Roberta Mock

Roberta Mock

Visiting Professor

School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)

Roberta Mock can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Theatre
  • Jewish culture
  • Experimental performance
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Arts research
  • Performance


Roberta Mock is Visiting Professor of Performance Studies in the School of Society and Culture at the University of Plymouth, where she supervises 2 PhD researchers.

Roberta is currently the Executive Dean of the School of Performing and Digital Arts at Royal Holloway University of London. She is the immediate Past Chair of the Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA); and the Principal Investigator for the Transitioning to Sustainable Production across the UK Theatre Sector project (co-commissioned by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre and Arts Council England). In addition to a commitment to exploring and celebrating "green" theatre practices, her research – which takes the form of both performance and writing – tends to focus on gender, sexuality and bodies, with a specific interest in live art and stand up comedy by Jewish women. She is the author or editor of five books.



Research degrees awarded to supervised students

18 PhDs, 5 MPhils and 3 ResMs, including as Director of Studies at the University of Plymouth: 'Solo Auto/biographical Theatre: Towards a process of self- transformation' (Dr Mo Cohen, 2022); 'Playing, Painting, Personas' (Dr Robyn Thomas, 2022); 'Fan Practices & Producerly Art making' (Dr Beth Richards, 2020); 'Bodycloth in Performance Art' (Dr Natalie Raven, 2020); 'Meeting the Archive in an Interdisciplinary Arts Practice' (Dr Steven Paige, 2019); 'FEMEN and the performance of topless protest' (Leah Dungay, 2018); 'Exploring Privilege through the Creation and Live/Digital Performance of an Alter Ego' (Gemma Chatwin, 2018); 'Performing LGBT Pride in Plymouth, 1950-2012' (Dr Alan Butler, 2016); 'Challenging Fragmentation: Overcoming the Subject-Object Divide through the Integration of Art-making and Material Culture Studies' (Dr Andrew Cope, 2014); 'Toward a Female Clown Practice: Myth, Archetype & Transgression' (Dr Maggie Irving, 2013); 'Mythogeographic Performance and Performance Interventions in Spaces of Heritage-Tourism' (Dr Phil Smith, 2013); 'Memory & Site Responsive Installation Art' (James Barber, 2011); 'The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Needs of Mid-Career Artists in South West England' (Dr Karen Smith, 2010); 'Information Art' (David Topping, 2010); 'Nostalgia and Contemporary Chanson Cabaret in Berlin' (Julia Harris, 2008); 'Articulations of Equity: Practice, Complexity and Power in Facilitated Art Projects' (Dr Gill Melling, 2006); ‘Creating Emotionally Aware Performance Spaces’ (Dr Richard Povall, 2003). 




(as co-editor with Mary Paterson) Joshua Sofaer: Performance / Objects / Participation. Live Art Development Agency & Intellect Books, 2020.

(as editor) Walking, Writing and Performance: Autobiographical Texts by Deirdre Heddon, Carl Lavery & Phil Smith. Intellect, 2009. 

(as co-editor with Colin Counsell) Performance, Embodiment & Cultural Memory. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009. 

Jewish Women on Stage, Film, and Television. Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

(as editor) Performing Processes: Creating Live Performance. Intellect, 2000. 


‘Ageing, Temporality and Performance: Joan Rivers’ Body of Work,’ Performance Research, 24(3), 144-152; 2019.

‘“This ain’t no love-in, this ain’t no happenin”: Misfits, Detroit hardcore and the performance of zombie scenarios,’ Studies in Theatre & Performance, 34(3), 201-210; 2014.

‘Stand-up Comedy and the Legacy of the Mature Vagina,’ Women and Performance, 22(1), 9-28; 2012.

‘Really Jewish? Joan Rivers Live at the Apollo,’ Comedy Studies, 2(2), 101-111; 2011.

With Erica Stevens Abbitt, Johanna Frank & Geraldine (Gerry) Harris. 'Aging Provocateurs and Spect(er)acular Pub(l)ic Performances,' Performance Research, Vol 16, No 2, 50-56; 2011.

‘Anywhere (No, Devon),’ Western European Stages, 19(1), 15-20; 2007.

With Ruth Way & Christine Roberts. ‘The M(other) Project,’ Body Space & Technology, Vol 6; 2006.

'Globalisation's Marginalia: Anglo-Canadian Identity and the Plays of Brad Fraser'; Contemporary Theatre Review, 16(01), 86-96; 2006.

