Dr Phil Smith
Associate Professor (Reader)
School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)
Phil Smith is an Associate Professor (Reader). He is an academic researcher, writer and artist specialising in walking, site-specific performance, dramaturgy and mythogeographies. He welcomes enquiries from postgraduate students interested in researching fields similar or adjacent to these areas; he is currently Director of Studies for Ivan Pope (post-psychogeographies of Auschwitz) and James Harper-Bailie (co-autoethnographies of class and performance in everyday life). With artist Helen Billinghurst he works as the 'Crab' half of Crab & Bee; after a project of walks, readings and exhibition, ‘Plymouth Labyrinth’, https://plymouthlabyrinth.wordpress.com/ they are presently researching ‘The Pattern', a publication for Triarchy Press (due 2020). With photographer John Schott and DJ Tony Whitehead, Phil has just published ‘Guidebook for an Armchair Pilgrimage’ (Triarchy Press). His other publications include ‘Making Site-Specific Theatre and Performance’ (Red Globe Press, 2018), ‘Walking’s New Movement’ (2015), ‘On Walking’ (2014) and ‘Mythogeography’ (2010). Phil is company dramaturg of TNT Theatre (Munich).
BA Drama Bristol 1977
Member of the Walking Artists Network
Member of Wrights & Sites
Member of Crab & Bee
Site-based theatre, ambulatory performance, performance and environments, community theatre, improvisation, directing, playwriting, live art, symbolist theatre, rough theatre.
Staff serving as external examiners
PhD vivas examined at Glasgow, Canterbury Christ Church, West of Scotland & Plymouth.
Ambulatory performance, walking as performance, web-walking (with Helen Billinghurst), non-systems practice, movement as creativity, mythogeography, situationist practice, rough theatre, street performance, processions, heritage sites, counter-tourism, pseudo-sacred spaces, eerie and place, protected interiority (with Melanie Kloetzel), zombies, site-specific performance and dance and site-based theatre.
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
Helen Billinghurst (PhD) 'Ways of making: producing artworks in the studio in response to experiential walking'
Creative practice & artistic projects
Dracula (TNT Theatre) Co-writer. The Tempest (TNT Theatre) Dramaturg. Le Petit Prince (TNT Theatre) Director. Two European tours. Calton Hill Constellations Edinburgh, Artlink (with Siriol Joyner) – performance for visually impaired audience. Jane Mason's 'Life Forces' (Dancer) 2015 Le Petit Prince (Director) TNT Theatre Co. 2015
Alice's Derives in Devonshire (novel) Triarchy Press, 2014.
There is an account of the autobiographical aspects of my performance work related to walking in Deirdre Heddon's 'Autobiography and Performance' (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) pages 105–111.
Surviving Again and Again and Again. Walk for 'Art of the Edgelands' symposium. For Spacex Gallery, Exeter. 2014.
Refrains For Uncertainly Sacred Spaces – a walk for Airspace gallery, Stoke-on-Trent. 2014.
Venturing Out During the War on Interiority – a talk/performance for Airspace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent. 2014.
Life Forces: performer/deviser for this dance project with choreographer Jane Mason. 2014-15.
Cramond: description performance for a visually impaired audience, with choreographer Siriol Joyner. 2013.
Walls, Doors and Layers: keynote performance for b-side's Resonant Terrains symposium, the chapel of HMP The Verne, Portland. 2013.
Here, Now Blind Ditch (deviser, performer) 2013.
Shapes – an ambulatory performance. b-side Festival, Weymouth. 2012.
Signs & Wonders (with Katie Etheridge and Simon Persighetti) for Green Close Studios & LICA. 2012.
Aldwych Walk – for the Site, Performance and Environmental Change AHRC Network. 2011.
A Yarn Around The West End for Drive In Deco/Hidden City, Plymouth. 2011.
A Tour of Sardine Street (with Simon Persighetti) – culmination of the Relics and Processions project. 2010.
Geo-Quest project (with Tony Lidington & Hugh Nankivell). 2010.
Water Walk (with Simon Persighetti). 2010.
Morte Point Mis-Guide (for the National Trust). 2009.
Light Walk – a short film made with Polly Macpherson, shown at Spacex Gallery. 2009.
