Saturday 18 November 2017 Dennis Kelly International Symposium Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, University of Lincoln

Dennis Kelly

International Symposium

Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, University of Lincoln

Saturday 18 November 2017


Keynote Speaker: Dr Clare Finburgh, University of Kent


Following the success of its previous International Playwriting Symposia (Churchill, 2011; Kane, 2012; Ravenhill, 2013; Greig, 2014; tucker green, 2015), the Lincoln School of Fine and Performing Arts is delighted to announce its 2017 Playwright’s Symposium, dedicated this year to the works of Dennis Kelly. On 18 November 2017, there will be a one-day symposium bringing together scholars, theatre practitioners and students to discuss one of the most distinctive and compelling voices to emerge in the first decade of 21st century theatre.


Kelly’s imaginatively daring and often politically acerbic plays have been performed worldwide and translated into nearly forty languages. In a relatively brief but wide-ranging career that spans stage, television, radio and film, award-winning plays include Osama the Hero (2006), Taking Care of Baby (2007), for which he won the John Whiting Award and Best Foreign Playwright from Theater Heute, Orphans (2009) and Matilda the Musical (2010), which won both a Tony and an Olivier for Best Book of a Musical. Plays for young audiences include Our Teacher’s A Troll (2009) and DNA, which in 2010 became a set text on the English Literature GCSE syllabus. Kelly co-wrote the award-winning BBC 3 comedy Pulling (2006-2009) and his Channel 4 television drama, Utopia (2013-14)won the International Emmy for Best Drama Series.


We invite 20 minute papers on all aspects of Dennis Kelly’s plays for stage and screen. Papers may, for example, address specific works dramaturgically and/or thematically, consider Kelly’s position within contemporary cultures and traditions of British (and European) theatre-making, focus analysis on a particular medium, or critically reflect upon the material challenges of staging Kelly’s plays.


Possible topics or themes might include (but are not limited to):


  • New writing and formal experimentation
  • Lineages of aesthetic influence (theatrical, literary, filmic, televisual)
  • Narrative/generic conventions and their subversion
  • Theatrical adaptation (parody, pastiche, bricolage)
  • Story-telling as mise-en-abyme
  • The contemporary ‘grotesque’
  • The mediatization of public (political) spaces
  • Class and consumerism
  • ‘Disaster capitalism’ and its aesthetics
  • ‘State of the Nation’ theatre in an age of globalisation
  • Ecology and economics
  • International (geo)politics on the British stage
  • Representation and ontological (in)stabilities of truth, authenticity and belief
  • Representation and metaphor
  • Ethics and spectatorship
  • Language and its rhetorical operations
  • Media exploitation and hypertheatricalization
  • Utopias and dystopias
  • The playwright as ‘portfolio’ writer – writing for stage, film and television
  • Writing for Young Audiences
  • Directorial approaches and staging challenges
  • Critical receptions of Kelly’s works overseas


Deadline for abstracts of 200 words: Monday 3rd April


Please send abstracts and a brief biographical note to: and






Étiquettes :