With Ruth Way. 'Pedagogies of Theatre (Arts) & Performance (Studies),’ Studies in Theatre & Performance, 25(3), 201-213; 2005.

With Franc Chamberlain, Simon Ellis, Nicholas Till & John C Whelan. ‘Reflections on practice as research following the PARIP conference 2003,’ Studies in Theatre & Performance, 24(2), 57-70; 2004.

‘HeteroQueer Ladies: Some Performative Transactions Between Gay Men & Heterosexual Women,’ Feminist Review, 75, 21-37; 2003.

‘Without You I’m Nothing: Sandra Bernhard’s Self-Referential Postmodernism,’ Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol 30, 543-562; 2001.

With Christine Roberts. ‘Shading the Crime: Acting Hopelessness as an Act of Hope,’ Studies in Theatre Production, no 19, 22-35; June 1999.

'Female Jewish Comedians: Grotesque Mimesis and Transgressing Stereotypes,’ New Theatre Quarterly; vol XV (2); NTQ 58, 99-108; 1999.

'Ionesco in Transylvania,’ Studies in Theatre Production, no 8, 76-79; Dec 1993.


‘"Shut Your Hole, Girlie. Mine’s Making Money, Doll": Creative Practice-Research & the Problem of Professionalism' in Agnieszka Piotrowska (ed.), Creative Practice Research in the Age of Neoliberal Hopelessness. Edinburgh University Press, 2020.

'Marisa Carnesky, Showwoman’ in Maria Chatzichristodoulou (ed.), Live Art in the UK: Contemporary Performances of Precarity. Methuen Drama, 2020.

‘Experiencing Michael Mayhew’s Away in a Manger: spectatorial immersion in durational performance’ in James Frieze (ed.), Framing Immersive Theatre & Performance. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

With Kayla Parker & Ruth Way. ‘Heaven is a Place: The politics and poetics of LGBT location in a community dance film’ in Sarita Malik, Caroline Chapain & Roberta Comunian (eds), Community Filmmaking: Diversity, Practice and Places. Routledge, 2017.

‘When the Future Was Now: Archaos within a theatre tradition’ in Peta Tait and Katie Lavers (eds), The Routledge Circus Studies Reader. Routledge, 2016.

‘It Turns Out: Jess Dobkin’s Puppet Body’ in Johanna Householder and Tanya Mars (eds), Caught in the Act: Performance art by Canadian women. YYZ Press, 2016.

'Lynn Hershman and the Creation of Multiple Robertas' in Susan Broadhurst & Josephine Machon (eds.) Identity, Performance and Technology: Practices of Empowerment, Embodiment and Technicity. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

With Jennifer Parker-Starbuck. ‘Researching the Body in/as Performance’ in Helen Nicholson & Baz Kershaw (eds.) Research Methods in Theatre Studies. Edinburgh University Press, 2011.

‘Visions of Xs: Experiencing La Fura dels Baus's XXX and Ron Athey’s Solar Anus’ in Karoline Gritzner (ed.) Eroticism and Death in Theatre and Performance. University of Hertfordshire Press, 2010.

Tohu-bohu: Rachel Rosenthal’s Performances of Diasporic Cultural Memory’ in Colin Counsell & Roberta Mock (eds.) Performance, Embodiment and Cultural Memory. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.

‘Deviant Textualities: Formlessness in La Fura dels Baus's XXX’ in Susan Broadhurst & Josephine Machon (eds.) Sensualities/Textualities & Technologies: Writings of the Body in 21st Century Performance. Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

‘Memories, Hauntings and Exorcisms in Brad Fraser’s Snake in Fridge’ in Marc Maufort & Caroline De Wagter (eds.) Signatures of the Past: Cultural Memory in Contemporary Anglophone North American Drama. P.I.E. Peter Lang, 2008.

‘Vaginal Voyages: Performances of Sexuality and the Female Jewish Body’ in Nathan Abrams (ed.) Jews and Sex. Five Leaves Press, 2008.

‘Globalization's Marginalia: Anglo-Canadian Identity and the Plays of Brad Fraser’ in Anne Nothof (ed.) Theatre in Alberta. Playwrights Canada Press, 2008. This is an extended version of the article that previously appeared in CTR (2006), listed above.

‘HeteroQueer Ladies: Some Performative Transactions Between Gay Men & Heterosexual Women’ in Birgit Haas (ed.) Der postfeministische Diskurs. Königshausen & Neumann, 2006. This chapter was previously published in Feminist Review (2003), listed above.