Gardens Always Mean Something Else (at A la Ronde, National Trust) with Francesca Falchi-Pereira and Rakeen Silawi. 2009.
Beer, Beef and Royal Steps mis-guide-performance/"twalk" for Royal William Victualling Yard, Stonehouse. 2009.
dramaturg for 'Catherine', Hidden City Festival, Plymouth. 2008.
The Fabulous Walks (Teignbridge, Devon, UK) with Anoushka Athique, Katie Etheridge, Simon Persighetti, Fumiaki Tanaka, Nicola Singh, Rachel Sweeney and Chartwell Dutiro. 2006.
Wrights & Sites curating "Misguided' for the Belluard Bollwerk International, Fribourg, Switzerland. 2006.
In Search of Pontiflunk (play) performed by New Perspectives Theatre Company. 2006.
Manchester, Mythogeography and Mobile Machinoeki – performance at TRIP conference, Manchester. 2006.
A Man About The House – performance with Simon Persighetti, at A la Ronde, National Trust commission. 2008.
Mobile Machinoeki project (including 3 performance walks & Rescued From The History Hut performance, with Anoushka Athique & Katie Etheridge). 2005.
misguided STADTverFÜHRUNGEN in Wien, Vienna Festival, curating 16 artists (Wrights & Sites). 2007.
Foray – performance/walk at A La Ronde for The National Trust. 2007.
Mis-Guided Walk + Mapping Workshop, Northlands Park, Basildon (with Wrights & Sites). 2007.
Taunton A-Dead Mis-guided Walk for Taunton Brewhouse Anti-Static Festival. 2006.
Exeter Everyday Festival, Wrights & Sites. 2006.
Crab Steps Aside (written and performed, with directorial assistance from Sue Palmer)
For Space – performance for Making Space/Taking Space Conference (Devon Arts Forum/CCEP). 2006.
It’s Crab Walking! – talk and walk presentations for Teignbridge DC Walk This Way groups. 2006.
Masses – a mis-guided walk, ICA London. 2006.
The Present Generation, led 2-day workshop section for Organic Theatre (for Wrights & Sites), Palazzo delle Arti Napoli (PAN). 2006.
Drift (film, directed by Clive Austin). 2006.
Coastal Edge – performance for Tide & Time (Phoenix Arts Centre). 2006.
4 Screens (2), (installation), psi, St Mary’s College, London Wrights & Sites.
A Beaminster Mis-Guided Walk for Beaminster Festival. 2006.
Simultaneous Drift (lecture/performance for Situations), Arnolfini, Wrights & Sites. 2006.
Desire Lines walk – Art and Ecology symposium, Dartington. 2006.
4 Screens (1), Walk 21 Conference, Melbourne (installation). 2006.
Mis-guided Soho – Walk for Living Streets (Wrights & Sites). 2006.
Crab Steps Aside (writer/performer). 2005.
Performance On The Path (walk/performance) Tide & Time/South West Coast Path Team. 2005.
Time and Light – performance with St James High School/Exeter Phoenix (writer/director/performer). 2005.
Observatory Walk (walk/performance to the Norman Lockyer Observatory for Alias Encounters). 2005.
A Michael Chekhov Mis-Guide: walk/performance at Michael Chekhov Conference, Dartington (with Simon Persighetti, Wrights & Sites). 2005.
Subverting the City: A Mis-Guide to Milton Keynes, Wrights & Sites, for Optimistic Productions & Fulcrum TV for Channel 4. 2005.
The Gap – performance/walk (with mathematician Matthew Watkins), British Association Festival of Science. 2004.
The Crab Walks! – written and performed, (directorial assitamce by Anjali Jay). 2003.
Hat and Book – a Blue Boy Walk for Spacex Gallery (part of the Homeland/Middle England exhibition). 2003.
Theatre work with TNT (Munich) since 2003
The Wave (co-adaptor), 2013. Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (co-adaptor), 2013. Don Quixote (co-adaptor), 2010. Much Ado About Nothing (dramaturg), One Language, Many Voices (co-adaptor), Oliver Twist (co-adaptor), Fahrenheit 451 (co-adaptor), Taming of the Shrew (dramaturg), King Lear TNT (dramaturg), The Crucible (dramaturg), Frankenstein (co-adaptor), Romeo and Juliet (dramaturg), The Death Of A Salesman (dramaturg), Moon Palace (co-adaptor), Hamlet (dramaturg), Harold & Maude (dramaturg)
Other theatre since 2003:
Sprout, Proteus Theatre Company (writer). 2005.
