Skip to main content
School of English and Drama

Dr Daniel Oliver, BA (Nottingham Trent), MA and PhD (QMUL)


Lecturer in Socially Engaged Performance

Twitter: @canibedaniel


I am a performance artist and scholar. My research focuses on contemporary participatory performance and on awkwardness. My performance practice is participatory and awkward.

My own experience with dyspraxia has lead to an invested interest in neurodiversity and its place in contemporary performance practices and scholarship.

I completed my BA in Contemporary Arts at Nottingham Trent in 2003. I have been a practising Performance Artist since then. In 2005 I moved from Nottingham to London. I completed my MA in Theatre and Performance at Queen Mary in 2010 and started my PhD here straight after.

I'm on Twitter @canibedaniel


I am invested in developing a neurodivergent-led approach to teaching and facilitation.

I have taught on:

  • DRA124 Making Theatre and Performance
  • DRA310 Performance Composition
  • DRA323 Madness and Theatricality
  • DRA344 Practice-based Research Project
  • DRA7002 Independent Practical Project
  • DRA7010 Performing Mental Health


Research Interests:

  • Contemporary Performance and Live Art
  • Audience Participation
  • World-building
  • Neurodiversity – esp. dyspraxia

Recent and On-Going Research

My research investigates the efficacy of awkwardness in contemporary performance and live art. This interest is entwined with a personal investment in neurodiversity. Embracing neurodiversity means celebrating the vast range of ways of emotionally and cognitively experiencing and describing the world, and not always trying to ‘fix’ or dismiss modes of being and doing commonly understood as ‘dysfunctional’ (for example, due to autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, aspergers and other hidden disabilities). My on-going practice-based research (performances, workshops, Long Tables) explores this position in relation to audience participation in contemporary performance and live art, and is directly related to my own experience of dyspraxia.



  • (Editor), Awkwoods: Dyspraxic Adventures in Contemporary Performance and Live Art (London: Live Art Development Agency, 2019)

Book Chapters


  • (with Sumita Majumdar), ‘Dyspraxic approaches to teaching Live Art and experimental performance in the neurodivergent/normodivergent classroom’ in Inclusivity and Equality in Performance Training: Teaching and Learning for Neuro and Physical Diversity, by Petronilla Whitfield (Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2021)
  • ‘Getting Involved with the Neighbour’s Thing: Žižek and the Participatory Performance of Reactor (UK), in Žižek and Performance, by Broderick Chow and Alex Mangold (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 154-164


Journal Articles



I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of the areas of my research.

Public Engagement

I have hosted a series of public discussions around neurodiversity and performance using Lois Weaver’s ‘Long Table’ format. These were supported by Arts Council England. They have occurred at Queen Mary, as part of Peopling the Palace; the Royal College of Art, London; Lakeside Theatre, Essex University and Reactor Halls, Primary, Nottingham; Live Art Bistro, Leeds.

I have given various public performative lecture on awkwardness, participatory performance and neurodiversity. These have occurred at the Awkward Bastards 2 conference in Birmingham (available here), Normal? – Festival of the Brain in Folkestone, and as part of the Bad Vibes Club at Open School East, London (available here).


I have been creating solo and collaborative experimental participatory performances since 2003. I have always focussed on social engagement, audience participation, fantastical world-building, awkwardness, clumsiness, and, more recently, on experiences of dyspraxia and advocacy for the neurodivergent. My work has been presented internationally.

Recent Performance Projects

  • Chiperlaterartparty: The Boardgame Show, A fantastical dyspraxic-led board game and interactive online and in-person performance introducing key ideas in Live Art. Commissioned by Cambridge Junction for 2021/22
  • Dadderrs: The Lockdown Telly Show A collaboration with Frauke Requardt, adapting the live show Dadderrs for digital distribution. Commissioned and produced by The Place, supported by Forest Fringe and Tramway. Online, 22nd July- 21st August 2020
  • Dadderrs A collaboration with Frauke Requardt. A surreal participatory performance exploring our experiences of dyspraxia and ADHD as lovers, parents, and artists. Funded by Arts Council England and produced by The Place & co-commissioned by Dance International Glasgow, Sick of the Fringe, The Place & The Yard Theatre . Performances include: The Yard, London, January 2020; The Place, London, November 2019; Latitude Festival, Suffolk, July 2019; Motherworks, Cambridge Junction, June 2019; Sick of the Fringe, The Place, London, April 2019; Tempting Failure, Croydon, July 2018
  • Chiperlaterartparty A performance exploring ideas of dyspraxic time travel, neurodivergent cults, and dystopic futures. Funded by Arts Council England. Performances include: Duckie!, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, November 2018; To you, to you, to you, Artsadmin, London, October 2018; Steakhouse Live Festival, London, October 2016 and Feb 2018; DRYHUMP with Live Art Bistro and SLAP, York, September 2017; Latitude Festival, July 2017; Buzzcut Festival, Glasgow, April 2017
  • Weird Séance A performance exploring awkwardness, dyspraxia, wildness, and dubious claims made about the ethics and efficacy of audience participation. Funded by Arts Council England. Performances include: Texas A&M University, Texas, February 2019; University of the Arts, Helsinki, April 2018; Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, 2017; Sick of the Fringe, Wellcome Collection, London, 2017; Zizek Studies Conference, University of Cincinnati, May 2016; SPILL Festival of Performance, The Barbican, London, November 2015
Back to top