James Layton

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Durational performance; Live Art; immersive and participatory performance; site-specific performance; applied performance; arts and health.

Willing to speak to media


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


I am a Lecturer and Researcher in Drama, Theatre and Performance. 

Current research activities

My current research interests are in three strands: 

  1. Durational performance. I am interested in the relationship between performance durations exceeding 'smooth consumption' and the possibility of transformation for the spectator; in particular, why contemporary audiences might be drawn to durationally challenging performance. In relation to this, I am currently writing a monograph (to be published by Intellect Books) titled (Re)Ma(r)king Time: Bergson and Durational Performance.  
  2. Site-Specific performance. Using psychogeographical and mythogeographical approaches, I am interested in exploring how 'collaborative chorology' can be used as a method of remaking space and place, particularly as a tool for mapping memory. 
  3. Applied drama. As part of an ongoing relationship with various educational partners in Romania, I am developing a network of UK-Romania drama teachers with the aim of sharing best practice in drama pedagogy. The key aims of the project are:

1. To share good practice in drama teaching for the benefit the UK and Romanian school curricula; 

2. To develop and sustain a forum for promoting the importance of drama and theatre in school curricula; 

3. To develop and strengthen intercultural links between the UK and Romania. 

I am also currently collaborating with a Theatre-in-Education company in Chester to develop a digital resource for schools that can be used as an early intervention suicide prevention programme. This builds on an earlier research project, Read Between the Lines


Area of academic expertise - outline

Durational performance; Live Art; Site-Specific performance; Autoethnography. 

External positions

External Examiner FdA / BA (Hons) Drama & Performance , Bristol Institute of Performing Arts (University of Gloucestershire)


External Examiner FdA / BA (Hons) Musical Theatre, Bristol Institute of Performing Arts (University of Gloucestershire)


External Examiner FdA / BA (Hons) Theatre & Performance , University Campus Oldham (UCLan)



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