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School of English and Drama

Professor Paul Heritage, BA English and Drama (Manchester)


Professor of Drama and Performance | Director of People’s Palace Projects

Twitter: @PeoplesPalaceUK


I am Professor of Drama and Performance and Director of People’s Palace Projects (PPP), a Research Centre in the School of English and Drama which is also a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.  I studied both Drama and English at the University of Manchester and taught at Manchester and Swansea before joining Queen Mary in 1997 to found the Drama Department.  Since 1991, I have been creating practice-based arts research projects between the UK and Brazil with a focus on public security, human rights, social justice and indigenous cultural exchange.

Further details about all my research and publications can be found on these pages or at The PPP team tweets at @PeoplesPalaceUK and you can also follow our work on Facebook and Instagram @peoplespalaceprojects and Youtube @PeoplesPalaceProjects.


My time is primarily dedicated to my various international research projects.  I and other members of the People’s Palace Projects team contribute sessions from time to time on taught modules at QMUL ranging from Shakespeare to Cultural Industries.


Research Interests:

  • Brazilian Culture and Performance (including indigenous practices)
  • Socially-engaged arts
  • Cultural Policy
  • Theatre and performance in the criminal justice system

SED Paul Heritage - Indigenous Kuikuro Photographer Elisa MendesMy research is produced by People’s Palace Projects, which has a website where you will find details about practice-based projects on building mental health resilience and wellbeing in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, India, Pakistan, Peru and the East End of London. You will also discover how we are collaborating with indigenous researchers in Brazil to develop our understanding about how we can learn to live together in the future in the face of the climate crisis, environmental degradation and other catastrophes. There are details too about a series of research collaborations with arts organisations in London, Manchester, Rio de Janeiro and across Brazil about taking action together to measure cultural value in vulnerable territories.

Indigenous Research Collaborations: (shortlisted for a 2019 Times Higher Education Award)

Photo credit: Elisa Mendes

Ologiko, film by Takumã Kuikuro about the research collaboration:

  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Follow-On Funding award, AH/T001372/1, 2019, ‘Xingu Encounter’.
  • AHRC-Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council Immersive Experiences fund, AH/R010366/1, 2018, ‘The Challenge of the Xingu: indigenous cultures in the museum of the future’.
  • AHRC Translating Cultures Innovation (Global Challenges Research Fund), AH/P007708/1, 2016-18, ‘The Currency of Cultural Exchange: re-thinking models of indigenous development’.
  • AHRC Newton Fund, AH/P007252/1, 2016-17, ‘Social Change through Creativity and Culture Stage 3: Extending Research Activity for Further Impact’.

You can read the story of the collaboration between People’s Palace Projects and the Kuikuro community of the Xingu and access short videos here:


SED Mare_Photographer_Douglas_LopesResearch in Arts and Wellbeing/Arts and Mental Health:

Photo credit: Douglas Lopes


Research into Cultural Value:

  • Research consultancy to Itaú Cultural Foundation, Brazil, 2018-present, with Prof. Leandro Valiati: creating a new methodology to evaluate the socio-economic impact of their cultural funding portfolio.
  • British Academy Newton Advanced Fellowship, NAFR1180095, 2018-20, (Co-Applicant with Prof Leandro Valiati), ‘Counting Culture: what do we need to know about how the creative industries can deliver equitable, just and sustainable development in Brazil and the UK?’.
  • AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund, AH/S00582X/1, 2019-20, ‘Beyond Exchange: raising the value, increasing flow and ensuring socio-economic impact of arts & cultural resources in peripheral territories (Brazil)’.
  • AHRC Cultural Value Follow-On award, AH/P014658/1, 2017-18, ‘Relative Values’.


Research into Violence against Women and Girls:


Research into Social Violence and Social Exclusion:

  • British Academy Newton Advanced Fellowship 2015-17, AF140159 (Co-Applicant with Dr. Eliana Sousa Silva) ‘Someone to Watch Over Me: new ways of understanding police, culture and the favela in Rio de Janeiro’.
  • With One Voice’, practice-based research and capacity-building skills exchange in arts and homelessness between the UK and Brazil, co-produced with Streetwise Opera from 2013, now in legacy/sustainability phase. Grant funders incl. British Council, Arts Council England, Calouste Gulbenkian UK Foundation.
  • AHRC Beyond Text, AH/H015302/1, 2010-12, and AHRC Beyond Text Follow-On, AH/I026146/1: ‘Transforming Lives; Encounters’, 2010-12.
  • AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellowship, AH/G017190/1, 2009-12, ‘Favela to the World’. A practice-based programme using Brazilian arts methodologies to stimulate UK arts-based community leadership programmes with young people at risk of social exclusion and violence.
  • Paul Hamlyn Foundation, 2009-12, grant to support People’s Palace Projects core costs and ‘Cultural Warriors’ youth leadership programme.

