Dr Mark Taylor-Batty

Dr Mark Taylor-Batty

Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies

+44 (0) 113 343 4725

Summary: Surrealism and the French Stage Harold Pinters Drama My key areas of interest include the career of Harold Pinter, the theatricality of Samuel Beckett and aspects of twentieth-century French theatre

Location: Workshop Theatre


Dr Mark Taylor-Batty BA, PhD, Hull

Research Interests

My key areas of interest include the career of Harold Pinter, the theatricality of Samuel Beckett and aspects of twentieth-century French and British theatre. I am interested in issues pertaining to translation for the stage and the director's role in the process of play authorship. Specifically I am interested by what constitutes 'theatricality' as generated by specific playwrights and how one might seek to define and manipulate it in practical terms. As a consequence of this I am fascinated by the relationship that can develop between a director and a living playwright and by the inevitable authorial position that any director takes in respect to a dramatic text. I am also interested in the relationship between an author and their work in process, in compilation and in rehearsal. My research on the rehearsal processes of Roger Blin and his artistic relationships with Adamov, Artaud, Barrault, Beckett, and Genet came to fruition in my book Roger Blin: Collaborations and Methodologies (Peter Lang).

My interest in Harold Pinter's writing and activity has resulted in two recent books: The Theatre of Harold Pinter (Bloomsbury) was published in 2014, About Pinter: The Playwright and The Work (Faber and Faber) in 2005. I participated in compiling material for two subdirectories of the official Harold Pinter website. I have acted as an Associate Editor (UK) for The Pinter Review: Collected Essays. I am currently an executive of the International Harold Pinter Society.

In 2016, I begin work as a Principle Investigator on an AHRC-funded, three-year project entitled Pinter Histories and Legacies, which will centre research around the construction of a database of every UK production or broadcast of a Pinter play since 1957. The research team will be centred in the Universities of Leeds, Reading and Birmingham.

In 2009 I published a book in collaboration with my wife, the modernist scholar Juliette Taylor-Batty, entitled Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, described as "An impressively complete survey of the play in its cultural, theatrical, historical and political contexts".

I have interests in the digital publication of scholarly materials and am researching opportunities for publication on iPads and notebooks.

I have an interest in the representations of trauma in drama, and a broader interest in issues of ethics in relation to performance. I am currently co-editor of the journal Performing Ethos

I have supervised numerous PhD students, whose work has ranged from studies of Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, political or engaged theatre and other aspects of twentieth and twenty-first-century performance practice. 

Recent Activities

In October 2013, I was invited to engage in a public conversation with director Ian Rickson on directing the plays of Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett as part of the Staging Beckett Project.  

In September 2011, I was invited as a plenary speaker to the Conference 'Pinter Abroad: Other Stages, Other Rooms', at the University of Maribor in Slovenia. My visit was supported by the British Council.

In August 2011 I gave a lecture on Pinter's The Homecoming as part of the RSC's Summer School at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford.

In March 2011, I was invited to Rome to speak at a the Università e-Campus as part of a celebration of Pinter's work.

In March 2009, I was invited to speak at a festival of Pinter's work at the Habiba Theatre in Tel Aviv, Israel. My visit was supported by the British Council.

In February 2008 I played the role of Ian in Sarah Kane's Blasted at the Queen's Hotel, Leeds. 

In May 2007 I gave a plenary paper at the 'Harold Pinter: Encontros conference' at the University of Lisbon.

In April 2007, I organised the 'Artist and Citizen: 50 Years of Performing Pinter' conference, commemorating 50 years of the author's stage activities. Guests included Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Antonia Fraser, Henry Woolf, Michael Billington, James Clarke and the Belarus Free Theatre.

In June 2006 I played the role of Richard/Max in Harold Pinter's The Lover at the Studio Salford. 



Surrealism and the French Stage
Harold Pinters Drama