Robert Marsden

Job Title and Responsibilities

Associate Professor of Acting and Directing
Co- Course Leader for Drama with Paul Christie
Fellow in Teaching and Learning
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

About me

I balance my work at Staffordshire University with that of being a freelance theatre director.

Recent freelance work (2008-2017)

Recent freelance work (2008-2017): Yes Prime Minister, The Secret Garden, The Game’s Afoot (Swanage Repertory); The Wind in the Willows (Old Rep, Birmingham); A Weekend in the Country (Cooper Hall, Somerset); Michael Frayn’s Matchbox Theatre (Halifax) Will Brenton’s Peter Pan (Halifax); Journey to the East (Cyprus); Bugsy, Fame and The Wiz (Milton Keynes Theatre); King Macbeth (National Tour); The Savonarola Debate (Florence, Italy); Jack and the Beanstalk starring Lynne McGranger (Home and Away) and Frazer Hines; Silent Anger (as Producer); Dave Simpson’s new play Cock Tales and Cry Havoc! (Manchester); Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty (Halifax and Reading) with Cbeebies’ Justin Fletcher and Emmerdale’s Leah Bracknell.

New writing workshops have included The Good Enough Mum's Club (London); WLTM and Fruits of the Poisoned Tree (Stoke); The Grimmest of Grimm Tales (Windsor) and leading workshops on creativity, acting and directing in Bangkok and China.

In repertory, I have worked at the Yvonne Arnaud Guildford, Swanage Rep (Mowlam Theatre); Stephen Joseph Scarborough, Bolton Octagon, Southwark Playhouse, Oxford Playhouse and Aberystwyth Arts Centre. I also spent 5 years at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle under Lyme as an assistant then associate working on over 25 productions for all departments including mainstage, studio, education and Borderlines outreach.

Productions in rep ranged from working with Sir Alan Ayckbourn on his play Sugar Daddies (National No 1 Tour) and productions such as Harvest (devised), Some Enchanted Evening, A Broadway Songbook, Carmen, Cabaret, Outside Edge, Sweeney Todd and Romeo and Juliet.
Commercially, I have been Staff and Associate Director on The Extra Factor with Kevin Kennedy and Antony Costa (Blue); The Naked Truth with Lisa Riley and Julie Buckfield and Over the Rainbow (all National Touring) as well as summer season productions for Blackpool Pleasure Beach.  Since 1999, I has been heavily involved in pantomime, and have written and directed several productions in Stoke on Trent, Rugeley Rose Theatre, Ammanford Miner’s Theatre, South Wales, Wrexham, Ickenham (London) and Belfast. Since 2007, I have worked for producer Stephen Boden at WISH Theatre and then Imagine Theatre Ltd. Pantomimes for Imagine have been at Halifax (8 years) Crewe (3 years), Porthcawl, Halifax as well as Loughborough and Reading.

Writing includes Peter Pan (Sell A Door Worldwide) as well as numerous pantomimes.
I have also worked for BBC Radio 4 Drama and Television.  for BBC Radio 4 Drama and Television.


PhD (ongoing- completion 2018) University of Wolverhampton - Acting and rehearsal room practice.

MA Professional Practice (Middlesex) – 1st Class

BA (Hons) Drama, University of Wales

SFHEA (Senior Fellow of the Higher Educational Academy)

Short courses undertaken include at Birmingham School of Acting- Voice Courses including with Kristin Linklater; Raindance (Directing for Screen) with Patrick Tucker.

Professional Memberships and Activities

Member of Equity.

External Assessor/ Examiner for ALRA North (2012-2015)

External Validator for Open University / Hull College BA (Hons) Acting with Theatre Practice; External Examiner for Liverpool Hope University re-validation Drama and Theatre Arts.

Company Director of Partners in Creative Learning (ongoing) and  Reveal Theatre Ltd (2009-2015)

Programming Board Member for the Mitchell Arts Centre, Hanley, Staffordshire.


Theory and Practice of Directing

Theory and Practice of Acting

New Writing

Musical Theatre



Enterprise and Commercial Activities

I was Creative Director of my own company, Reveal Theatre Ltd from 1997 to 2015 ( ) where I produced and directed numerous productions in the Midlands, London and touring including: Am I Not a Man and a Brother? (National Tour and re-launch in association with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse); King Macbeth (National Tour); Sondheim’s Into the Woods (Stoke); Voices of Arran (Arran); Silent Anger(Tour); They Called It Passchendaele (Belgium); The Savonarola Debate (Florence, Italy) Singin’ in the Rain, Sticks and Stones (Tours) Hitting Town; Trench Kiss, Two; The documentary play On The Home Front; Charley’s Aunt and Teechers

I also secured Arts Council and Home Office funding for touring productions and projects.

Research Interests

“Dramatic Enquiry”: Creative Partnerships/Theatre Cap-a-Pie.

Part of the research team exploring theatre and philosophy techniques led by Gordon Poad.

“Creative Teaching and learning Techniques”: with Keele University
Part of a joint collaboration exploring the use of drama, acting and theatre in the teaching of History in the Secondary Curriculum.

Rehearsal Studies (through PhD)

Selected Publications

Conference Papers

“The Aha Moment in Rehearsal”: Antwerp University, Belgium. Tracing Creation. March 2016.

"Enhancing Employability Through Enterprise Education": King's College, London. June 2014. HEA.
Delivering on how employability is embedded in the curriculum at Staffordshire University.

“At the Crossroads: New Directions in Teacher Education”:  Canterbury Christ Church University, July 2012.
Delivery on the explorations of using drama and creative techniques in teacher training.


The Stage Newspaper
December 2016
How To Direct Pantomime

Arts Professional Issue 242
November 2011
On the use of theatre to combat extremism

Direct: Director’s Guild of Great Britain Magazine
Autumn 2003
On being a young director working in theatre


Acting in Pantomime:

Current teaching

Level 4: Explorations in Acting and Performance, The Actor as Collaborator.

Level 5: Theatre Practice: Play Production, Explorations in Rehearsal; Heightened Text

Level 6: Staging The Classics, Musical Theatre

Level 7: MA Theatre Practice by Negotiated Learning


Robert Marsden
School of Creative Arts and Engineering
Staffordshire University
Flaxman L503
College Road
t: +44 (0)1782 294483 - email preferred
m: 07525 480164
twitter: @Theatrerob