Research into Cultural Exchange and Cultural Policy:

  • Social Change through Creativity and Culture: In October-November 2015, I curated and led a 10-day lab event for AHRC and the Newton Fund for twenty artists and academics from the UK and Brazil. In Phase 2 of the programme, I co-curated and produced a “CreativeLab” showcase of eight projects developed through the lab.
  • AHRC Translating Cultures award, AH/M004612/1, 2014-16, for ‘The Art of Cultural Exchange: Translation and Transformation between the UK and Brazil 2012-16’.
  • Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, 2014-16: 3-year programme of writing & research on Brazilian culture, history and cultural policy.
  • Rio Occupation London’, part of London 2012 festival, 30 Rio artists working in London for 30 days with 80 UK artists, creating more than 250 works/performances, engaging <37,000 audience. Funded by Rio State Culture Secretariat/Petrobras; LOCOG; British Council; Arts Council England.
  • Points of Contact, 2010-15: cultural policy exchange in partnership with Arts Council England, Brazilian Ministry of Culture, British Council, DCMS, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation & others.



My submissions to the Research Excellence Framework 2014:

  1. Amazônia (2008-09)
  2. Encounters Beyond Text: Art Transforming Lives 2010-2014


Performance/workshops/publications exploring strategies for creating international cultural interventions on issues of climate change and environmental deprivation.

Research Imperatives:

To create arts-based initiatives with a focus on climate change and environmental deprivation through the content, structure and context of live and recorded performance; to fuse traditional forms of community-based arts engagement with high-profile digital and performance arts practices; to share knowledge and thinking about climate change through creative exchanges between artists, educationalists, scientists, new technology experts and audiences.

Research Outputs:

Community-based multi-arts workshop programmes and thematic performance Festival in Acre (Brazilian Amazon region); Festa - Lambeth/Southwark community performance project; Amazônia - mainhouse show at Young Vic Theatre (director/writer); educational pack produced by Young Vic; DVD of five short films from Brazilian filmmakers (produced and distributed by PPP); publication of playtext by Oberon Books (2008).

Engagement with Wider Research Community includes: Chico Mendes’ Legacy: The Role of the Arts in Environmental Activism (RSA 2009) debate with Paul Heritage, Jonathan Dove (composer), Charlie Kronick (Greenpeace), Vivienne Westwood (designer); presentation at Earth Matters on Stage, symposium organised by the University of Oregon (USA) and the Ashden Directory (Environmentalism and the Arts); films by Luciana Bezerra.


Practice-based outputs engaged with over 5,000 participants and audience in Brazil and almost 50,000 people in UK; major media coverage of Festa and Amazônia programme in all UK national press, including participation by Heritage on flagship BBC Radio4 programme Start the Week; inclusion of arts and climate-change dialogues as part of DCMS/Brazilian Ministry of Culture/ACE knowledge-transfer programme 2012-14; Heritage/PPP set up research and development for Climate Refugees Opera (working title) by Jonathan Dove/Alasdair Middleton – performance project for World Stages 2012-13 led by Somerset House, Royal Opera House Covent Garden in association with The Opera Group (London), Theatro Municipal and Nós do Morro (Rio de Janeiro).


Creation of live site-specific digital interactive installations building on knowledge and experience of young people as they seek to transform their worlds through the arts.

Research Imperatives:

To create an interdisciplinary investigation into digital arts’ capacity to create active citizenship; to connect young people with policy makers in order to develop policy into practice; to combine academic expertise with contemporary arts practices; to create a framework for enquiry about the means by which young people seek to transform their worlds through the arts; to pursue the enquiry with young artists so they can articulate and disseminate their questions and understandings through a prototype for a multimedia exhibition; to seek the most effective formats and platforms for enabling young people to engage in public debates through digital installation.

Research Outputs:

Installations sited at:

  • Morro de Providência, March 2011. Participants: young artists from peripheral communities, Rio de Janeiro. Partner: Spectaculu.
  • QMUL, April 2011. Participants: young artists from refugee/immigrant communities. Partner: Index on Censorship.
  • 198 Contemporary Art Gallery, Brixton, September 2011. Participants: young artists from South London, Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Rio de Janeiro. Partner: British Council.
  • Avenida Paulista/Centro Cultural Itaú, São Paulo, December 2013. Participants: young artists from peripheral communities, São Paulo. Partners: Teatro Oficina; Cooperifa; Ponto de Cultura: Bola de Sabão.

Publication: Encounters Beyond Text: Art Transforming Lives, edited by Heritage and Stewart. People’s Palace Projects: London, 2011.


