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Dr Ben Macpherson

Section Lead and Principal Lecturer for Performing Arts

Ben Macpherson


I am Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for Musical Theatre, and an active composer/lyricist. My interests include approaches to voice in performance, the British musical, embodiment and reception theory, alternative music(al) theatre practices (composed theatre, actor-musicianship), and new methods for exploring musical theatre dramaturgy.

From 2007–2013, I worked as a freelance lecturer at various institutions, including the University of Portsmouth, the University of Winchester and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and acted as creative consultant for Phoenix Theatre Company in Toronto, Canada.

In 2012 I co-founded the Centre for Interdisciplinary Voice Studies (with Konstantinos Thomaidis and Amanda Smallbone), and in 2013 I became part of the steering group for the newly-established British Musical Theatre Research Institute. I am also a member of the Performance Philosophy Network.

As a practitioner, my current project Fools and Idols (under the title All That’s Left), was workshopped in May 2014 as a commission by the New Theatre Royal Portsmouth, as part of the University’s drama festival UniFest2. Previous commissions include writing for a flash-mob at St. Pancras Station (London, 2011) and compositions for Wet Picnic Theatre Company’s installation Depth Charge (Portsmouth, 2012).

Research Interests

  • Approaches to voice in performance (including the non-singer actor in musical theatre)
  • British musical theatre, 1900 - Present
  • Embodiment, cognition and somatic theory
  • Actor-musicianship: practice and theory
  • The works of Adam Guettel from 1994 – 2006
  • Site-specific theatre practices
  • Voice, space, sound, and silence
  • Visual and schematic approaches to analysing theatre performance

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