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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Kingston University
Penrhyn Road
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 2EE

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000

Addiction and Performance: the New Normal?

Date:04 April 2012 to
05 April 2012
Location:Penrhyn Road campus
Fee:65 Early registration fee, 50 student and conces

Kingston University and Liverpool Hope University

Registration is now open for this joint conference, organised in partnership between Kingston University and Liverpool Hope University, and to be held in Kingston. Addiction and Performance: the New Normal? brings together world-leading research and cutting-edge arts practice, in an interdisciplinary, international conference that explores the connections between addiction and performance.

This conference aims to explore questions such as why drugs, addicts, and addictions appear so frequently in performance? Why are substances, users and dependency employed as devices in different kinds of narratives, across eras, genres and art forms, borders and identities? How do such works use representation to trouble the problematic term 'addiction' and its negative associations with mental illness, criminality, and disorder?

By bringing together leading researchers with performers, applied theatre practitioners, and therapeutic professionals working with arts-based treatments, this conference articulates vital, new strategies capable of investigating and tackling this multifaceted field. Addiction is ubiquitous in culture from novels to newspapers, and relevant at every level of decision-making from the geopolitical to the individual. The number of UK gambling addicts has almost reached 500,000; there are over a million hospitalisations due to alcohol misuse every year – and the numbers are rising. It could even be argued that addiction has become a paradigm.

Addiction and Performance acknowledges the scale and plurality of this field, which it addresses through contributions from academics, artists, and therapeutic professionals, in a conference comprised of keynote presentations, paper panels, Applied Theatre workshops, and practice research events.

Register here:
(Early bird offer ends 1st March)


  • Baz Kershaw (Warwick University)
    'This is the way the world ends, not...' On Performance Compulsion and Climate Change
  • Morten Nissen and Kirstine K. Høgsbro (University of Copenhagen)
    The Subjects, Standards and Substances of Fiction
  • Jim Orford (University of Birmingham)
    Anne Brontë, Sara Coleridge, Caitlin Thomas and others: how biography and fiction can illuminate the family experience of addiction
  • Andrea Rinke (Kingston University)
    Performing the ‘Drug Experience’ - Getting ‘high’ on Cinema

Applied Theatre Workshops

  • Phil Fox and Outside Edge
    From Forum Theatre to Substance Misuse: The Musical
  • Kate McCoy
    Looking at, or Looking Away: Theatre-Based Work with Drug and Alcohol Users
  • Sarah Meadows
    Cycles of Addiction and Performance: the Crypt Project
  • Niki Papadopoulou
    Young Adults in Recovery: Using a holistic approach

Paper Presentations

  • Nicholas Arnold (Adam MIckiewicz University, Poland)
    The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd
  • Jonathan Drahos (University of Birmingham)
    Shakespeare’s struggle with Addiction
  • Felix Ensslin (Academy of Arts, Stuttgart)
    Addiction and the Problem of Being
  • Aidan Gray (Hum London)
    Human and Community Enrichment and the Arts: Implications for Treatment & Recovery
  • Katie Grogan (Drew University)
    Doctors, Drugs and Docile Bodies
  • Aline Hardwick (University of Glasgow)
    The Contribution of Applied Drama to the Recovery of Adult Substance Abusers: A Qualitative Exploration
  • Aleksandra Jelic (Apsart, Belgrade)
    Re-Creation of Life
  • Carole Murphy (Kingston University)
    Stories of Recovery: Services, Stigma and “Someone like me”
  • Julie Vargo (Kingston University)
    Towards Recreational Cocaine Use? An Explorative Study on a Sample of Young Adults
  • Liza Williams (University of Colorado, Boulder)
    A typical Drunkard: the Establishment of the Alcoholic Stereotype on the American Stage

Kingston Practice Research Unit Presentations

  • Bryony Kimmings and Nick Vass
    7 Day Drunk: the Documentary
  • Vita Nova
    The Authentic Voice

Further information

For further information, please contact the conference organisers by email:

More information

Marketing & Events Officer
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Kingston University
Penrhyn Road
Kingston upon Thames

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 2853

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