Research Impact:

Each live, interactive digital installation engages a range of policy-makers, artists and arts organisations. Increased impact comes from growing public visibility of each successive edition and development of a cumulative archive. Future actions include an installation at State Legislative Assembly in São Paulo and a public debate between legislators, policy makers, academics and young artists (March 2014; funding already secured from State Secretariat of Culture).


  1. Favela to the World II (2008-2012)
  2. Antidote: International Conference on Cultural Actions in Conflict Zones, Centro Cultural Itaú, São Paulo, May 2010.
  3. Sport, Education and Culture: Conference Promoting Health, Wellbeing and Positive Identity for Young People, Barbican Centre, London, November 2009.
  4. 3rd World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry on Young People and Well-being, QMUL, March 2012.


Second project of a six-year programme of performance/workshops/training/publications related to the social technologies of arts-based initiatives in favelas and peripheral communities in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Project includes: Together Apart (2009-10); Cultural Warriors (2009-12), AfroReggae Residencies at Southbank Centre and Liverpool/Everyman Theatres (2010).

Research Imperative:

To investigate transfer of knowledge from arts-based initiatives in peripheral communities in Rio de Janeiro to diverse UK contexts.

Research Outputs and Impact:

Cultural Warriors: three-year youth leadership programme created by Heritage/People’s Palace Projects in association with AfroReggae/Contact Theatre/Sage Gateshead/Playing On/Southbank Centre/Theatre Royal Stratford East. Investigation of how young artists can bring about positive change in their own communities and the lives of their peers. Documentation includes: evaluation report for Paul Hamlyn Foundation and AV archives in public domain.

Together Apart: performance/workshop collaboration with Bad Taste Cru/AfroReggae – working from young artists' experiences of social violence in Rio de Janeiro and Omagh, Northern Ireland. 2009-10: Public performances in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Newcastle. DVD of performances, plus evaluation report for Arts Council England.

Residencies: London and Liverpool 2010. Southbank Centre: three-days of performances, workshops, debates, lectures, film showings for large-scale audiences in Purcell Rooms, Queen Elizabeth and Royal Festival Halls plus SBC outdoor terraces. Archive includes 20’ documentary on Southbank Centre weekend-takeover. Liverpool Everyman/Playhouse: four-week residency working with over 1,000 young people (13-19) at risk of involvement in gun/gang crime. Outputs include workshops/performances and public festival. Independent evaluation commissioned by Liverpool Primary Care Trust.

Engagement with Wider Research Communities includes:

Keynote speeches at:

  1. Points of Contact: 2009-13
  2. Intense Dreams: Reflections on Brazilian Culture and Performance. Monograph by Heritage with photos by Ratão Diniz. People’s Palace Projects Publications 2009. ISBN: 978-0-955511795-4.
  3. "The game is violent!" (6,000 word article by Heritage), Critical Sociology 38.6 (November 2012), online ISSN 1569-1632.
  4. Fórum Shakespeare. Seminars/workshops/professional training/academic seminars on Shakespeare in contemporary social contexts for actors, schoolteachers, postgraduate students, general public.
  5. Rio Occupation London: 30 Rio artists making work in 50 public spaces in London in partnership with 15 London arts organisations for audiences of over 37,000. July/August 2012. 10-volume catalogue published: December 2013.
  6. The Point of Culture: Brazil Turned Upside Down by Célio Turino. English-language version prepared and edited with critical introduction by Heritage (published and disseminated by the Gulbenkian Foundation, November 2013).


Research programme on cultural knowledge-transfer between UK/Brazil related to artists' responses to contemporary issues of social transformation/human development/urban regeneration.

Research Imperative

To facilitate creative learning and research dialogues between artists, arts organisations, policy makers and funders, Trusts and Foundations in Brazil and the UK.

Research Outputs

Annual programme of knowledge-exchange, residencies, public seminars/lectures, performances.

Cultural Olympic and Paralympic Forum in partnership with British Council and Brazilian Ministry of Culture, Rio de Janeiro: April 2013

Engagement with Wider Research Communities includes presentations at seminars on transformational arts practices in Brazil (e.g. Brazil: Ministry of Culture seminar in Pirienópolis, October 2009; Britain: Southbank Centre London, October 2010; Switzerland: World Economic Forum, Davos, January 2013).

Research Impact

New initiatives and creative partnerships on the social technology of the arts between UK/Brazil artists, arts organisations, academics and cultural agencies. Participating UK organisations include: Barbican Centre, B3 Media, DaDa Festival, Entelechy Arts, Freedom Studios, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Culture Liverpool, London 2012 Festival, National Theatre Wales, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, RSC, Sage Gateshead, Southbank Centre, V&A Museum, Voluntary Arts Network and Watershed Bristol.

