Prof David Pattie

Professor of Drama and Popular Music

I’ve been at Chester since 2001; before that I taught Drama at the Universities of Ulster and Greenwich. At Chester, I teach on the Drama and Popular Music undergraduate degree programmes, and I also teach on the MA in Popular Music.


MA (Hons) English and Drama, Glasgow 1985

PhD in Drama, University of Kent at Canterbury 1992


I’m from Scotland, originally. I graduated with an MA Hons in English and Drama from the University of Glasgow in 1985, and I got my PhD in Drama from the University of Kent in 1992; my thesis looked at the relation between Alternative and Fringe theatre and the State in 1980s Britain.


Since then, I’ve produced research in a wide number of areas; I’ve got a long-standing interest in Samuel Beckett (I’ve produced a book on his work, and I’ve co-organised two international conferences on his work). I’ve also produced work on contemporary theatre; on British drama; and on TV drama (I’ve published two book chapters on The Sopranos).


Since coming to Chester, I’ve researched in popular music, an area that I’ve been interested in for some time; I’ve written one book, on performing rock music, and I’ve co-edited another, on the influential German electronic group Kraftwerk. 


I’ve been the secretary for SCUDD (the Standing Conference of University Drama Departments) and I’m currently one of the co-ordinators for the Performance, Identity and Community working group at TAPRA (the Theatre and Performance Research Association). I’m also a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council peer-review college (I assess grant applications for the Research Council).


Theatre Studies


PA4201 Introduction to Drama and Theatre Studies

PA5201 Drama Theory

PA6201 Advanced Drama Theory


Popular Music


PA4401 Introduction to Popular Music Studies

PA4411 Popular Music Histories

PA5401 Popular Music: Genres and Contexts

PA6401 Popular Music as Event: Genres and Contexts


I also teach on the MA in Popular Music, and I currently supervise two PhD students.


I’ve published research in a number of areas- contemporary theatre and drama, popular music, Samuel Beckett, Scottish theatre, and popular culture.

Published work

‘Modern Drama’, Introducing Literary Studies, Richard Bradford (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1996.  (pps 409-439)


‘Scottish Literature’, Introducing Literary Studies, Richard Bradford (ed), Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1996. (pps 682-693)


‘4 Real: Authenticity, Performance and Rock Music’, Enculturation Vol 2 no2, Spring 1999 (


‘The Common Good: The Hare Trilogy’, Modern Drama, Vol 42 no 2, Fall 1999 (pps 363-375: reprinted in Drama Criticism, vol 26, McGraw Hill 2005)


The Complete Critical Guide to Samuel Beckett, Routledge, 2000 (80,000 words)


‘The Decentring of Docherty: The Scotsman in Modern Scottish Drama’, International Journal of Scottish Theatre, Vol 1 no 2 December 2000 (


‘Space, Time and Beckett’s Late Stages’. Modern Drama Vol 43 no 3 (Fall 2000: pps393 405)


‘Mobbed Up: The Sopranos and the Modern Gangster Movie.’ in This Thing of Ours: Investigating the Sopranos. David Lavery (ed) Colombia University Press, 2002. (pps135-146)


‘Beckett and Bibliography.’ in Palgrave Guide to Beckett Studies. Lois Oppenheim (ed) Palgrave: March 2004 (pps227-246)


Bibliography, Palgrave Guide to Beckett Studies. Lois Oppenheim (ed) Palgrave: March 2004 (pps246-257)


 Samuel Beckett, Routledge 2004 (reissue and retitling of The Complete Critical Guide to Samuel Beckett).


 ‘British theatre since 1968’ in A Companion to British and Irish Drama, ed Mary Luckhurst. Blackwell: 2006. (pps385-397)


Rock Music and Performance, Palgrave 2007. (70,000 words)


‘Travelling Light: Travel as Metaphor in Contemporary Scottish Theatre’,

in Cool Britannia?: British Political Drama in the 1990s, ed. Rebecca Monte/ Graham Saunders, Palgrave: 2007. (pps 143-157)


‘Writing the Ruins: Beckett and Benjamin’, in The Irish Knot: Essays on Imaginary/Real Ireland, ed María José Carrera, Anunciación Carrera, Enrique Cámara, Celsa Dapía, Secretariado de Publicaciones. Universidad de Valladolid, 2008. (pps 161-171)