Bleak House, Oxfordshire Touring Theatre Company (adaptor). 2003.
David – (Auto)biographical theatre piece scripted for David Oddie, Barefoot Project. 2003.
Key publications are highlightedJournals
'Testing Scores for Performing Placestories' in Studies In Theatre and Performance (2022)
‘Two Walks With Objects’ – ‘Humanities’ (2017) online at http://www.mdpi.com/2076-0787/6/3/51/pdf
‘Calton Hill Constellations A Practitioner Report’ (with Siriol Joyner) Scottish Journal of Performance 3:1 2016.
'Sites of Dereliction: beginnings and allies of performance' in Performance Research, Vol 20, Issue 3, 2015, pp. 67-74.
'Performative Walking In Zombie Towns' in Special Issue: Zombies & Performance, Studies in Theatre & Performance, Vol. 34, issue 3, 2014.
'The volative virtues of the guided tour: live performance and the journey to counter-tourism' in Conference Proceedings: 3rd International Forum on Guided Tours (2013).
‘Walking-Based Arts: A Resource for the Guided Tour?’ Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism (2013). http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15022250.2013.796223?journalCode=sjht20#.UZioaaJwRYU
‘Gardens always mean something else’: turning knotty performance and paranoid research on their head at A la Ronde (Cultural Geographies 2011;18, no 4: pp 537-546).
‘Mythogeography works: performing multiplicity on Queen Street’ (Research in Drama Education, Vol 16, Issue 2, 2011.
‘Tourists and Terrorists – Useful Ambiguities in a Search for Models’ (Rhizomes 21, Winter 2010). Online at http://www.rhizomes.net/issue21/smith/index.html
‘The contemporary dérive: a partial review of issues concerning the contemporary practice of psychogeography’. Cultural Geographies Volume 17 Issue 1, January 2010.
‘The Mis-Guide Tour and the Standard Tour – a study of contrasting tour-guiding practices in the city of Exeter (UK)’ Gothenburg Research Institute proceedings of 1st International Research Forum on Guided Tours, Halmstad, 2009.
“Burning the Box Office: locating the relics of theatricality in a dramaturgy of the everyday” Performance Research Vol 14 (3).
‘Actors As Signposts: A Model for Site-based and Ambulatory Performance’, New Theatre Quarterly, Vol. 25, 2009.
‘Theatrical-political Possibilities In Contemporary Procession’, Studies in Theatre and Performance, Vol 29 (1), 2009.
‘From Theatre To Dispersal: a Journey from Stalowa Wola to Mobile Machinoeki’, Performance Research 12 (2), 2007.
‘Street Performance and Public Ritual in Exeter, 1830s to 1930s’, Studies In Theatre and Performance Vol 24 (2), 2003.
‘A Taxonomy On Its Toes’, Performance Research 11 (1), 2006.
‘A Manifesto For A New Walking Culture’ (with Wrights & Sites) - Performance Research 11 (2), 2006.
‘A Short History Of The Future Of Walking’. Rhizomes, 7, Fall, 2004. www.rhizomes.net
‘Dread, Route and Time: An Autobiographical Walking of Everything Else’. Reconstruction, 3 (1), Winter 2003.
‘O Are You Not Being Phil’, Studies in Theatre and Performance, Vol 22 (1), 2001.
‘This Is My World’ in Site-specific: The Quay Thing Documented, Supplement 5, Studies in Theatre and Performance, 2000.
‘Plymouth Pantheon’ with Helen Billinghurst (Crab & Bee, 2019).
‘Guidebook for an Armchair Pilgrimage’ with Tony Whitehead & John Schott (Triarchy Press, 2019).
‘Making Site-Specific Theatre and Performance’ (Red Globe, Macmillan, 2019).
‘Rethinking Mythogeography in Northfield, Minnesota’ with John Schott (Triarchy Press, 2018).