An Impact Case Study on my work, Cultural Policy and Practice Exchange between Britain and Brazil, was also submitted to the REF 2014.

My submissions to the Research Assessment Exercise 2008:

  1. Amor em Tempos de Guerra: Love in Time of War 
  2. Experiment with cultural strategies as an intervention in extreme situations of conflict
  3. Discover what role public performance can play in reclaiming “lost territories” within urban environments
  4. Examine the knowledge transfer between narco-cultura and established cultural practices

Practice-based research in Rio de Janeiro

Research imperatives:

Research Project Description:

First professional productions of Shakespeare’s ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA and MEASURE FOR MEASURE in Brazil. Directed by Paul Heritage with cast of leading actors from television and film. Three-month schedule of weekly performances in favelas [shanty-towns] and at a major theatrical venue. Opening night performance launched Parada Geral: Twelve-month programme of cultural activities on frontline of violence

Research impact and esteem indicators:

Project achieved:

  • Eighteen-day ceasefire after 22 years of war [extensive national and international press, including live TV news coverage]
  • 12-month partnership between People’s Palace Projects/Afroreggae to create a new cultural strategy for conflict resolution on the border controlled by two rival armed drug gangs. Programme based on experiments and discoveries of Amor em Tempos de Guerra.
  • Featured in The Producers: Alchemists of the Impossible Kate Tyndall. London: 2007 ISBN 978-0-7287-1347-5

Research outputs:

  • ‘Parallel Power: Shakespeare, gunfire and silence’ in PLACE AND PLACELESSNESS IN PERFORMANCE edited: Leslie Hill/Helen Paris [Palgrave Macmillan: 2006] pp 192-209; and lead article with cover photo Contemporary Theatre Review [December 05].
  • Public lectures at QMUL [May 05]; Theatre Museum, London [June 05]; Philosophy in Practice Seminar, UCL [September 05]; Drama Department, Manchester University [Sept 05]; Centre for Latin American Studies, University of California, Berkeley [Oct 05].
  • Funding: R$300,000 [approx £80,000] - Brazilian Ministry of Culture/Eletrobras; £32,000 -Ogilvy’


Schedule of research imperatives, activities, dissemination/promotional/press material; DVDs [including 80 minute documentary]; chapters; articles; funding details.

  1. Changing the Scene
  2. Investigate how performance-based projects can define and/or defend human rights within the juvenile justice system
  3. Examine the effectiveness of cultural strategies as a means of intervening in situations of extreme abuse
  4. Research methods of evaluating and monitoring change achieved through cultural programmes with young people in conflict with the law

Practice-based research, September 02-December 05 in Rio de Janeiro

Research imperatives:

Research Project Description:

Three-year drama-based human rights programme with young people in conflict with the law and those at risk of entering the juvenile justice system (Rio de Janeiro). Director: Paul Heritage.  Implementation: People’s Palace Projects/PPP: Rio de Janeiro/London. Partnerships: Centre for the Theatre of the Oppressed; Afroreggae

Research impact and esteem indicators:

  • Two independent research reports written by Centre for the Study of Public Security and Citizenship/CESeC [available in Portuguese/English on website of the University of Candido Mendes, Rio de Janeiro].
  • Production of original qualitative and quantative data about young people in conflict with the law.
  • Continued participation by Paul Heritage in advisory role to governmental and non-governmental agencies working on issues of children’s rights in Brazil.

Research Outputs:

  • Training programme for juvenile prison staff and prisoners based on performance methodologies
  • A regular series of arts-based public forums in Rio de Janeiro with participation by young people in conflict with the law, politicians, human rights agencies, parents, general public. Sites included the State Legislative Assembly, cultural centres, schools.
  • DVD showing examples of the project outputs [obtainable from PPP by post]
  • Archive materials and project reports on website: Funding: £405,000 Community Fund, UK. £29,000 British Academy


Schedule of research imperatives, project reports, activities, dissemination, original art work, training manuals, project reports, DVDs, photos, funding details. DVDs [including 80 minute documentary]; chapters; articles; funding details.

  1. Staging Human Rights
  2. Explore boundaries between performance/human rights/criminal justice systems
  3. Map/monitor/evaluate the interventions of performance methodologies in the implementation of human rights strategies in the criminal justice system: Brazil/UK

Practice-based research, 2000-2005 in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and London

Research imperatives:

Research Project Description:

5 year drama-based human rights prison programme. Director: Paul Heritage. Implementation: People’s Palace Projects/PPP. Partnership: Centre for the Theatre of the Oppressed.

