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School of English and Drama

Peopling the Palaces Festival

Peopling The Palace(s) Festival of radical performance, workshops and events happens in June each year.

See the latest information on Air Supply website






See below for the full programme...

Mon 11Tue 12Wed 13Thu 14Fri 15 | Sat 16 | Sun 17


DIY School 2018

10am – 8.00pm | Arts One, QMUL - Mile End

DIY High School is here to help give QMUL students, graduates and the wider community the skills to get ahead in the creative industries.

This year there are 2 workshops one in graphic design using Adobe Photoshop and the second in Video Editing.

Plus, there will be a 1-2-1 session to get specific help for your project, CV or online presence.

Register online



Arts One Foyer | 11th – 16th June

On display, work developed by 2nd year students within & beyond the Performing Personae module.

Race at the Juncture Colloquium – Patrick Flanery

Graduate Centre | 9am  - 5pm



Backstage Utopias: Thinking Alternatively about Management at the Theatre

11am – 5pm  | Film and Drama Studio, ArtsTwo Building, QMUL - Mile End

A day long symposium with lunch and a drinks reception

Theatre is a place that has many backstages. Out of public view, backstage work is shaped by systems of management and structured by what takes place in other kinds of theatre spaces, such as the rehearsal room, the management office, the dressing-room, the funding institution, the gallery and the audition.

Recent events, such as the Weinstein scandal, and public debates on the politics of casting in theatre and film, have made visible how backstage work is structured by systems of management that are structured through relations of power, economics and, sometimes, exploitation.

This day-long closed symposium asks how we might think differently. Who are the managers in the arts? What are the histories of the manager? How might we create new or different management structures, in order to rethink the conditions of work at the theatre? What other forms of hierarchy are possible or desirable? Is management a job, a person or a system? How do management systems in the theatre relate to broader management cultures and practices? What is our backstage utopia?

Following our symposium on ‘Collaboration’ last year, we invite you to join us for a day of debate between academics, artists, producers, and institutions. The event will take place between 11-5pm on Tuesday June 12th at Queen Mary’s Mile End campus – participants are welcome to join us for all or part of the day. We will be providing lunch and a drinks reception and hope that you can join us to dream differently.

Register online



Performance and Mental Health: Perspectives and Practices

Curated by Daniel Oliver

3-6pm | Pinter Studio, Arts One, QMUL - Mile End

The MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health course at Queen Mary University of London presents a series of talks, presentations and provocations on the theme of performance, art and mental health. There will also be an opportunity for those interested in the course to speak with staff about the innovative MSc programme. 

Refreshments Provided

Hosted by Dr Daniel Oliver, with presentations by Bobby Baker, Dr Bridget Escolme, Jeremy Weller, Jo Hauge, Lucy Hutson, and Dr Maria Turri


Women’s Voices in Parliament: representation in the year of #Vote100

5-7pm | Octagon, QMUL - Mile End

One hundred years since the Representation of the People Act, which first granted women the right to vote in UK parliamentary elections, what kind of space do powerful institutions grant to women’s voices? What progress has been made, and what still needs to be done? 

Hosted by Queen Mary University of London, this mini-symposium brings together academics from across the fields of Drama, Politics, and Gender and Media Studies, alongside artists, performers and students, inviting them to tackle urgent and challenging questions of representation.

Join us in the historic space of the Octagon, formally the library of the People’s Palace, for rousing soapbox talks and thought-provoking interventions. Make your own voice heard in the closing open-floor debate.

Contributors include Sarah Childs, Jen Harvie, Rainbow Murray, Lise Olson, Naomi Paxton, Nirmal Puwar, Nephertiti Schandorf and representatives from the recent occupation of the Octagon: Jemima Hindmarch and Lewis Williams.

Register here




PhD Colloquium

10.30am – 2.30pm | RR2, Arts One

11:00 - 11:05: Welcome

11.05 - 11:30: Panel 1

Tatjana Kijaniza: ‘Waste and Stupidity: The Comradeship New Stupid and Absurd Life-Creation in Post-Soviet St. Petersburg’

Charlotte Young: ‘The Industrial Context: Stuart Brisley and the Artist Placement Group’

Amy Borsuk: ‘Technical Wizardry: The Value of Digital and Human Labour in RSC's The Tempest

12:30 - 13:30: Lunch

13:30 - 14:30: Panel 3

Genna Gardini: ‘The Performing Dead: The Performance of Autobiographical Narratives of Chronic Illness’

Vanessa Macaulay: ‘Exclusionary Spaces: Lorraine O’Grady’s Interruptive Performances and the Visibility of the Black Female Body’ 


Max Dyspraxe Neurodivergent Revolution Fun Time Discussion Time Travel

Noon – 7pm | RR3, Arts One, QMUL - Mile End

A hotch potch dyspraxic day of discussions, presentations, rituals and workshops around the topic of dyspraxia, performance art, neurodiversity, time travel and the forthcoming neurodivergent dysutopia (sp).

Free and open to everyone. Pop in and Out. But PLEASE BOOK A TICKET as space is very limited!!

Important Note: This event experiments with embracing elements of dyspraxia commonly framed as 'dysfuncitonal' - and therefore may feel clumsy, awkward or chaotic at times. The majority of it will take place in a windowless black box space, in which a shiny, cumbersome, dripping time machine/long table will be installed, alongside cosier den-based spaces for more comfortable and intimate conversations. There will also be a break-out space in a room with windows. Please email with any enquiries, including access requirements.

Register here

Download the full programme


The Sexual Cultures Research Group Presents: Heather Love – Beginning With Stigma

6 – 8pm |  Arts One Lecture Theatre, QMUL - Mile End

This talk is taken from the introduction to Love’s new book, Underdogs, which aims to historicize the rise of queer theory and elaborate its debts to post-WWII social science, in particular the field of deviance studies.




Reading Room_03

Bardsley v Maeterlinck | Social Insect Trilogy | part i. The Life of the Bee

3 – 8pm, Come + Go | RR3, Arts One, QMUL - Mile End


DJ Sisters & the Q | apicultural vinyl | stylus venom sounds | drone doom | throat uttering | vibrating manoeuvres| healing & hurting | caressing & cruelty | savage & sage | cellular worker secretions | mellifluous agitations | feminine ecology | F-economies dismantle T | unexpected reversal | female bee-ing | tended not tamed

RSVP on Facebook


First Flights

5.45pm – 10pm | Pinter, RR2 & RR3, QMUL - Mile End

First Flights is an interdisciplinary artistic platform for current Queen Mary students and recent graduates to showcase their work in a professional festival. Ranging from confessional theatre to durational pieces, this is an evening of first forays into professional public performance.

Register online




If It Were The Apocalypse I'd Eat You To Stay Alive - Martin O’Brien Performance and Book Launch

8.30 - 10pm, Film and Drama Studio, Arts Two, QMUL - Mile End

Martin is performing If It Were The Apocalypse I'd Eat You To Stay Alive at Peopling the Palace Festival, QMUL. It was originally made in 2015 whilst he was Artsadmin Bursary Artist and funded by Arts Council England. Martin has performed this piece in the UK, Europe and Canada and it changes significantly every time he does it.

There will be a drinks reception after the performance and a chance to buy the book 'Survival of the Sickest: The Art of Martin O'Brien' at a special rate!




3 – 8pm | RR3, Arts One, QMUL - Mile End | Come + Go

See Friday 15 for listing.


Alumni Platform

4pm onwards, Arts One and Film and Drama Studio in ArtsTwo, QMUL - Mile End

The Alumni platform welcomes back alumni of QMUL for a day of performance, exhibitions, and experimentation.

Register here



Cancelled: The Precariousness of Photography: Manuel Vason - One Day Workshop

We’re sorry for the cancellation of the workshop due to unforeseen circumstances, however we hope to be re-running it this autumn.



Get a flavour of last year's festival here:

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