Philip Roberts

Emeritus Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies

Summary: Theatre and theatre institutions of the twentieth century

Previously Head of Drama in the University of Sheffield, I took up my post in Leeds in September, 1998, as successor to Martin Banham, the creator of the Workshop Theatre.


I began my academic career as a specialist in the period from the Glorious Revolution to the death of Queen Anne, during which time I edited the satires of John Dryden and published The Diary of Sir David Hamilton (Clarendon Press, 1975 ), an account by the physician to Queen Anne of the last five years of her reign.


Subsequently, I turned an extra-curricular obsession with drama and theatre into a way of making a living as a teacher and writer. My particular interests lie in the theatre and theatre institutions of the twentieth century.


My publications include the jointly authored Edward Bond: a Companion to the Plays and Bond: a Study of his Plays (named as one of the outstanding academic books of 1980-1 by Choice magazine, New York ). More recently, I have authored Bond on File (1985); The Royal Court Theatre, 1965-72 (1986), submitted for the Hamish Hamilton Prize for the Performing Arts Book of 1986; and The Royal Court Theatre and the Modern Stage (1999), the latter being shortlisted for the Annual Theatre Book Prize for 1999 by the Society for Theatre Research. In progress is Taking Stock; Conversations with Max Stafford-Clark for Faber and Faber. Also ongoing is the creation of an archive of modern British theatre, concentrating on papers about the Royal Court and the Fringe theatre movement.


I have directed work by Bond, Churchill, Strindberg, Shakespeare and others, and I have taught in Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, India, Japan, Poland, Spain, and the former Yugoslavia.