School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Helen Freshwater

Reader in Theatre & Performance


I took my PhD, MRes and undergraduate degrees at Edinburgh University, and taught at Nottingham University and Birkbeck College, London, before joining Newcastle University in 2011.


My research focuses upon twentieth century British theatre and contemporary performance, and my publications include Theatre & Audience and Theatre Censorship in Britain: Silencing, Censure and Suppression (which were both published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2009). I am a contributing editor to New Theatre Quarterly and Performing Ethos. In 2011 I was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize to support my current research project, which explores how contemporary theatre uses child performers and constructs the figure of the child through performance.


Research Interests

My research focuses upon twentieth century British theatre and contemporary performance, and I have published on censorship; audiences, participation and interactivity; archive theory and historiography; and British physical theatres. My current research explores the representation of children and childhood in contemporary British theatre and performance.

Postgraduate Supervision

I welcome applications from postgraduate students working in any of the above fields.

Esteem Indicators

In November 2011 I was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize to support my research into the theatrical representation of children and childhood. These prizes are made to outstanding young scholars who have made a substantial and recognised contribution to their field of study at international level.

Forthcoming presentations

I will be giving a keynote at the Centre for Spectatorship and Audience Research at the University of Toronto during my time with them as a visiting scholar in November 2016.  


In Semester 2 2016-17 I am convening and teaching on:

SEL1031 'Drama, Theatre, Performance'


SEL2217 'Popular Performance Here and Now' 

I will also be contributing to SEL8452 'Research Matters 2'.