Research output per year

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Personal profile


I've been teaching at Roehampton since 1993, where I have been Professor of Theatre and Performance since 2007.


DPhil, Oxford University, 1993

BA, English, Oxford Uiversity, 1985

Research interests

My research interests are largely in contemporary theatre and performance. A central concern of his work has been with structures of theatrical persuasion and spectatorship, both within and beyond the professional theatre, which led to the book The Illuminated Theatre: Studies on the Suffering of Images (Routledge 2014). Formative experiences include performing with the theatre company PUR (directed by Simon Bayly and Lisa Baraitser) in the late 1990s, and encountering the work of Societas Raffaello Sanzio in the early 2000s. With Nicholas Ridout, I collaborated on making a book with the company The Theatre of Societas Raffaello Sanzio (Routledge 2007). I still occasionally make performance, most recently a series of collaborations with Eirini Kartsaki including How to Catch a Dog in a Bucket.

Research projects

Currently I am working on a project - explored in various recent talks and essays - around theatre's relation to the 'act', and the figure of the 'ridiculous' subject.


Professional affiliations

In recent years I served a term as Vice-President of Performance Studies international.


I have supervised around 20 PhDs to completion, theoretical and practice-led, and examined over 30 PhDs.

I convene the Major Project module on the MA London's Theatre and Performance: Making, Viewing, Writing.

An example of my undergraduate teaching is the module 'The Theatre Image'. What is the nature of theatrical images? How do images function in the theatre? Is it possible to conceive of a theatre without images, or at least without 'visual' ones? Who are images for? What do they do? How have they been put to use? During the module we study theatrical materials and theoretical texts, along with other examples of visual and performance arts, so as to consider some of the ways in which images are constructed and understood, by theatre-makers and spectators. The module offers students an opportunity to reflect upon the power and danger, the fascinations and disappointments of theatricality as such, and the practices of spectatorship in contemporary culture.



Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output

Book review: Antigone Undone: Juliette Binoche, Anne Carson, Ivo Van Hove and the Art of Resistance by Will Aitken

Kelleher, J., Dec 2019, In : Contemporary Theatre Review. 29, 4, p. 485-486 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Open Access

Thinking Through Theatre and Performance

Kelleher, J. (ed.), Bleeker, M. (ed.), Kear, A. (ed.) & Roms, H. (ed.), 7 Feb 2019, London and New York: Methuen Drama: Bloomsbury . 321 p. (Thinking Through Theatre)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Why Study Drama?

Kelleher, J., 7 Feb 2019, Thinking Through Theatre and Performance. Kelleher, J., Bleeker, M., Roms, H. & Kear, A. (eds.). London and New York: Methuen Drama: Bloomsbury , p. 21-32 12 p. (Thinking Through Theatre).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

A fugue state of theatre: on Simon Vincenzi's operationinfinity.org

Kelleher, J., 2018, The Creative Critic: Writing as / about Practice. Orley, E. & Hilevaara, K. (eds.). London and New York: Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group, p. 103 107 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


  • 4 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 4 Public lecture/debate/seminar
  • 3 Invited talk
  • 3 Festival/Exhibition

Dramaturgies of Temporality

Joe Kelleher (Speaker)

14 May 2020

Activity: Public engagement and outreachInvited talk

Thinking Through Theatre and Performance

Joe Kelleher (Speaker), , Maaike Bleeker (Speaker), , Adrian Kear (Speaker), , Heike Roms (Speaker), , Lisbeth Groot NIbbelink (Speaker), & Marijke Hoogenboom (Speaker)

May 2019

Activity: Public engagement and outreachPublic lecture/debate/seminar

It Happens to Other People

Joe Kelleher (Speaker)

Mar 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

More Sincere, More Ridiculous

Joe Kelleher (Speaker)

Mar 2018

Activity: Public engagement and outreachPublic lecture/debate/seminar

Theatre, Media, Publics

Joe Kelleher (Invited speaker)

Aug 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


A Perplexing Pilgrimage: The Spectator as Mitreisender in the Tanztheater of Pina Bausch

Author: Campbell Daly, J., 2009

Supervisor: Kelleher, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Carrying Queerness: Queerness, Performance and the Archive

Author: Hunt, R. J., 13 Jun 2013

Supervisor: Kelleher, J. (Supervisor) & Skantze, P. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Ear Bodies: Acoustic Ecologies in Site-Contingent Performance

Author: Manco, F., 11 Aug 2016

Supervisor: Kelleher, J. (Supervisor) & Skantze, P. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Porno-graphing: ‘dirty’ subjectivities & self-objectification in contemporary lens-based art

Author: Pinaka , A., 31 Oct 2017

Supervisor: Kelleher, J. (Supervisor) & Power, N. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis