Dr Maggie Inchley, BA Hons (Cambridge), MA PhD (London), PGCE
Senior Lecturer in Performance | Director of Schools Engagement (Drama)
When I was 18, I left the Lincolnshire villages in which I grew up and went to school in order to go to university to study for a degree in English Literature. I’ve always loved language, stories, and poetry.
After working abroad in Japan and Mexico, a career in school teaching, and experience in directing and dramaturgy, I was drawn back to Higher Education. MA evening classes and a PhD at Birkbeck as a mature student helped me develop my interests in the sounds and powers of voices.
Making the shift towards Drama was motivated by my seduction by and commitment to the subject’s magical, pedagogical and creative powers.
For me, Drama is an embodied way to think about the world, whether I am working with young people, elders, professionals or performers. I still visit Lincolnshire to see my dad.
I teach on:
DRA268: Voice, Gender, Performance
DRA361: Drama and Education
I have taught on:
- DRA7003: Cultural Industries
- New writing and contemporary performance practices
- Voice, accent and dialect
- Verbatim and testimonial performance
- Singing and affect in performance
- Performance with young people
Recent and Ongoing Research
My research investigates the articulation of identity in contemporary writing and performance. I often focus specifically on the voice, attending to how writers and their processes script voices, how vocal performance is created and delivered, and how audiences hear, listen and respond to voices. In articles in the journal Contemporary Theatre Review and Theatre Research International I have explored the cultural audibility of young people, the ways in which theatre has mediated the identity of women who have killed children, and the performance of testimony of violence against women in globalised contexts. I have also published on voice and language in the work of black British playwrights Kwame Kwei-Armah, debbie tucker green and Roy Williams. My monograph, Voice and New Writing, 1997-2007, uses the idea of voicescapes to understand the ways that voices articulated identity in theatre and politics during the New Labour government.
Recently I have been exploring themes such as the gendered aspects of vocal performance, singing and sexuality, and choral performance.
In practice, I am also exploring how socially engaged performance can provide opportunities for culturally marginalised voices to be heard. My AHRC funded collaborative project, The Verbatim Formula (TVF), with People’s Palace Projects, uses techniques of verbatim theatre to gather testimonies from children and adults with experience of the social care system, aiming to create spaces for dialogue and change. TVF has led to a series of residential workshops for care-experienced young people at QMUL and three other London universities. Its research is participatory, and action-oriented, working with young people as co-researchers. See more about TVF in the Public Engagement section of this profile.
'sticking in the throat/ keyword bitch: aesthetic discharge in debbie tucker green’s stoning mary and hang', in debbie tucker green: critical perspectives (Palgrave, 2020)
‘The Verbatim Formula - Caring for Care leavers in the Neo-liberal University’, in Research in Drama Education (RiDE), 24.3 (2019)
‘Verbatim Practice as Research with Care-experienced Young People: An “Aesthetics of Care” Through Aural Attention’, in Performing Care: New Perspectives on Socially Engaged Performance, edited by James Thompson and Amanda Stuart-Fisher (forthcoming, 2019)
Amending Speech (Hansard, House of Lords, forthcoming 2018)
Dennis Kelly’s DNA: GCSE Student Guide (Bloomsbury, 2017)
'Touring Testimonies', Lateral, 5.2 (2016), http://csalateral.org/wp/issue/5-2/touring-testimonies-rebalancing-public-realm-human-rights-inchley/
Voice and New Writing: Articulating the Demos (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
‘Theatre as Advocacy: “Asking for It” and the Audibility of Women’ in Nirbhaya, “the Fearless One”’, Theatre Research International, 40 (2015), 272-287.
‘Hearing the Unhearable: the Representation of Women Who Kill Children’, Contemporary Theatre Review, 23 (2013), 192-205.
‘Hearing Young Voices on the London Stage: `Shit Bein' Seventeen Int it? Never Take Us Serious',Contemporary Theatre Review, 22 (2012), 327-343.
‘David Greig and the Return of the Native Voice’, in Transnational Identities in David Greig’s Plays, edited by Anja Müller and Clare Wallace (Prague: Litteraria Pragensia, 2011).
I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of the areas of my research.