‘Feeding Power: Harold Pinter, Bakhtin, and Inverted Carnival,’ in Harold Pinter: Dialogues, ed. Mary Brewer, Rodopi Press, 2009.  (pps 55-69)


Beckett on TV: special edition of the Journal of Beckett Studies, co-edited with Ulrika Maude, 2009. (80,000 words)


‘Coming Out of the Dark: Beckett’s TV work’, in Journal of Beckett Studies, 2009. (6,000 words)


‘Beckett and Obsessional Ireland,’ in A Companion to Samuel Beckett, ed. S.E. Gontarski, Oxford: Blackwell, 2010.  (8,000 words)


‘Whatever Happened to Stop and Smell the Roses?; The Sopranos as Anti-Therapeutic Narrative,’ in The Essential Sopranos Reader, ed. David Lavery, University of Kentucky Press, 2011 (6,000 words).


‘A Parallax View of Nick Cave,’ in Eroticism and Death in Performance, ed. Karoline Gritzner, University of Hertfordshire Press, 2010. (6,000 words)


Kraftwerk: Music Non Stop:  book, co-edited with Sean Albiez, Continuum 2010 (80,000 words)


‘Scotland and Anywhere: the plays of David Grieg’, in David Greig: Transnational Identities, eds Antje Muller and Clare Wallace, in press (5,000 words)


A Beautiful, Evil Thing: the Music of Nick Cave; in Nick Cave, ed John Baker, Intellect  in press (6,000 words)






Conference Papers:         


‘Reshaping the Table: British Dramatists and the Fall of the Eastern Bloc’,

 delivered at CONCEPTS Conference, Goldsmiths College, May 1998.


‘Monologism, Dialogism and Heteroglossia in Modern Scottish Fiction’; delivered at ‘Scotland in Theory’ Conference, University of Edinburgh, April 1999.


‘As the Story is Told: Narrative Strategies in Beckett’s Later Fiction and Drama’; delivered at The Capital of Ruins: Beckett’s Prose Fragments symposium, at South Bank University, London, June 1999.


Imagined Landscapes; Mapping Modern Scots Drama’; delivered at Scotland Abroad one-day conference, University of Glasgow, November 1999


‘Writing the Ruins: Beckett and Benjamin’ delivered at Another Beckett Conference, Birkbeck College, University of London, July 2000


Whats and Wheres; the disappearing image in Beckett’s Late Theatre’; delivered at Beckett Time  international conference and festival, Tron Theatre/ Theatre Cryptic, Glasgow, November 2000.


‘Travelling Light: Travel as Metaphor in Contemporary Scottish Theatre’

Delivered at Still In-Yer-Face? conference, University of the West of England, September 2002.


‘Staging the Nation: Scottish Drama in the 1990s’, delivered at Political Futures conference, University of Reading, August 2004.


‘They misunderestimated me,’ delivered at Beyond Postmodernism symposium, Birkbeck College, Sept 2005


‘Coming Out of the Dark: Beckett’s TV Plays’: delivered at Beckett at 100: New Perspectives conference, Florida State University, USA, Feb 2006.


‘Beckett and Obsessional Ireland,’; Keynote address, Imagining Ireland, AEDEI conference, University of Valladolid, Spain, May 2006.


‘Home/Roam’, delivered at second Beyond Postmodernism symposium, Central School of Speech and Drama, July 2006.


‘Repeat: Beckett’s Theatre,’ delivered at Repeat/Repeat, University of Chester, April 2007.


‘Sarah Kane and Social Realism,’ plenary panel paper, delivered at Sarah Kane: Reassessments, University of Cambridge, Feb 2008


‘Whatever Happened to Stop and Smell the Roses?; The Sopranos as Anti-Therapeutic Narrative,’ delivered at The Sopranos: A Wake, Fordham University, New York, USA, May 2008


‘The Persistence of Realness: Authenticity in Popular Music Studies’, TaPRA conference, University of Glamorgan, Sept 2010


‘The Following Precious and Illuminating Material….: Beckett Studies and the Archive’, to be delivered at Beckett: Out of the Archive, University of York, June 2011