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 2018-19, our theme is displacement.

Circus Life: Art and Artistes

Circus Life: Art and Artistes runs in the Peltz Gallery at Birkbeck from Wednesday 7 November to Wednesday 12 December 2018. The exhibition celebrates circus’ 250th anniversary, and features paintings, drawings, photographs, ceramics and sculpture by artists currently working alongside the circus community, including Peter Lavery, Kate Stone, John Stillman, Abel Kesteven and Curtis Tappenden, as well as prints by Laura Knight, and pieces by Clarice Cliff and Clifford Hall.

Programme of events alongside the exhibition:

  • Wednesday 7 November, 6-8pm: Private view and reception (Peltz Gallery): This evening will include circus skills demonstrations and the opportunity to meet some of the exhibiting artists.
  • Saturday 10 November, 2-5pm: Circus Life: Circus on Screen (Birkbeck Cinema): Supported by BIMI (Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image), this special programme of circus-themed films includes a number of short “back stage” documentary pieces about circus life, followed by a 90th anniversary screening of Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 silent classic The Circus.
  • Monday 12 November, 7.30-9pm: Theatre Conversation: Circus Life, Cultures and Communities (G10): This panel discussion will be hosted by Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre Fellow Julius Green, offering a unique opportunity to meet with performers from the circus community and discuss their life and work.
  • Thursday 6 December, 7-8.30pm: Circus Life: Why We Should All Run Away with the Circus (Peltz Gallery): Join Dea Birkett and Ron Beadle at our finale event as they look to the future and discuss why we should all run away with the circus. Dr Birkett is a writer, broadcaster and Ringmaster of the Circus 250 project. Ron Beadle is Professor of Organisation and Business Ethics at Northumbria University and Visiting Professor at the National Centre for Circus Arts. He researches ethics in circus and is co-founder of the Circus Research Network.

To book your tickets for these events, click here.

Panel discussion: Alvis Hermanis and Katie Mitchell

On Friday 16 November, 6.30-8.30pm (G10), we co-host a panel discussion in which two major theatre directors discuss the importance of historical concepts of the avant-garde in contemporary European theatre. The panel will be followed by the launch of the book Spaces and Stages of Avant-garde Theatre in Central-Eastern Europe.

Co-hosted by Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, this event takes place as part of Back to the Future: Central European Avant-Garde Reclaimed, a major international conference organised by Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, and Royal Holloway, University of London.

To book for this panel discussion, click here.

St. James’ Gardens Project

On Saturday 24 November, 9pm and Sunday 25 November, 6pm, come to Camden People’s Theatre for a first work-in-progress sharing of the St. James’ Gardens Project. Directed by Centre for Contemporary Theatre Fellow Brian Logan, it explores the impact of the HS2 development on St. James’ Gardens in Euston.

Supported by the Birkbeck Public Engagement Seed Fund.

Tickets are £8. To book, click here.

GRiT: Graduate Research in Theatre

Graduate Research in Theatre 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 28 November, 4-5pm (Keynes Library): Alyson Campbell (University of Melbourne)
  • Wednesday 13 February, 4-5pm (Room 106): Daragh Carville (playwright, screenwriter and Lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck)
  • Wednesday 20 March, 4-5pm (106): Sasha Dovzhyk (Birkbeck)
  • Wednesday 8 May, 4-5pm (106): Hannah Barton (Birkbeck)

London Theatre Seminar

Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre also supports London Theatre Seminar, hosted by the Institute of English Studies at Senate House. For the schedule of seminars for 2018-19, click here.

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