With Christine Roberts. ‘Shading the Crime: Acting Hopelessness as an Act of Hope’ in Christine Roberts, Tormented Minds: Three Plays. Intellect, 2003. This chapter was previously published in Studies in Theatre Production (1999), listed above.


A Trip Around the World is Not a Cruise (stand-up comedy performance, 2016). Performer and creator, Duke of Cornwall Hotel, Plymouth.

Heaven is a Place (digital video, 2014). Producer and screenplay of short dance film for Sundog Media with Kayla Parker (dir.) and Ruth Way (choreographer). Funded by EU Culture programme as part of Heaven on Earth? project. Screenings: Plymouth and Warwick Arts Centres, on the Big Screen during Plymouth Pride 2014, as an Official Selection of the Cornwall Film Festival 2014, and within the International Competition of Kino der Kunst 2015 (Munich and Nürnberg, Germany) and the Dances with Camera competition at the Short Waves Festival 2016 (Poznań, Poland), in addition to touring with the original EU-funded programme, ‘Heaven on Earth?’, to Piraeus (Greece), Zaragoza (Spain) and Istanbul in 2014.

Down/Town (solo performance, 2011). Performer and creator, University of Plymouth.

Tree (digital video, 2007). Performer & co-creator. Dir. Siobhan McKeown. Text by Dee Heddon. First screened: TaPRA conference, University of Birmingham, September 2007.

M(other)3 (digital video). Performer and co-creator with Ruth Way and Christine Roberts. Film dir. Russell Frampton. Screening: INPORT - International Video-Performance Art Festival, Tallinn, Estonia, 2005. Excerpt/abstract also included in the following book (with DVD): L. Allegue Fuschini, S. Jones, B. Kershaw, and A. Piccini (eds.) Practice-as-research: In Performance and Screen. Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

M(other)2: Research as Practice. A performative presentation with Christine Roberts and Ruth Way. PARIP conference, Bretton Hall, 2005. A previous version was presented to the Performance as Research Working Party, IFTR conference, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2004.

Let's Talk Cadavers (digital video). Performer and co-creator. Film dir. Siobhan McKeown. Screened: The Phoenix, Exeter (with live performance), 2004; The 5 Second Theatre, Hull, 2004; The Lamp, Hull, 2005; The Packhorse, Leeds, 2005.

M(other)1. Performer and co-creator for Lusty Juventus theatre company; performed in Athens, Greece at the Argo Theatre as part of Transformation of Movements Programme, 2002.

The Maternal Cloister by Christine Roberts. Performer in rehearsed reading for Lusty Juventus theatre company, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2000.

Us by Karen Malpede. Director of production for Lusty Juventus theatre company; European premiere, Exeter Phoenix, 1999.

Shading the Crime. Co-director of production for Lusty Juventus theatre company; 16 performances in 4 Devon & London venues, 1998. Funded by Arts Council England.

The Duchess. Writer/director of production for radio; broadcast on Resonance FM, 4 July 1998 as part of South Bank Festival; Commissioned by London Musicians Collective. Funded by Arts Council England.

Ceremonial Kisses by Christine Roberts. Co-director of production for Lusty Juventus theatre company; 2 tours 1996-1997; approximately 30 performances at 6 venues throughout UK. Funded by Barclay’s Bank.

Other Publications


'Preface: Being T/here' in Luisa Greenfield, Myna Trustram & Eduardo Abrantes (eds), Artistic Research: Being There. Explorations into the Local. NSU Press, 2018.

'Walking, Writing & Performance: Phil Smith's Parallel Cities' in Changing Metropolis III. Kobenhavns Internationale Teater, 2016.

'Live Lab Symposium (January 2010)' in Lois Keidan and Aaron Wright (eds), The Live Art Almanac: Volume 3. Oberon Books, 2013.

‘Imagining the Hams of Tomorrow’ in Paula Orrell (ed.), Marina Abramović and the Future of Performance Art. Prestel, 2010.

‘Oreet Ashery's Site-Specific Corporeal Turns’ in Oreet Ashery, Dancing with Men. Live Art Development Agency, 2009.

5 encyclopedia essays on Hanoverian actors: ‘Dennis Delane’; 'John Evans'; ‘Elizabeth Furnival’; ‘John Moody’; ‘John Lennergan Owens’ in New Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004.


Series Editor: Playtext, a list of plays & theatre writing published by Intellect Books, 2002-2013.

Co-editor: Zombies & Performance Special Issue of Studies in Theatre & Performance (Vol 34, Issue 3, 2014).



Links page (not currently maintained, although many talks and papers available for download)