Richard Gough

Job title
Professor of Performance Research
01326 255581

Richard Gough is artistic director of the Centre for Performance Research (CPR); professor of performance research and curator of The Cabinet (CPR Resource Centre) in AMATA, Falmouth University; fellow of IRC/IPC Freie Univeristat Berlin; general editor of Performance Research (The Journal of Performance Arts published bimonthly by Routledge, Taylor & Francis) and publisher for Performance Books and Black Mountain Press. For nineteen years he was senior research fellow and then professor of Theatre & Performance (2004 -2013) at Aberystwyth University (now an AU emeritus professor) until his move to Falmouth in 2014.

He was born in North Wales, went to school in Hereford, grew up in Cardiff and began working with Cardiff Laboratory Theatre (CLT) at the age of eighteen.  As artistic director of the Centre for Performance Research (1987 -), and its predecessor CLT (1979 – 86), he has curated and organised numerous international theatre projects which include conferences, research projects, summer schools, workshop programmes, and international festivals, as well as producing nationwide tours of experimental theatre and traditional dance/ theatre ensembles from around the world. Many of the CPR recurrent and annual public/professional-facing programmes (for example: Past Masters, Points of Contact; Giving Voice and CPR Summer School) have gained worldwide attention.

In addition to being a curator, producer, researcher and editor he is a director of theatre productions and installations - curating over seventy productions many of which have toured Europe. He has lectured, given keynote presentations and led workshops throughout Europe (including Iceland, Turkey, Georgia and Kosovo) and in China, Japan, Korea, India, Singapore, Russia, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Brazil, Philippines and Africa (Egypt, Sudan, Morocco and Kenya). His international work and profile has been sustained though extensive and in-depth collaborations in specific regions, for example visiting Poland several times each year since 1979, and China every year since 1986.

Richard Gough was the founding president of Performance Studies international (PSi) and steered the international development of this burgeoning professional association between 1997 and 2001, and directed the 5th PS conference Here Be Dragons in 1999. Extending his interest in the education of young people and the promotion of a world view of theatre, he was the chief examiner, Theatre Arts (worldwide) for the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) 2002-05 and supervised the re-writing of the curriculum for that programme.

He published his first journal at the age of nineteen - Masquerade - containing articles by Barba, Brook, Grotowski and Kantor, as an initiative of Cardiff Laboratory Theatre and has continued throughout the past 40 years to publish books, magazines and journals as a part of the multi-faceted CPR (editing, writing and curating). He is the general editor and co-founder of Performance Research (The Journal of Performance Arts published bi-monthly by Routledge, Taylor & Francis) now entering its 21st year. He is series editor and publisher of Black Mountain Press (a division of CPR) and has recently co-founded Performance Research Books that is an independent venture of Performance Research the journal. He co-edited A Performance Cosmology - the 30th year anniversary book of CPR published by Routledge (2006). His major publishing ambition is to write on artists’ engagement with food throughout the twentieth century through a project entitled Leaving the Table. He has also served on the editorial boards of nine theatre/ dance/ performance journals (print and on-line projects) and continues to advise two major UK publishers.

His own performance work in relation to performance, food and cookery continues to develop with a series of productions and installations based around the theme of Last Supper and an evolving sequence of performance banquets for a variety of international events and conferences realised in America, Europe and Australasia. He has a developing interest - both theoretical and practical - in the relationships between performance, photography and portraiture as well as relationships between documentation, process, and performance. He continues to develop the CPR Resource Centre and Collections, part of which is located in Falmouth as The Cabinet (open to all) and he plans to establish a major research project exploring the relationship of the archive and archiving to performance. He has recently completed a major research enquiry into the history and legacy of European Laboratory Theatres (Leverhulme funded) and is embarking on establishing a worldwide network of partners to advance research into Global Dramaturgies.


Honours and awards


Life-Long Honorary Member of PSi Performance Studies international (in recognition of work done as inaugural president and in establishing the association world-wide).

Award of Honour from the University of Khartoum, Sudan, November 1999 (in recognition of work done to encourage exchange and mutual understanding).

Guest of Honour & Award Recipient of the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre September 2002 (in recognition of life-long commitment to experimental theatre).

Recipient of the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Visiting Artist/Scholar award and residency (Autumn 2003).

Recipient of an Erskine Fellowship for University of Canterbury Visiting Fellow, Christchurch, New Zealand (Autumn 2011)

Fellow of the International Research Centre/Interweaving Performance Cultures, Freie Universitat, Berlin (2013 – 2016)

Research interests

Research interests and expertise

Performance in relation to other disciplines and artistic and social pursuits - current concerns include: performance and photography; performance and tourism; performance, health and medicine and an ongoing interest in performance food and cookery.

Artistic led research/practice and practical creative work as a curator, devisor and director.

Research students

Previous student supervision

Richard Gough has supervised 3 PhD students to completion, participated in the supervisory teams of 4 others and examined 14 PhDs through viva and public defense – in the UK (11), Norway (2) and Malta (1).

Number of research students supervised to completion: 3