My work at Queen Mary creates links between students and outside partners as well as with schools.
I have recently or am currently collaborating with a range of partners, including:
- Peoples’ Palace Projects, the Greater London Authority and the Battersea Arts Centre on our collaborative project, The Verbatim Formula, for children and adults with experience of the social care system.
- Theatre company Phakama, where two funded Evaluation Bursaries have led to employment for students.
- A range of partners, including Dash Arts, Fuel, Magic Me, Duckie, Camden Peoples Theatre, Actors Touring Company and the Tricycle, who have hosted work placements for our MA students.
- Hansard House of Lords on a new edited collection of interviews with woman MPs and academic pieces, Amending Speech.
- Backyard Comedy Club, on a new QMUL comedy event, Bloody Mary.
- Queens School Bushey, Wanstead High School, and Bow School, delivering workshops on verbatim theatre and teaching Drama for GCSE.
- Practice-based research events at the Culture Capital Exchange Inside Out Festival and the Being Human Festival at the Wellcome Trust.
Many of my Public Engagement activities involve working with students, and I am always delighted to hear of your interests.
In addition to my academic work I am also a practitioner, working as a director and dramaturg. I am co-Artistic Director of the Comedians Theatre Company, which has been producing work with the major Edinburgh Fringe venues since 2005. In 2014, I developed four comic dramas under the title Making the Best of It with BBC Radio Four. My on going collaboration with the Pleasance Islington, Itch: A Scratch Event has led to the development and production of new theatre and comedy, including the Fringe First winning Somewhere Beneath it All a Small Fire Burns Still by Dave Florez, and Cul-de-Sac by Matthew Osborn, which was also performed at Theatre 503. Another current piece, Here Today explores my interest in voices, which are mixed, distorted and echoed immersively through the exterior performance space.
Selected Directing, Production and Dramaturgy
Delerium Scenes, a series of short films for training of clinical and care home staff, West Yorkshire and Harrogate NHS, using participatory script-writing techniques, 2019.
Audio Chat Back and Portable Testimonies with care-experienced young people, Battersea Arts Centre, Department for Education, Office for Students and City Hall, 2018-9.
Bloody Mary, at Backyard Comedy Club, 2017.
The Verbatim Formula: Performances of the TVF Living Archive at Inside Out Festival, Being Human Festival at the Wellcome Trust, and QMUL Professional Services Conference, 2015-7.
Teabags in the Fridge, Dementia Sufferers Short Films (development and director), Arc Research and NHS England Choices. These short films aimed at carers of dementia sufferers are being used for training in hospital trusts, councils and care homes across North East England, 2015.
Making the Best of It (Literary Development), BBC Radio Four, 2014.
Here Today, Morpheme Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, British Film Institute. This is a layered and textured multimedia exploration of memory and identity through recurring comic one-liners, sound and projection, 2013.
Itch: A Scratch Event (Convenor, Dramaturg and Director), The Pleasance, London. This is an on going new writing and performance project.
Cul-de-Sac, by Matthew Osborn, Theatre 503, December 2012. The Pleasance, Fringe Sell-Out Show Award. 2011.
Somewhere Beneath it All a Small Fire Burns Still by Dave Florez (Literary Development), Gilded Balloon, Scotsman Fringe First Award, 2010.
The School for Scandal, by R.B.Sheridan, (Adaptor and Associate Director), The Pleasance, Edinburgh, 2009.
Gagarin Way, by Gregory Burke, The Stand, Edinburgh, 2009.
Little Angels – (Dramaturg and Director), a new play by Hannah Davies, York Theatre Royal, 2008-9.
A (Disabled Transsexual) Love Story Told to a Ticket Inspector at Alton Towers, DaDa International Festival of Disabled Arts, Liverpool, 2008.
Stork Bite and Proper Lunch, a new play by Aviva Jane Carlin – Hackney Empire Studio, 2007.
Jeremy Lion for Your Entertainment, a new devised comedy by Justin Edwards, Menier Chocolate Factory, 2006.
True West, by Sam Shepard, The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 2006.
The Zoo Story (Director/Producer) by Edward Albee – Gilded Balloon, Winner of Acting Excellence Award, The Stage, 2005.