Professor Gregg Whelan

Job title
Professor of Performance
Email
gregg.whelan@falmouth.ac.uk

"A wonderful body of work" The Guardian  

Gregg Whelan formed the performance company Lone Twin with Gary Winters in 1997. The company’s work is regularly shown across the world to critical and popular acclaim. Lone Twin produced The Boat Project, a large-scale participatory commission for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Since 2007 Gregg has been co-artistic director of ANTI Contemporary Art Festival, Finland. In 2010 Whelan became an AHRC research fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at King’s College London. In 2013 Gregg joined Falmouth University as Professor of Performance.  

Gregg’s role at Falmouth sees him teaching across theatre, dance, music and cultural management and production. Gregg’s research, his professional output and his curatorial activities are focused on performance culture; performance as a way of thinking about the world, and performance practices; the making and doing of performance. Ideas of community and social participation are at the heart of Gregg's practice. 

Currently Gregg holds an AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts with a project that explores the cultural agency of running, and its relationship to endurance and participation. This interdisciplinary project shares a research agenda with designers, urban planners, social scientists, sports scientists, medical scientists, healthcare professionals and performance makers.

 

Qualifications

Honours and awards

YearDescription
2008

Honorary Fellowship, Dartington College of Arts

2008

Honorary Diploma, The City of Kuopio

Membership of external committees

AHRC Peer Review College

Research interests

Research interests and expertise

My range of research activities can be broadly placed under two umbrella terms; performance culture and performance practices. The latter I think of as the ‘doing’ of performance; making it, building it. The former I think of as what performance allows us to understand; if we take performance as way of knowing, a way of understanding, what knowledge might it engender? Although my own, practical uses of performance are aligned to disciplines such as theatre, art or sport my sense of performance as form of behavior and way of knowing extends across contexts and disciplines such as design, geography, urban studies, fashion, popular culture, contemporary literary practice, medicine, biology, ecology, commerce and beyond. The core concerns of my work are focused on performativity in relation to ideas of community and social participation. 

The Long Run, an AHRC supported fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts (2010 – 2017), responds to recent studies in biology, anthropology and archaeology that propose the human body achieved its current form, and its survival, from the evolved ability to run relatively great distances. The research asks how do body-based cultural practices respond to this re-writing of the human body? What happens to the difficult practice of endurance running once we apprehend it in social and cultural terms?   

My other current research interests are:   

  • Running cities, smart cities, smart design   
  • Performance and place; performed communities and participation  
  • Performance and travel, journey and mobility  
  • Narrative spaces and processes – narrative tools and modes of telling  
  • Writing/performing the post-dramatic  
  • The social agency of dance; place-based dance making  
  • Writing, oration and affirmation; performance and kindness  

The performance company Lone Twin has been the home to my performance making since 1997. The company, co-founded with Gary Winters, makes a range of work for theatres, public space and beyond. 2011 saw the publication of Good Luck Everybody, Lone Twin, Journeys, Performances, Conversations (Performance Research Books), edited by David Williams and Carl Lavery it is a comprehensive look at the company's first decade or so of activity. A listing of Lone Twin's public works is included here in the Professional Engagement section. Below is a selective list of books, chapters, articles about Lone Twin. 

Selective third party publications/events on Lone Twin   

Books

Williams, David (2012) The Lone Twin Boat Project, Devon: Chiquita Books

Williams & Lavery, ed. (2011) Good Luck Everybody, Lone Twin, Journeys, Performances, Conversations, Aberystwyth: Performance Research Books

David Metcalfe ed. (2007) Town Crying: A Lone Twin project, ed., Newcastle upon Tyne: Forma Arts & Media

Conference

I Can’t Go On Like This, Lone Twin and Related Practices, International conference, Lancaster University, 2007

Chapters/articles 

Frank, Thomas and Philipp, Anke (2005) ‘Lone Twin: Cracking nuts with sledge hammers’, in Thomas Frank and Mark Waugh (eds), We Love You: On audiences, Frankfurt am Main: Revolver, pp. 162–70. 

Govan, Emma (2007) ‘Inhabiting space’, in Emma Govan, Helen Nicholson, and Katie Normington (eds) Making A Performance: Devising histories and contemporary practices, London: Routledge, pp. 122–6. 

Judah, Hettie (2006) ‘Marathon men’, The Bulletin no. 18 (Brussels), 4 May, 24–5. 

Kartsaki, Eirini (2012) ‘Repeat repeat: returns of performance in the work of Lone Twin Theatre’, Choreographic Practices vol. 3, pp. 119-38 

Laing, Barry (2005) ‘Walking the Imagination’, RealTime no. 70 (Australia), December–January. Lavery, Carl (2009) ‘Is there a text in this performance?’ Performance Research Journal14:1: 37–45. 

Lavery, Carl and Williams, David (2011) ‘Practising Participation: A Conversation with Lone Twin’, Performance Research 16:4, 2011 On Participation 7-14 

Maxwell, Dominic (2010) ‘A triumph from calamity’, The Times, 9 March. (Review of The Catastrophe Trilogy at the Barbican.) 

Schmidt, Theron (2009) ‘Lone Twin times two’, Total Theatre Magazine 21:1: 26. 

Tecklenburg, Nina (2009) ‘The Potential of the End(ing): Anticipated nostalgia in To The Dogs by Lone Twin’, Theatre Research International 34: 124-130. 

Travers, Sophie (2004) ‘Line Dances, Weather Works and Expeditions’, Dance Theatre Journal 19:4: 22–6. (Interview with Lone Twin.) 

Williams, David (2010) ‘Geographies of Requiredness: Notes on the dramaturg in collaborative devising’, Contemporary Theatre Review 20:2 ‘On Dramaturgy’: 198–205

Williams, David (2012) ‘A thing built to move: Lone Twin’s The Boat Project ­ an interview with Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan’, Total Theatre 24:1, Spring, pp. 11-12

Research outputs

Publications and research outputs

Article

 

Whelan, Gregg (2012) Running Through A Field: Performance and Humanness. Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, 17 (2). ISSN 1352-8165
[img]

 

Conference or Workshop Item

 

Whelan, Gregg and Tuukkanen, Johanna (2014) ANTI Contemporary Art Festival. In: ANTI Contemporary Art Festival, Kuopio, Finland.
[img] [img]

 

 

Whelan, Gregg (2014) The Amateur Human: Seeing Running. In: RUN RUN RUN International Festival of Running, The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. 

 

Performance

 

Whelan, Gregg and Winters, Gary (2010) The Catastrophe Trilogy. [Performance]
[img] [img]

 

 

Whelan, Gregg and Winters, Gary (2010) Beastie by Lone Twin. [Performance] 

 

 

Williams, David, Whelan, Gregg and Winters, Gary (2006) Alice Bell. [Performance] 

 

Project

 

Whelan, Gregg and Winters, Gary (2011) The Boat Project. [Project]
[img] [img]

 

Externally funded research grants information

Year startingYear endingProject titleFunderValueCollaboratorsHESA Category
2010
2017
Fellowship: The Long Run, Contemporary Performance Practice and Endurance Running
AHRC
£220,639

Research students

Current research students

Gemma Garwood, Deep-Mapping as a Collaborative Strategy for Re-Imagining the Town Centre

Teaching

Areas of teaching

Cultural Management and Production
Dance
Music
Theatre

Courses taught

Acting BA(Hons)
Theatre BA(Hons)
Dance and Choreography BA(Hons)
Popular Music BA(Hons)
Creative Events Management BA(Hons)
Music, Theatre and Entertainment Management BA(Hons)

Professional engagement