Routledge Performance Archive

The Routledge Performance Archive is a developing resource produced in partnership with Digital Theatre, providing unique access to an unprecedented range of audio-visual material from past and present practitioners of performance. This ground-breaking and constantly growing online collection delivers essential resources direct to the classroom, lecture theatre and library. The video material spans more than fifty years of documented work direct from renowned practitioners and specialists, and ranges across the entire spectrum of theatre topics.


Browse the Archive through our list of practitioners, ranging from legendary figures to contemporary pioneers. Trace connections between individuals and entire movements, via specially commissioned biographies and peer-reviewed cross-referencing. All biographical information and video descriptions come direct from the practitioners themselves, unless otherwise stated.


Explore content thematically through our carefully structured taxonomy, and reflect on fascinating new relationships between concept and content. All entries have been taken from Paul Allain’s and Jen Harvie’s Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance (Routledge: London, 2006), and are edited by Maggie B. Gale, unless otherwise indicated.

Grotowski bw

Grotowski, Jerzy

Jerzy Grotowski was one of the major theatre directors of the twentieth century. He extended what theatrical activity comprises through focus on acting, space, and the actor–audience relationship.

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Molik, Zygmunt

Zygmunt Molik (1930–2010) was for twenty-five years an actor of Jerzy Grotowski’s Teatr Laboratorium. He was a co-founder and leading actor in Grotowski’s company, appearing in all its productions.


McBurney, Simon and Complicite

Complicite is an international touring theatre company, based in London and led by Artistic Director Simon McBurney.


Frayn, Michael J.

Born in London in 1933, Michael J. Frayn studied at Cambridge, and then began his working life as a journalist before starting to write plays and novels.


Simmons, Pip

In 1968, Pip Simmons set up his own experimental company, The Pip Simmons Theatre Group, whose devised style was intense, physical and musical.

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Commedia dell’Arte

Commedia dell’arte is a performance form that originated in Italy during the sixteenth century. The performers work with stock or fixed character types.

Applied Theatre

Applied Theatre

Applied theatre is an umbrella term that tries to capture a diverse number of theatre practices that engage communities outside of professional and institutional theatre contexts.

GGP human alter

Body Art

Body art is radical live art that uses the artist’s own body to comment visually, sensually and often viscerally on identity and to enact the body’s social meanings and expressive possibilities.



Pioneered by a trans-European group of artists, Dada is an ‘anti-art’ form that came into being in 1916, partly as a deliberately illogical response to the perceived irrationality of World War One.

Akram Khan Practitioner Image

Khan, Akram

Akram Khan is one of the UK’s most acclaimed choreographers of his generation. He is the Artistic Director of Akram Khan Company and Kaash is the company’s first full-length evening work.

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Performance Art / Live Art & Performance

Performance art/live art is a live artistic practice that evolved as artists sought to extend art beyond the conventional media and practices of painting and sculpture.

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Zarrilli, Phillip

Phillip Zarrilli is internationally known for training actors using a psychophysical process combining yoga and the Asian martial arts, and as a director.

Niamh smiling

Dowling, Niamh

Niamh Dowling works internationally as a movement specialist. She has trained with Monika Pagneux and as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, and collaborates closely with Teatr Piesn Kozla.