand Ymlaen Ceredigion, Aberaeron, Wales, July 2011


Over the Hill (performance installation) – Camillo 2.0 PSi#17, Utrecht, Netherlands, May 2011


Savouring Androscoggin County (installation and performance meal) Bates Mill, Lewiston/Auburn, Maine, USA, April 2008



Articles (recent):

  • A Performance Cosmology: Testimony from the Future, Evidence of the Past (Eds Judie Christie, Richard Gough, Daniel Watt)

Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group London and New York 2006

I           SBN 0-415-37358-5


o   The Courage to Create: Food, Alchemy, Objects and Performance - Selected interviews with Richard Gough

o   From the Laboratory to the Centre: History, Training, the Academy and the Book-Selected interviews with Richard Gough:

o   Richard Gough: Perfect Time: Imperfect Tense

o   Towards Tomorrow? Restoring Disciplinary Limits and Rehearsals in Time? Richard Schechner interviewed by Richard Gough


  • On PerformaticsIssue 13:2 (June 2008) of the Journal Performance Research.

In addition to curating and editing the issue RG co-authored the Editorial pp 1 to 7 (DOI: 10.1080/13528160802639128)

The issue also contains an authored article: Back of Beyond pp 123 to 136 (DOI: 10.1080/135281608026394). The journal issue is simultaneously published as a book (ISBN: 978-0-4159440-3).


  • Chapter in Mapping Landscapes for Performance as Research: Scholarly Acts and Creative Cartographies(Eds Shannon Rose Riley & Lynette Hunter) Palgrave/Macmillan, London 2009 ISBN: 978-0-230-22219-9


  • The Dead Class in Cardiff - Chapter in Kantor Was Here (Eds Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius & Natalia Zarezecka) Black Dog Publishing, London 2011 ISBN: 978-1-907317-32-3
  • Great Reckonings in Small Rooms: research theatres, past and future - in progress. Edited book with two chapters and an introduction by RG: status - in preparation – arising from the symposia and international conferences enabled by the recently secured Leverhulme Trust grant for Theatre Laboratory International Network (Pi is RG) September 2012- 2014
  • On FireIssue 18:1 (February 2013) of the Journal Performance Research.

In addition to curating and editing the issue RG authored the Editorial pp 1 to 8 (DOI: 10.1080/13528165.2013.789236) and a keynote article Burning Bodies: Transformation and fire pp 9 to 23

(DOI: 10.1080/13528165.2013.789237)

  • On Ice Issue 18:1 (December 2013) of the Journal Performance Research. In addition to curating and editing the issue RG authored the introductory article Colds Cuts: Chattering and trembling pp 1 to 7                                            (DOI: 10.1080/13528165.2013.908049)
  • Chapter inWe’re People Who Do Shows’: Back to Back Theatre – Performance Politics Visibility. Chapter entitled: Making Room for Elephants Performance Research Books, Aberystwyth 2014pp 230-257                       ISBN: 978-1-906499-03-7
  • On Ruins and Ruinationissue 20:3 (June 2015) in addition to co-curating and co-editing the issue RG and Carl Lavery co-authored the editorial ‘Introduction’ pp 1 to 8 (DOI:10.1080/13528165.2015.1049031
  • On Taste issue 22:6 (September 2017) in addition to co-curating and co-editing the issue RG and Joshua Abrams co-authored the editorial ‘Introduction’ pp 1 to 7 and the issue contains RG self-authored article After Taste (pp 8 to 19).




A Performance Cosmology (with Judie Christie), London, Routledge 2006


Special Journal Issues (published as books)

Performance Research: Performatics (with Grezorz Zulkowski)

Performance Research: On Appearance (with Adrian Kear), London, Routledge 2008

Performance Research: Performing Literatures (with Stephen Bottoms) Routledge 2009

Performance Research: On Training (with Simon Shepherd) Routledge 2009

Performance Research: Performing Publics (with Laura Levin and Marlis Shweitzer) London, Routledge 2011

Performance Research: On Fire, London, Routledge 2012

Performance Research: On Scenography (with Sodja Lotker), London, Routledge 2013

Performance Research: On Ice, London, Routledge 2013

Performance Research: On Sea/At Sea, (with Sam Trubridge), London, Routledge 2016