Research impact and esteem indicators:

  • Changes in attitudes and behavior of prisoners/guards: independently monitored [see UN publication]
  • Carandiru - play for BBC Radio 3. Based on AHRC-funded research and writings by Paul Heritage. Broadcast plus discussion at Soho Theatre, London and British Embassy, Brasília. Short-listed for Sony Award 2003.
  • Human Rights Prizes from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro

Research Outputs:

  • Research reports and training programme. Available from PPP and at
  • Public performances; installations; forums; exhibitions; etc [DVD of highlights available from PPP]
  • Public lectures: UK, Brazil, USA, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, China.
  • Direitos humanos em cena: oficinas teatrais com a população prisional de São Paulo Revista ILANUD Nº 21 [São Paulo: 2002] [ILANUD: UN Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders]. Editor: Paul Heritage
  • Taking Hostages: Staging Human Rights
  • Paul Heritage in TDR: The Drama Review 48:3 (T 183), Fall 2004 pp 96 -106.
  • ‘Real Social Ties? The ins and outs of making theatre in Brazilian prisons’ Paul Heritage in Theatre in Prison: theory and practice Ed. Michael Balfour. Intellect Books, Bristol 2004 pp. 189-2002 ISBN: 1-84150-066-6
  • ‘Staging Human Rights: Securing the Boundaries?’ Paul Heritage in Hispanic Research Journal, 7:4, December 2006, pp353-363
  • Funding AHRC £160,000; NLCB £105,000; Ministry of Justice, Brazil £100,000 [approx.]


Schedule of research imperatives, activities, dissemination; Promotional and press material; DVDs; chapters; articles; funding details.

  1. From the Favela to the World
  2. Investigate arts-based interventions in issues of social justice
  3. Transfer knowledge/skills between UK and Brazil Research

Practice-based research, 2005-12 in London

Research imperatives:

Project Description:

6-year programme of performances/workshops/trainings/publications/public debates investigating cultural interventions into gun/gang/culture in UK and Brazil. Director: Paul Heritage. Implementation: People’s Palace Projects. UK Partners: Barbican:bite; Asian Dub Foundation; Rich Mix; Contact Theatre; Black Police Association; Learning Trust.

Research impact and esteem indicators:

  • Participation of over 8,000 people in the programme
  • Performances at Barbican:bite [2006/2007] and Contact Theatre, Manchester [2006]. 5* national press coverage across wide-range of publications
  • Workshop programme for schools, youth groups, PRUs: London/Manchester/Oxford
  • Training programme for teachers and artists who work with young people at risk
  • Creation of 10 UK projects based on techniques and strategies from Brazil.
  • Public talks/seminars at LSE, Arts Council: England, Barbican, QMUL, Manchester University, Oxford Town Hall, Brazilian Embassy, etc.

Research outputs:

  • From the favela to our manor: Translating AfroReggae. The impact and implications of an international intervention in arts work with young people at risk. Richard Ings. Introduction: Paul Heritage. London: 2007 ACE/PPP. ISBN: 978-0-9551179-3-0
  • “Youth and Police” Silvia Ramos PPP: Research Bulletin Nº1 May 2007
  • “Afroreggae in the UK” Louise Owen PPP: Research Bulletin Nº2 December 2007
  • From the favela to Hackney. 20-minute documentary. Director: Nick Francis. Produced by Speak-It Productions/People’s Palace Projects. Distributed by PPP
  • Policia Mineira: Youth and Police 60-minute documentary. Director: Estevão Ciavatta Pantoja. Produced by Pindorama Films. Distributed in UK by PPP.
  • Website with discussion forum:
  • Funding: £70,000 Barbican; £20,000 Amnesty; £8,000 Shoreditch; £5,000 Ogilvy’s; £280,000 Arts Council England; £10,000 - Awards for All; £11,000 – Westfield Trust; £10,000 Brazilian Embassy; £5,000 –


Schedule of research imperatives, activities, dissemination/promotional/press material; DVDs; chapters; articles; funding details.



Paul Heritage Dores que LibertamKrenzinger, M., Sousa Silva, E., McIlwaine, C., and Heritage, P. (eds.) (2018). Dores que Libertam: as falas das mulheres da favela da Maré, Rio de Janeiro, sobre violências. Rio de Janeiro: Appris. ISBN: 978-85-473-1922-9

 Paul Heritage The Art of Cultural ExchangeHeritage, P. and Strozenberg, I., eds. (2019). The Art of Cultural Exchange: Translation and Transformation between the UK and Brazil (2012-2016). London: Vernon Press. ISBN: 9781622734382

Paul Heritage Creative LabHeritage, P. and Strozenberg, I., eds. (2018). A Arte do Intercâmbio Cultural. Brazil: Editora Circuito. Ebook.

Paul Heritage Creative Lab - newHeritage, P., Rezende, R., and Zavareze, B., eds. (2016). CreativeLab/LabCriativo. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Circuito. Print edition and ebook.

 Paul Heritage The Point Of CultureTurino, C. trans. and eds. by Heritage, P., Hunter, R. and Spowage, P. (2014; 2nd edition 2018).  The Point of Culture: Brazil Turned Upside Down. London: Calouste Gulbenkian UK Foundation. 1st edition; 2nd edition

SED Paul Heritage Rio OccupationHeritage, P., Buarque de Hollanda, H. and Cardia, G., eds. (2013). Rio Occupation London 2012). Rio de Janeiro: Aeroplano Editora. ISBN:  978-85-7820-093-0

Encounters Beyond TextHeritage, P. and Stewart, G., eds. (2011). Encounters beyond Text: art transforming lives. London: People's Palace Projects. ISBN: 9780956789938

SED Paul Heritage AmazoniaHeritage, P. (2009). Intense Dreams: reflections on Brazilian Culture and performance. London: People's Palace Projects. ISBN 978-0-95511795-4

Heritage, P. and Teevan, C. (2008). Amazônia. London: Oberon Modern Plays. ISBN: 978-1840028959

Heritage, P., ed. (2002). Mudança de Cena II: Teatro construindo cidadania/Changing the Scene: Theatre Constructing Citizenship. Bi-lingual edition. Rio de Janeiro: The British Council.

Heritage, P., ed. (2000). Mudança de Cena: o uso de teatro no desenvolvimento social. Rio de Janeiro: The British Council.

Delgado, M. and Heritage, P., eds. (1999). Diálogos no palco: 26 diretores falam sobre teatro. Brazilian edition. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Francisco Alves.

Delgado, M. and Heritage, P., eds. (1996). In Contact with the Gods? Directors talk Theatre. Manchester & New York: Manchester University Press & St Martin's Press. ISBN: 978-0719047633

Chapters and Articles:

Heritage, P., Krenzinger, M, Priebe, S., Santos Cruz, M., Sous Silva, E., Valiati, L. (2020). Study protocol of personal characteristics and socio-cultural factors associated with mental health and quality of life of residents living in violent territories, BMC Psychiatry 20(96). DOI: 10.1186/s12888-020-02487-2

Heritage, P., Gabrysch, C., Mundt, A., Marin, P., Roumeau, J., Sepulveda, C. (2019). Initiating Change of People with Criminal Justice Involvement Through Participation in a Drama Project: An Exploratory Study, Frontiers in Psychiatry. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00716

Heritage, P. (2018). Scar: Uma História Feita de Muitas Histórias. In: M. Krenzinger, E. Sousa Silva, C. McIlwaine, P. Heritage, eds., Dores que Libertam: as falas das mulheres da favela da Maré, Rio de Janeiro, sobre violências. Rio de Janeiro: Appris. ISBN: 978-85-473-1922-9

Heritage, P. (2018). “Madness, yet there’s method in it”: the shadow of the doctor in Hamlet’s mirror. In: J. Burke, ed., Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Shadow of the Parent: Mythology, History, Politics and Art. London: Routledge, pp. 58-70. ISBN: 978-0429451706

Heritage, P. (2018). Cultural routes, registers and resistance in Rio de Janeiro. In: C. Doherty, ed., Where Strangers Meet: Art in the Public Realm. UK: British Council, Situations and Arnolfini, pp. 1-36.

Heritage, P. and Valiati, L. (2018). Economia Criativa e Disparidades: inspirações e desafios do Cool Britannia para um Brasil Criativo. Revista do Centro de Pesquisa e Formação, 6, pp. 104-127.

Heritage, P. (2017). Introduction. In: E. Sousa Silva, The Brazilian Army’s occupation of Maré: residents’ impressions of Maré’s occupation by the armed forces. Rio de Janeiro: Redes da Maré, pp. 8-13. English and Portuguese editions.

Heritage, P. and Ramos, S. (2016). Dear Nise: method, madness and artistic occupation at a psychiatric hospital in Rio de Janeiro. In: J. Hughes, and H. Nicholson, eds., Critical Perspectives on Applied Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 82-104. DOI:

Heritage, P. and Tambling, P. (2017). Towards Utopia: building a creative nation. In: 10 Abrapcorp: Comunicação, Economia e Indústrias Criativas. Porto Alegre: Edipucrs.

