Dr Julian Waite

Senior Lecturer Performing Arts / Programme Leader MA Drama

Julian Waite is a performer, visual artist and teacher who specialises in street theatre and portraiture.


2008  University of Manchester PhD in Overcoming Blocks to Performance

2010  University College, Falmouth, MA Authorial Illustration

2000  University of Chester, MA Performance RSA

1988  Bristol Old Vic Drama School, Postgraduate Diploma Directing (Distinction)

1987  University College, Oxford, MA English

1983  University College, Oxford, BA Hons. English Language and Literature


Julian studied English at Oxford while spending a lot of time performing for OUDS at the Oxford Playhouse (playing for example Agamemnon to Imogen Stubbs’ Cressida). Subsequently he founded a theatre company and went on to train as a director at Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company with Christopher Denys. After a period performing in repertory, small London venues, Edinburgh and on tour, Julian developed an interest in community theatre and teaching which led to work abroad (Italy and Spain) and an academic career at Reading, Aberystwyth, Liverpool and for the last ten years the University of Chester. Julian currently continues his work as a performer as an associate artist of the street theatre company Curious Cargo as well as undertaking his own research projects and leading the Performance Practice MA at Chester. He has recently developed a life-long interest in the visual arts taking a sabbatical to study Illustration in Falmouth and exhibiting in Burton and Berlin.


Julian’s doctorate was about creative flow, being an examination of strategies to unblock the performer onstage.  His teaching practice incorporates this research.  He undertakes a wide range of teaching within performance and design, including critical theory, contemporary work, somatic practices, directing and visual communication.


Julian’s research is practice based.  He is currently investigating crossovers between illustration and performance (coining the term performance illustration for the 2009 Illustrative Festival in Berlin).  He is also interested in actor training, creativity, somatic practices and contemporary portraiture.

Published work

Conference Papers:

Learning Styles for University of Chester staff conference June 2007

Applications of NLP to Theatre Performance for the Repeat Repeat Conference, University of Chester May 2007

Writing with groups with support needs for the Writing and Community Conference: Luton University/National Association of Writers in Education March 2001

Exhibitions/Visual work (selection)

Portraits at Burton Manor Atelier February 2010 (exhibition)

The Mezzotint  Installation at Illustrative 09, Berlin 2009 (‘performance illustration’)

Songs of Innocence & Experience for PaperCut Theatre Co.  2004 (set design, puppet creation)

The Weather People for Arts in Regeneration at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool and on Tour 2000  (set design)

Camera Obscura for Scarper Theatre Company at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool 2000 (set design, writer, performer)

Hurricane Lamp for Welfare State International at the Gardiner Arts Centre, Brighton 1987 (assistant director, maker of set and props)

Performances (selection)

The Temperance Society andThe Lost Luggage Porters for Curious Cargo at countless venues from 2006 to date

Work by Ford Madox Brown. Performances on the interactive website for Manchester Art Gallery 2007 - see www.manchestergalleries.org/ford-madox-brown/

Vodka Knickers for Dreamcatcher Theatre Co. at the 24:7 Festival Manchester 2005

Creditors by Strindberg playing Gustav for PaperCut Theatre Co. at the Salford Studio 2004

All in the Family for English Action Theatre touring Italian Schools 1990

Sweeney Todd  by Sondheim as assistant director to David Toguri at the Theatre Royal, Bristol 1988

Various Projects for Age Exchange Theatre 1986-8

Light - a new play by Peter McDonald as director for Wooden O Theatre at the Soho Poly Theatre London 1985

Madame Bovary as adaptor and Charles Bovary for Wooden O Theatre at the Gate, Notting Hill 1984