Performance Research: On Leftovers, (with Susanne Foellmer), London, Routledge 2017

Performance Research: On Taste, (with Joshua Abrams), London, Routledge 2017

Performance Research: On Reflection: Turning 100, London, Routledge 2018

Performance Research: On Ageing (& Beyond), (with Nanako Nakajima, London, Routledge 2019

Performance Research: On Disfiguration, (with Stephen Barber), London, Routledge 2019

Performance Research: Practices of Interweaving, (forthcoming) London, Routledge 2020

Performance Research: On Hell, (with Geraint D’Arcy - forthcoming) London, Routledge 2020


Editor and Publisher for Black Mountain Press


            Series Editor: European Contemporary Classics - Theatre

This is a major series of groundbreaking, authoritative works by scholars and practitioners from throughout Europe. It makes available, in English, new thinking on the practice of theatre, its processes and contexts. It aims to document innovative methods, theories and approaches to making and understanding theatre.


  • Land of Ashes and Diamonds: My apprenticeship in Poland followed by 26 Letters from Jerzy Grotowski to Eugenio Barba, Eugenio Barba 1998
  • Theatre: Solitude, Craft, Revolt, Eugenio Barba 1999
  • The Dead Memory Machine: Tadeusz Kantor’s Theatre of Death, Krzysztof Plesniarowicz 2004



Publisher for Performance Research Books:


Series Editor for Inside Performance Practice


Performance Research Books publishes generously illustrated and finely designed books that present documentation and analysis of contemporary performance practice – through the work of individual artists, companies and ensembles. Each publication combines texts, scores and critical reflection on a distinctive body of work, together with scholarly and theoretical analysis of the practice, the voices of practitioners, the view of the makers and the evidence of the work.

Performance Research Books publishes and commissions work that stems from a scholarly engagement with artist-led research and practice. Each publication seeks a lively conversation between theory and practice and the work is revealed and illuminated through dialogue and discourse exploring a variety of formats: interviews, photo-essays, performance texts, scenographic designs, scores, notes and critical analysis.

Performance Research Books is an independent venture of Performance Research (the journal) and follows and expands the policy of the journal, but opens into publishing monographs, book-works, and singular works on distinctive practice.

Forthcoming titles are:


The first five published titles are:


  • Good Luck Everybody: Lone Twin - Journeys Performances Conversations

A book on the inventive collaborations – performances, theatre and journeys – made by the British based artists Whelan and Winters (LT).

Edited by David Williams and Carl Lavery 2012


  • Worlds: Bodies: Mattersby Italian theorist Valentina Valentini

An analysis of the changed relations between theatre and contemporary reality, between actors and their characters, examining new roles demanded of producers and audiences in the realization of theatrical art. 


  • We're people who do shows: Back to Back Theatre – Performance Politics Visibility

A book on the radical disability theatre company from Geelong, Australia.

Edited by Helena Grehan and Peter Eckersall 2013


  • Lola Arias: Re-enacting Life Edited by Jean Graham-Jones

Collected essays, scenarios, play texts, critical reflections by and about the Argentinian theatre artists (writer, singer, director, actor) Lola Arias, whose work stages and blurs ‘real people/participants’ in socio/political performances that develop new forms of verbatim and documentary theatre.


  • A Two Dogs Company: Kris Verdonk

Edited by Peter Eckersall & Kristoff van Baarle

Collected essays, scenarios, scenographic and architectural plans by and about the Belgium visual artist Kris Verdonk whose work is positioned between performance and installation, dance and architecture.



Forthcoming titles are:


  • Performance Efficacy: Drama Box & Social Change

Edited by Charlene Rajendran & Richard Gough

Collected essays, scenarios, play texts, critical reflections by and about the Singaporean theatre organisation Drama Box who engage performance to raise social awareness and civic responsibility within specific communities.


  • Edible ImaginingsA book on the Spanish food-artist Alicia Rios and the community/participation dimension to her edible installations Eat London, Eat Melbourne & Eat Lisbon RG Editing and writing chapters for this book.