Heritage, P. (2016). Foreword. In: S. McBurney and Complicite, The Encounter. London: Nick Hern Books. ISBN: 978-1848425545

Heritage, P. and Ramos, S. (2015). Talking About a Revolution: Arts, Health and Wellbeing on Avenida Brasil. In: S. Clift and P. Camic, eds., The Oxford Textbook of Creative Arts, Health, and Wellbeing: International perspectives on practice, policy and research. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780199688074

Heritage, P. (2012). The Game Is Violent! Opening Gambits at the Ministry of Culture. Critical Sociology, 8 (6), pp. 877-887. DOI: 10.1177/0896920512440584

Heritage. P. (2009). Shakespeare sent them a-blazing. In: J. Thompson, J. Hughes and M. Balfour, eds., Performance in Place of War. London: Seagull Books, pp. 267-269. ISBN: 978-1906497149

Heritage, P. (2007). Foreword: Raising the Stakes. In: R. Ings, From the favela to our manor: Translating AfroReggae: the impact and implications of an international intervention in arts work with young people at risk. London: People's Palace Projects, pp. 4-6. ISBN 978-0-9551179-3-0

Heritage, P. (2006). Parallel Power: Shakespeare, Gunfire and Silence. In: L. Hill and H. Paris, eds., Performance and Place. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 192-206. ISBN: 978-0-230-59772-3

Heritage, P. (2006). Staging Human Rights: Securing the Boundaries? In: Hispanic Research Journal, 7:4, 353-363, DOI: 10.1179/174582006X150975

Heritage, P. (2005). Parallel Power: Shakespeare, Gunfire and Silence. Contemporary Theatre Review, 15(4), pp. 392-405. DOI: 10.1080/10486800500280396

Heritage, P. (2004). Taking Hostages: Staging Human Rights. The Drama Review, 48(3), pp. 96-106. DOI: 10.1162/1054204041667695

Heritage, P. (2004). Real Social Ties? The ins and outs of Making Theatre in Brazilian Prisons. In: M. Balfour, ed., Theatre in Prison: Theory and Practice Bristol: Intellect Books, pp. 189-202. ISBN: 9781841500669

Heritage, P. (2002). Real Social Ties? The Ins and Outs of Making Theater in Prisons. In: D. Adams and A. Goldbard, eds., Community, Culture and Globalization. New York: The Rockefeller Foundation, pp. 283-299. ISBN: 978-0891840633

Heritage, P. (1998). Rebellion and Theatre in Brazilian Prisons: An Historical Footnote. In: J. Thompson, ed., Prison Theatre: Perspectives and Practices, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishing Ltd., pp. 231-238. ISBN: 978-1853024177

Heritage, P. (1998). Theatre, Prisons and Citizenship: A South American Way. In: J. Thompson, ed., Practices and Perspectives in Prison Theatre, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishing Ltd., pp. 31-41. ISBN: 978-1853024177

See also my Queen Mary Research Publications profile


I would welcome enquiries from prospective doctoral students interested in any aspect of my work.

I have supervised the following successful PhD projects:

  • David Harradine, ‘Chronographies: Performance, Death and the Writing of Time’ (2005)
  • Caoimhe McAvinchey, ‘Possible Ficitions: The Testimony of Applied Performance with Women in Prisons in England and Brazil’, co-supervised with Maria Delgado (2006)
  • Louise Owen, ‘Performing “Risk”: Neoliberalization and Contemporary Performance’, co-supervised with Nicholas Ridout (2010)
  • Suzy Willson, ‘Performing Medicine’ (2011)
  • Megan Macdonald, ‘Performance Art, Liturgy and the Performance of Belief’, co-supervised with (2012)
  • Sylvan Baker, ‘Creating a Movement: Leadership Through Art’, co-supervised with Caoimhe McAvinchey (2015)

Public Engagement

Paul-Heritage---Shakespeare_Forum_Photographer_Buena_OndaFrom 1995-2016, I directed Shakespeare Foruma bi-annual programme which brought theatre directors, designers, actors, composers, playwrights and scholars to Brazil from the UK, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and beyond to work with Brazilian artists, academics and audiences.

Photo Credit: Buena Onda

The Amazonia project I directed with the Young Vic in 2008 engaged with over 5,000 participants and audience members in Brazil and with almost 50,000 people in the UK.  More detail of the activity, which included a community festival in Brazil and the UK, a main stage performance at the Young Vic, and a debate about Chico Mendes’ legacy at the RSA.

On behalf of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, Arts Council England, British Council and DCMS, I created and led Points of Contact, a four-year cultural exchange programme for policy makers and artists focusing on transformative arts practices (2009-12). This project was featured as a case study of research impact on the AHRC website:

SED Paul Heritage With One VoiceOne of the legacies of my work on the UK-Brazil cultural exchange from 2012-2016 is an ongoing choir programme that People’s Palace Projects runs with people who experience homelessness in Rio de Janeiro (launched in partnership with Streetwise Opera at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics in 2016).

Photo credit: Lorena Mossa

Since 2013 I have collaborated on The Agency, working with Battersea Arts Centre and Contact to transfer and apply the methodology of Rio NGO Agência de Redes para Juventude (the Agency of Youth Networks) to the UK.  The Agency is now running in three London boroughs, Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast, and National Theatre of Scotland is due to launch a programme in Autumn 2020.  

