Professor Helen Newall


  • Professor of Theatre Praxis.


  • Undergraduate Teaching: BA (Hons) Drama; BA (Hons) Creative Performance. Modules: multimedia; Key Modern Drama Practitioners; site-specific performance; installation art.
  • Postgraduate Teaching: MA Making Performance. Modules: Practice as Research; performance practice; dissertation.

PhD supervision

  • Director of Studies: An Examination of Circus and Street Arts as Radical Art Forms.
  • Co supervisor: Commedia Dell’Arte and Neo-Commedia; Devising Dance Theatre.
  • External supervisor: Devising Dance Theatre.
  • Completions: In Search of Duende; Time Ghost: A Memetic Application for the Creation of Live and Virtual Performance.
  • Applications welcomed in the areas of scriptwriting; experimental writing; commemoration; multimedia; installation arts; community arts; performance photography and documentation practices.

Education and Training

  • MA Illustration (with distinction) University of Hertfordshire, 2014.
  • PhD The Memory of Water, Liverpool John Moores University, 2002.
  • MA Creative Studies, (with distinction) Lancaster University, Edge Hill College of Higher Education, 1994.
  • PGCE, Drama and English, Didsbury School of Education, 1986.
  • BA English Literature, The University of Sheffield, 1983.

Research & Professional Practice

I write plays, fiction, and make performance projection and installation work, interrogating such themes as: commemoration & WWI; palimpsests of landscape; site specific and site responsive community writing.