Other Publication Projects in Preparation:


  • Silk Routes to Velvet Curtains – A chronicle of Asian theatres to the West (1850 – 1950)

This highly illustrated publication (comprising print book, DVD and website) is co-curated by RG and Prof Nicola Savarese (Rome, Italy) and emanates from research they conducted at the IRC, (Interweaving Performance Cultures) Berlin, into the first presentations (response, reception and subsequent staging) of Asian theatres and dance in Europe and the Americas from 1850 to 1950. (Scheduled late 2020).


  • A Performance Research Reader: Performance, Food & Cookery

 Edited by Richard Gough

A selection of food and performance related articles gathered together from across all the first 110 issues of Performance Research,


  • After Taste: Performance, Food and Cookery

(in preparation - monograph, self-authored by RG)

The research will explore the analogies between theatre making and cookery, performance and gastronomy and to discover what insights (lessons/instructions) one throws onto the other; what commonalities (juxtaposition, mise en place/mise en scene, consumption, excess, minimalism etc) enhance an understanding of composition (and improvisation). To attempt, through food and cookery, to enhance the critical language and theoretical discourse on performance composition (not simply extend discourse on devising, dramaturgy or scenario construction (for example) but to address the paucity in critical facility to rigorously analyse theatre composition. (Scheduled for 2021)


  • Leaving the Table - this research, on artists’ use of food in performance throughout the 20th Century, will lead to a single-authored monograph of approximately 90.000 words which will be highly illustrated and innovatively designed for the page.


  • Great Reckonings in Small Rooms.This monograph, self-authored by RG, arises from the original research supported by the Leverhulme-funded European Laboratory Theatre Network and extends the project worldwide investigating instances of laboratory theatres (their function, ethos and practical circumstances) from Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center (NY, USA) to Wlodzimierz Staniewski’s European Centre for Theatre Practices (Gardzienice, Poland); from Veenapani Chawla’s Adishakti (Pondicherry, India) to Tadashi Suzuki’s SCOT/Toga (Toyama, Japan). (Scheduled early 2022)







Selected Public Lectures (Outside the Academy)

with Titles & Dates (recent):


Black Gold: The Position of Cardiff Inaugural Cultural Belt & Road Conference, Zuni & Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong, December 2017


Kantor in Cardiff (Wales, UK, 1976) – the impact on a young theatre maker: subsequent

performance amidst detritus, clutter and errant objects.

Cricoteka Museum, Krakow - Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz Prize Lecture Tour of Poland

December 2016


On ClimatesRG in Conversation with Judge/Commissioner Prof Kate Auty in the context of keynote dialogues; Performance Studies #22, The Old Meat Market, Melbourne, July 2016


Re-thinking Shiraz/Persepolis FestivalThe Whitechapel Gallery, London, May 2015


Lost Suppers, Longing for Commensality - The 2014 Daniel Gerould Memorial Lecture

The Segal Center, New York, December 2014


Made in Italy – on the launch of Valentina Valentini’s PR Book Worlds: Bodies: Matters, Foundation Europa, Rome, Italy, October 2014


Eating Words: Kitchen- Laboratory- Theatre:  Odin Teatret: Theatre as a Laboratory for Community Interaction, Holstebro, Denmark, May 2014


Against all Odds: The Work of Kenhailal Heisnam & Kalakshetra Manipur, Imphal University Public Lecture, Imphal, Manipur, India, March 2014


Locating Performance - The Theatre Company, Nairobi, Kenya February 2012

The Ends of Theatre - The Little Theatre, Mombasa, Kenya February 2012


On Food, Christchurch and Earthquakes - NZ National Radio interview and discussion (with Kim Hill – 70 minutes) Wellington, New Zealand, October 2011


A Response to the National Exhibitions- Prague Quadrennial – PQ#12, Prague, Czech Republic July 2011


Troubling Performance - Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines March 2011


Performance & Documentation: Stage and Page – the work of Performance Research (the journal) Bergen International Theatre Festival, Bergen, Norway, October 2008


Spilt Cargo: Flotsam, Jetsam and Lingam - An Address for World Theatre Day, National Theatre, Reykjavik, Iceland, March 2007


Selected Conference Keynotes & Papers (within academic contexts)

with Titles & Dates (recent):


Beyond the Word - Illuminated (and animated) Manuscripts: PaR Publishing & Distribution Practice(s) International Symposium on Practice as Research(ISPaR), Hong Kong Performing Arts Academy, Hong Kong, December 2017