Photo credit: Battersea Arts CentrePhoto credit: Battersea Arts Centre

Professional Activities

I am a member of the AHRC’s Global Challenges Research Fund Strategic Advisory Board, and a member of the ESRC/AHRC Advisory Group on Indigenous Research Methods & Knowledge.

Under Brazil’s first fully democratically elected government, I was an International Adviser to the Brazilian Ministry of Culture on the Cultura Viva initiative.

I have been an Associate Producer at the Barbican and an International Associate at the Young Vic.  I advised the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK on international models during their Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations.  My consultancy work includes a large cultural value project for Itaú Cultural Foundation in Brazil, working with Leandro Valiati: programming consultancies for Southbank Centre, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Horniman Museum and Gardens; and reports for Arts Council England and the British Council in the UK.

At Queen Mary, I am an Associate of QMUL’s Global Policy Institute; an Associate Professor of QMUL’s Institute of Population Health Sciences; and a research collaborator at Network, QMUL’s Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy.  From March 2021 I will be a research partner in QMUL’s new Youth Resilience Research Unit.

I am the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of People’s Palace Projects, a research centre in the Drama Department of QMUL.  PPP is a UK charity and full subsidiary of QMUL and is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.

I am also a Board Director of People’s Palace Projects do Brasil, an NGO based in Rio de Janeiro which produces non-profit arts research activities in Latin America, often in partnership with PPP(UK).  Since 2015, I have curated a residency and performance space for artists and academics in Rio de Janeiro known as Casa Rio on behalf of the State Secretary for Culture and with support from QMUL.

I have had the honour to be knighted by the Brazilian government in 2004 and have had a studio theatre named after me by the prisoners and guards in the maximum-security prison in Brasília.


Paul Heritage Rio OccupationAs a theatre director, I have created projects in prisons, juvenile detention centres, on the borderlands of conflict in favelas and on Rio de Janeiro’s professional stages.  My professional theatre work in the UK includes directing plays for Gay Sweatshop (Britain’s first professional LGBTQ+ theatre company) and the Young Vic Theatre (where I was International Associate from 2007-10) as well as being Associate Producer at the Barbican Centre from 2006-9. 

In summer 2004, I directed a cast of well-known professional Brazilian television actors in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and Measure for Measure. The Amor em Tempos de Guerra (Love in Time of War) project was presented inside favelas, with the opening performance taking place on a border contested by rival drug factions, as well as in a traditional theatrical venue in the rich southern zone of Rio de Janeiro, with transport and support provided for favela-residents to attend performances. The project resulted in an eighteen-day ceasefire after 22 years of war (receiving extensive national and international press, including live TV news coverage) and the creation of a new programme called Parada Geral: a 12-month partnership between People’s Palace Projects and AfroReggae to create a new cultural strategy for conflict resolution in the favelas of Parada de Lucas and Vigário Geral.

In October 2009, I brought together seven young artists from Bad Taste Cru (UK Street Dance Champions) with seven percussionists and a choreographer from AfroReggae and directed a new performance, Together Apart, which premiered at the Juice Festival in Newcastle in November 2009. People’s Palace Projects re-worked Together Apart in May 2010, with rehearsals and presentations taking place in the favelas of Vigário Geral and Cantagalo in Rio de Janeiro, as well as within youth justice institutions male and female). Together Apart was presented at the Teatro João Caetano, one of the main state theatres in the Centre of Rio, and at the Centro Cultural Itaú in São Paulo as part of the Antídoto Festival on art in zones of conflict.

In July 2010, I co-curated a series of free workshops, seminars, screenings and performances with the South Bank Centre for Festival Brazil. These invited large numbers of the general public to engage with the ideas and diverse art forms that AfroReggae use in their cultural militancy, aimed at reducing violence and breaking down social frontiers in Brazil. A short film about the project can be seen here:

As part of London’s 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad, I produced Rio Occupation London, bringing 30 emerging artists to create a cultural occupation of London during 30 days. The project created 250 new works of art and performance and was seen by over 37,000 people.

Photo credit: Ellie Kurttz

Short film:

In 2016, I co-curated a showcase of eight performance projects resulting from a research and creativity lab I had led for AHRC during 2015 in Rio de Janeiro.  CreativeLab ran from 14th to 19th May 2016, at three arts venues run by Redes da Maré in the favela complex of Maré and at Oi Futuro Flamengo in central Rio de Janeiro.  A short film about the project can be watched here:  and further information and short films can be found on the PPP website and the CreativeLab website.

Since 2015, I have curated a residency and performance space for artists and academics in Rio de Janeiro known as Casa Rio on behalf of the State Secretary for Culture and with support from QMUL.

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