Recent projects have included

  • Playwright; Director; Performance Projection Artist: For the Fallen, (2016, full production: 2018) Community commemoration project. Book & Lyrics: H. Newall; music: Matt Baker. Theatre in the Quarter, St Mary’s Creative Centre. Funding: Cheshire West and Chester.
  • Installation Artist: Lost Morecambe, (2016+) A portable audio-visual installation projecting animations of original C19th performance photography for audiences of 4. Commissioned by Morecambe Variety Festival. Funded: Arts Council England.
  • Video Projection Artist: Identity Crisis (2016) by Phina Oruche. Digital animation of photography of Oruche. Ebo Girl Productions. National tour. Funded: Arts Council England.
  • Lyricist: Get Fresh (2016) Lyrics: Helen Newall; Music: Matt Baker. Commissioned by National School Lunch Initiative: School Food Plan.
  • Playwright: Best Days of Our Lives (2015) Book & lyrics by Helen Newall, music: Matt Baker. Community reminiscence project. Theatre in the Quarter, Chester Cathedral, Funders & Sponsors: Arts Council Lottery; Cheshire West and Chester; Earl of Chester Trust; Cheshire Community Foundation; Blacon Education Village: Avenue Services.
  • Street Theatre Playscript: Your Country Needs You! (2015) Book: Helen Newall; music Matt Baker. Theatre in the Quarter. Site responsive street theatre dramatizing local WW1 stories. Commissioned and Funded by: Warrington Borough Council and Warrington Culture as part of the 2015 Warrington Festival.
  • Street Theatre Playscript: Preston Remembers (2015) Book: Helen Newall; music Matt Baker. Site responsive street theatre dramatizing local WW1 stories. Theatre in the Quarter. Commissioned and funded by: Preston Remembers.
  • Installation Artist: Remember Me, (2014+) A portable audio-visual installation projecting animations of original WW1 photography for one-to-one audiences. Liverpool, Chester, Formby, Arts Centre, Ormskirk, Liverpool Bluecoat Chambers, Ansdell Library, Lytham St Anne’s.
  • Playscript, co-director: Over By Christmas (2014) Book & lyrics: Helen Newall; music Matt Baker
  • Theatre in the Quarter. Performed on railway stations in the North-West, Manchester Piccadilly, St Pancras International, London. Funded: Arts Council; Rail Consortia.
  • Award: Cheshire West Community and Voluntary Arts Award, Performing Arts Category, 2015
  • Award: WW1 Commemoration Special Award, ACORP National Community Rail Awards, 2015.
  • Nominated: Marketing Cheshire Annual Awards, Tourism Experience or Event of the Year.
  • Playwright, Performance Projection Artist: Silent Night (2014) by Helen Newall, dir. Emma Lucia. Play dramatizing the 1914 Christmas Truce. Theatre in the Quarter. Touring. Funded: Arts Council England; Chester and Cheshire West.
  • Playscript: Honour (2014) A multimedia outdoor projection event. Dir. Craig Morris. Quays Culture, Salford Quays. Funded: Arts Council England; AGMA; The Quays; MediaCityUK.
  • Photographer: Exhibition: 12° North: Class, Rehearsal, Performance (2014+) Photography interrogating the uses of dance documentation. The Arts Centre, Edge Hill, September 2014; The Lowry Theatre, Salford December 2014; The Citadel, St Helens, spring 2015. Arts Centre, Ormskirk, spring 2016; Ludus Dance, spring 2016. Funded: Arts Council England; Edge Hill University.
  • Photographer: Exhibition: Dying Swans and Dragged up Dames (2014) A photography exhibition of ballerina drag featuring Mark Edward. The Arts Centre, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, 2013; Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, 2014. Funded: Edge Hill University.
  • Installation Artist: Dreaming the Silence 2 (2014) Installation interrogating representation of deafness and tinnitus. Text & animations: Helen Newall; sound: Karen Lauke. Disability Arts Festival, Pound Arts, Corsham, Wiltshire. Funded: Edge Hill University.
  • Director: 6 Impossible Things (2014) by James Macpherson and Bill Palmer. National Tour. Funded: Cheshire Rural Touring, Arts Council England.
  • Performance Projection Artist: The Snow Queen (2013) Adapted & dir. by Russ Tunney. Theatre in the Quarter, Chester Town Hall. Funded: Arts Council England; Chester and Cheshire West.
  • Contributing book editor: Robert Graham, Helen Newall, Heather Leach (eds.) (2013, 2nd edition) The Road to Somewhere: A Student’s Writing Companion, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Performance Projection Artist: Illumination (2013) by Donna Worthington, dir. Bill Hopkinson. Glossolalia Theatre Company, NW & NE tour. Funded: Arts Council England.
  • Performance Projection Artist: A Christmas Carol (2012) by Charles Dickens, adapted & dir. Russ Tunney. Theatre in the Quarter, Chester Town Hall. Funded: Arts Council England; Chester and Cheshire West.
  • Installation Artist: The Ghost of Someone Not Yet Drowned (2012) by Helen Newall, Karen Lauke, Julia Griffin, The Victoria Baths, Manchester. Funded: EHU, Arts Council England.
  • Video-essay: ‘Sounds & Visions: Dreaming the Silence as an un-trance-lated performance’, in Arlander, A., Bonenfant, Y., Krell, M.A. (eds.) (2012) Experiments and Intensities online journal, Vol 2), Winchester University Press.
  • Lyricist: When the Waters Rise (2012) Lyrics: Helen Newall; music: Matt Baker.. Commissioned by A Handbag of Harmonies for gold medal winning Oxfam show garden, RHS Show, Tatton Park.
  • Playwright The Chester Giants (2012) Community opera. Book & lyrics by Helen Newall, music: Matt Baker. Theatre in the Quarter with A Handbag of Harmonies. Performed to 20,000 people at The Roodee and Tatton Park to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Torch. Also performed as part of Chester Summer Music Festival’s BIG SING weekend, by 300 members of the local community.
  • Commissioned by A Handbag of Harmonies, produced by Theatre in the Quarter. Funded: Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire Rural Touring Arts.
  • Lyricist: Across the World (2012) lyrics Helen Newall; music Matt Baker. Theatre in the Quarter, BBC Music Nation, 2012. Performed by 10 choirs, 12 primary schools, Homegrown Dance Theatre, Chester Schools’ Concert Band, Chester the Giant City, and soloists Robert Clack and Sara Cooper.
  • Performed at Chester’s Amphitheatre, as Chester’s contribution to Music Nation organised by the BBC and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the Cultural Olympiad. Commissioned by A Handbag of Harmonies, produced by Theatre in the Quarter. Funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council, and Cheshire Rural Touring Arts.
  • Playwright:,Star of Wonder (2011) Dir. Russ Tunney; music: Matt Baker. Theatre in the Quarter.
  • NW tour; Showzam 2012 Festival of Circus, Magic and New Variety, Blackpool. Funded: Arts Council England; Cheshire Rural Touring; Lancashire Rural Touring.

External Consultation

  • Course leader for Edsential Canolfan Conway Centre GCSE specialist drama residential courses.
  • Photographer-in residence for Edsential, Canolfan Conway Centre.

External Examiner

  • University of Bolton: undergraduate creative writing programmes, 2004 – 2010
  • Liverpool Hope University: undergraduate Drama programme, 2004 – 2009
  • University of Chester: postgraduate: MA Creative Practice in Education, 2017+

Public Engagements

  • ‘Silences, Visions and Fragments of Sound’, RISEBA University, Riga, Latvia, 2016.
  • ‘Commemoration’, Formby Writers, Formby, 2016.
  • ‘The Short Story’, Formby Writers, Formby, 2015.
  • ‘Commemoration’, English-Speaking Union, Tarporley, 2014.
  • ‘Writing for Publication’, Formby Bookshop, 2014.

Forthcoming Projects

  • Chapter: ‘Photo-documentation’, with Amy Skinner, Allan Taylor, in Sant, Toni. (ed.) (2017)
  • Documenting Performance: The Context and Processes of Digital Curation and Archiving, London: Bloomsbury.
  • Chapter: ‘Characterisation’ in Graham, Robert. (ed.) (2017) How to Write Short Fiction and Think about It, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Playscript: Pageant of the Dee, (2017) Theatre in the Quarter


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