‘The Architect- Walker’ with Wrights & Sites (Triarchy Press, 2018).
‘The MK Myth: A walkable novel’ (Tracing the Pathway, 2018).
‘Storylines’ (Threshold Studios, 2017).
‘Anywhere: a mythogeography of South Devon’ (Triarchy Press, 2017).
‘Walking, Stumbling, Limping, Falling’ with Alyson Hallet (Triarchy Press, 2016).
‘Walking's New Movement’ (Triarchy Press, 2015)
'A Footbook of Zombie Walking' (Triarchy Press, 2015).
‘On Walking’ (Triarchy Press, 2014).
‘Enchanted Things: signposts to a new nomadism’ (Triarchy Press, 2014).
‘Counter-Tourism: The Handbook’ (Triarchy Press, 2012).
‘Counter-Tourism: A Pocketbook’ (Triarchy Press, 2012).
‘A Sardine Street Box of Tricks: How To Make Your Own Mis-Guided Tour On Main Street’ with Simon Persighetti (Triarchy Press, 2012).
‘Mythogeography’ (Triarchy Press, 2010).
‘A Mis-Guide To Anywhere’ with Wrights & Sites (Wrights & Sites, 2006).
‘An Exeter Mis-Guide’ with Wrights & Sites (Wrights & Sites, 2003).
'Dolphin Square to MI6 Walk – produced by disappearing, almost’ in ‘The Creative Critic’, Routledge, eds. Emily Orley & Katya Hilevaara, 2018.
'Using Zombies to Teach Theatre Students' in 'Monsters In The Classroom: essays on teaching what scares us', eds. Adam Golub & Heather Richardson Hayton, McFarland, 2017.
‘Radical twentieth century walkers and the Romantic qualities of leisure walking’ in ‘The Routledge International Handbook of Walking’, eds. M. Hall, Y.Ram & N.Shoval (Routledge, 2017)
‘Pedagogy and the Zombie Mythos: Lessons from Apocalyptic Enactments’ in ‘Generation Z: zombies, popular culture and educating youth’, eds. Carrington, V., Rowsell, J., Priyadharshini, E., Westrup, R. (Springer, 2015).
‘Psychogeography and Mythogeography: Currents in Radical Walking’ in ‘Walking Inside Out: contemporary British psychogeography’, ed. Tina Richardson. (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).
‘Performance and the stratigraphy of place: Everything You Need To Build A Town Is Here’ with Stephen Hodge, Simon Persighetti & Cathy Turner in ‘The Oxford Handbook of The Archaeology of the Contemporary World’ (OUP, 2013).
'History, Terrain and Tread: The Walk of Demons, Zombie Flesh Eaters and The Blind Dead' in ‘European Nightmares: Horror Cinema in Europe since 1945’, eds. Patricia Allmer, Emily Brick & David Huxley, (Wallflower Press, 2012).
‘A la Ronde: eccentricity, interpretation and the end of the world' in ‘Performing Heritage’, eds. Anthony Jackson and Jenny Kidd (Manchester University Press, 2011).
'A methodology for ‘mis-guided’research: from guided tours to counter-tourism'. In Tourism Methodologies’, eds Jane Widtfeldt Meged, Bodil Stilling Blichfeldt, Lulu Anne Hansen & Kristian Anders Hvass. (CBS Press, 2011).
‘A Manifesto for a New Walking Culture: 'dealing with the city' with Stephen Hodge, Simon Persighetti & Cathy Turner in 'Performance and the Contemporary City: An Interdisciplinary Reader' ed. Nicolas Whybrow (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).
‘Crab Walking’ and ‘The Crab Walks’ in ‘Walking, Writing and Performance: Autobiographical Texts by Deirdre Heddon, Carl Lavery and Phil Smith’, ed. Roberta Mock (Intellect, 2009).
‘Special Issue: Zombies & Performance’ of Studies in Theatre & Performance. Co-edited with Lee Miller & Roberta Mock. 2014.
‘Free Mandela’ with Paul Stebbings, TNT Theatre, 2029.
Walks (with Helen Billinghurst) for Common Wealth Theatre, Cardiff, and NHS Psychologists, Exeter, 2019.
Teats Hill residency (‘Albina’ project), with Helen Billinghurst, for Take A Part, Plymouth, 2019.