Chasing Shadows: Minding the gaps, slips and turns in PaR International Symposium on Practice as Research(ISPaR), Hong Kong Performing Arts Academy, Hong Kong, December 2017


Future Proof (With Courage & Curiosity): Training for a theatre that does not yet exist

Giessen & Beyond, Warsaw Theatre Academy, Warsaw, Poland July 2017


Devouring Theatre: After Taste Jagiellonian University, Krakow

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz Prize Lecture Tour of Poland December 2016


Performance Studies: The Future of the Field (Prof Dariusz Kosinski in conversation with RG) Raszewski Institute/Theatre Academy Warsaw, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz Prize Lecture Tour of Poland December 2016


Edible ImaginingsMelbourne PSi Conference #22 On Climates July 2016


Lost Suppers: Longing for Commensality, Bresal Forum- Neither Here Nor There, University College Limerick and the Burren College, County Claire, Eire: November 2015


Augensmausch: Feast for the Eyes International Research Center-Interweaving Performance Cultures, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany: December 2015


Devouring Theatre, UCC Perforum Conference, Cork Midsummer Festival, Cork, June 2015


100 Years of Fortitude: The Laboratory Theatre Traditions & Legacy, European Laboratory Theatre Concluding International Conference, Falmouth, UK February 2015


Against Illustration: Falling Bodies - Seen and Unseen; Performing Tangiers, International Conference: Alternative Dramaturgies, Tangier, Morocco, June 2014


Fire & Ice: Performance & Transformation, University of Stockholm three-part lecture series, Stockholm, Sweden, February 2014


Delamination – A Structural Engineers report on the Deleterious State of Theatre; Performing Tangiers, International Conference: Performance & the Public Sphere, Tangier, Morocco, June 2014


Fire & Transformation International Research Centre: Interweaving Performance Cultures, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany October 2012


Troubling Performance: From Theatre to Performance and Back - Auckland University, New Zealand October 2011


Troubling Performance: From Theatre to Performance and Back andLocating Performance –A day-long series of talks, seminars and presentationsVictoria University, Massey University and Toi Whakarri, Wellington, New Zealand October 2011


Faulty Optic: Performance as a Field of Enquiry - Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand October 2011


Troubling Performance: From Theatre to Performance and Back - Dunedin University, Dunedin, New Zealand, September 2011


Locating Performance - University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, September 2011


Performance as a Field of Enquiry - University of the Philippines, Diliman College of Arts and Letters, Manila Philippines March 2011


Theatre & Performance: A Distant View - Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Calamba, Laguna, Philippines February 2011


Theatre & Performance: A Distant View - De La Salle Canlubang, Laguna, Philippines, February 2011


Performance as a Field of Enquiry - De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines, February 2011


Troubling Performance: From Theatre to Performance and Back - Aquinas University of Legazpi – Center for Culture and the Arts


Performance and the Intermedial - Aquinas University of Legazpi – Budyong, the First Regional Students’ Congress on Media and the Arts, Legazpi City 


Troubling Performance: From Theatre to Performance and Back - Silliman University (College of Performing Arts-Speech and Theatre Arts Department and College of Mass Comm), Dumaguete City


Theatre & Performance: A Distant View - Holy Name University, Tagbilaran, Bohol


An Introduction to Performance Studies - Tanghal 5, the National University Theatre Festival, St. La Salle University, Bacolod


(Post) Dramaturgy and the (Post) Dramatic at the international conference Dramaturgy and the 21st Century, Victorian College of the Arts/Melbourne University, Melbourne, Australia March 2010


Troubling Performance: From Theatre to Performance and Back - University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, March 2010


Thinking Performance/Training Performance - Cultural Industries, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, March 2010


Troubling Performance: From Theatre to Performance and Back Sydney University, Sydney, Australia, March 2010


Troubling Performance: From Theatre to Performance and Back - Murdoch University, Perth, Australia, March 2010


Pistols at Dawn - Prelude Keynotes Friendly Fire, Performance Studies Conference #15, Zagreb, Croatia, June 2009


From Theatre to Performance and Back - A series of three university-wide lectures followed by seminars, University of Malta, Val

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