Forthcoming events

We curate a diverse programme of events, consisting of workshops, seminars, lectures, symposia and performances.  The majority of our events are open to public audiences. Unless otherwise stated, they are free of charge to attend, and take place in Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square. Some of our events during the course of a year will address a particular research theme. For 2019-20, our theme is Making/Thinking.

Shades of Mediocrity

On Saturday 28 September, 3pm, join us for Shades of Mediocrity – a performance about the compromises that women make on their artistic ambitions, and about making art with your friends.

Lily Levinson is tall with curly ginger hair. Maeve Campbell has dark hair and is 5’ 4” short. Maeve is a creative genius. Lily looks pretty good in a waistcoat. Sound familiar?

Using the stories of Simon & Garfunkel and Campbell & Levinson, we want to talk about how the cult of genius excludes women. As young theatre-makers, we are frustrated by our own lack of confidence in contributing to artistic conversations, in social and professional situations. When Simon & Garfunkel reunited in 1981 after a nine-year break, they performed to 500,000 people, the largest concert audience ever, whereas Maeve and Lily would be happy with 50 people.

Shades of Mediocrity is the latest work by Good Friends For A Lifetime. It has been presented at Big Bang and Calm Down Dear at Camden People’s Theatre (March and June 2019), and FEMFEST, Theatre Deli (March 2019), and is supported by Theatre Deli.

This presentation of Shades of Mediocrity is hosted by Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre. It is supported by BIGS (Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality), and takes place as part of Birkbeck’s One World Festival 2019.

This event is free of charge to attend – book here.

Audience feedback: 

‘Superbly funny’ 
‘Sparkling and provocative’
‘Hilarious and witty’
‘Excellent lols’

Scream Queer Murder!

On Thursday 7 November, 6-7.30pm, join us for a panel and discussion considering the “gay” characters in Agatha Christie’s work and the R & D of Scream Queer Murder! by Martin Lewton, recently premiered at the International Agatha Christie Festival 2019. The evening includes readings from the play, topped off by a generous dollop of Polari – the secret language gay men used to protect themselves.

This event is free of charge to attend – book here.


  • Andrew McKinnon Theatre Director, and Director of Studies, Institute of the Arts Barcelona
  • Martin Lewton Fellow of Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, Artistic Director of Theatre North and ¡Barcelona Solo! Festival, and author of Scream Queer Murder!
  • Julius Green Fellow of Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, Olivier award-winning theatre producer, and author of Agatha Christie: A Life in Theatre and How To Produce a West End Show
  • Dr JC Bernthal Panel Tutor, University of Cambridge and Visiting Lecturer, Middlesex University, whose books include Queering Agatha Christie: Revisiting the Golden Age of Detective Fiction

Graduate Research in Theatre

GRiT is our termly research seminar, featuring presentations by visiting scholars, faculty and graduate students. There is no need to book in advance to attend.

Wednesday 11 December, 4-5pm (Room 106), Lewis Church (independent scholar, writer and producer), ‘Unruly Access’
This presentation will discuss how research on the experimental and sometimes seemingly inaccessible topics of experimental theatre practices of the twentieth century, contemporary live art, and subcultures can sit alongside a parallel professional practice as an arts writer and editor concerned chiefly with notions of access. Both have been enriched by the other, and the attempt to address structural issues in the creative sector, (particularly in relation to gender, race, class and disability) can perhaps benefit from a commitment and attention to the uncomfortable, unconventional and occasionally unruly.

London Theatre Seminar

Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre also supports London Theatre Seminar. For the schedule of seminars for 2019-20, click here.