‘Pilgrimages in Everyday Places’, talk and walk for Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, 2018.
‘Hampstead Mis-Guide’, walk for students from Carlton College, Northfield (MN), 2018.
‘A Walk about Architecture and Things’, walk for Royal College of Art, Walktative project, London, 2018.
Workshop & reading for ‘Embodying the Line’, artdotearth at Schumacher College, Dartington, 2018.
‘Pygmalion’ TNT Theatre (dramaturg), 2018.
‘Bonelines’ walk for Exeter University Drama Department Hauntology module students, 2018.
‘Jubilee Scrying’ with Helen Billinghurst, for tactileBOSCH, Cardiff, 2018.
‘My Sister Syria’ with Paul Stebbings, TNT/American Drama Group Europe, 2017.
Walk/sensitization exercises for ‘Performing Wild Geographies’ research cluster field trip, Knepp Castle Estate, 2017.
‘Re-Walking, Repetition and Repair’, presentation, salon and walk (with Mark Offord) for the Pacitti Company, Ipswich, 2017.
‘Pilgrimage to the tree on the horizon’, walk for TOPS, Exeter, 2017.
Presentation and walk for TECHNE (‘Platforms and Interfaces’) at Royal College of Art, London, 2016.
Walk prepared with Siriol Joyner (who led the walk) for ‘After Method In Organisation Studies lll conference’, Vasteras, Sweden, 2016.
‘Mis-Guided Tour of Llandudno’, walk and presentation for Cultural Action Llandudno, 2016.
Exeter Cathedral Close ‘Ghost Walk’, for Exeter University Drama Department Hauntology module students, 2016.
‘Plymouth Labyrinth’ with Helen Billinghurst (Crab & Bee), multiple walks and workshops, culminating in exhibition at RAAY Gallery, Stonehouse, Plymouth, 2019.
‘Mining the myths and stories in a Whovian landscape’ with Helen Billinghurst (Royal Geographical Society, London, 2019).
‘Earth through mystery to art and back to mystery: from Bonelines and into the Labyrinth’ (Folk Horror Conference, Falmouth, 2019)
‘Web Walking’ with Helen Billinghurst (4th World Congress of Psychogeography, Dewsbury, 2019).
‘Earth through mystery to art and to earth again’ with Helen Billinghurst (Celebrating Island Culture Symposium, St Mary, Isles of Scilly, 2019).
‘Earth Through Mystery to Art and to Earth Again’, artists’ talk and walk with Helen Billinghurst. (Mothership, Dorset, 2019))
‘Intuiting The Terrain’, keynote address Faculty Conference, Canterbury Christchurch University, 2018.
‘New Life for the Undead’. Panel discussion for Battle of Ideas, Barbican Centre, London, 2017.
‘Creeping up on the zombie’ – intervention for Cosmos & Crisis workshop, Stanley Building, London, 2017.
‘Psychogeographical Pilgrimage: New Spectacle, New Psyche, New Drift’; a talk for 4th World Congress of Psychogeographers, Huddersfield, 2017.
‘Urban Walking and Subjectivity’, paper for the Creative Approaches To The Urban Imagination Workshop, Portsmouth University, 2016.
‘Totality: Drawing on character and journey in Symbolist Theatre to make a portrait of South Devon’, paper for Between Spaces Symposium, University of Chichester, 2016.
‘What Is Mythogeography?’ Keynote talk for Leyhunters Moot, Dartmoor/PEP ‘On The Moors’, 2016.
‘Situating The Reader In The War On Subjectivity’, paper for Ambient Literature Symposium, Watershed, Bristol, 2016.
‘The Hollow Hill Is Everywhere’, keynote paper for Gothic Cities/Supernatural Cities Conference, Limerick, 2016.
‘Working towards subjectivity in pseudo-sacred spaces’, with Melanie Kloetzel, paper for Sacred Places Conference, Liverpool Hope University, 2016.
8 texts in response to 8 crawls, for Miranda Whall’s Crossed Paths project; published in exhibition catalogue, 2017.
‘Storylines’ – pamphlets for walks/readings in Milton Keynes as part of Threshold Studios’ Digitalis project, 2016.