School of English

This page shows the staff for the University of Nottingham's School of English in the UK. Please see here for the School of Education and English in China and the School of English in Malaysia.

Image of Andy Barrett

Andy Barrett

Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts



I am a Nottingham based writer and theatre maker who has recently completed a part-time PhD and started working at the university as a research fellow on two projects.

Since 2000 I have been the artistic director of the community theatre company Excavate, working with communities across the East Midlands to create shows and projects exploring questions of heritage, place, and identity. From starting out as a largely site-specific company, producing large-scale and often spectacular work this has, over recent years, moved to a combination of smaller, touring projects (often with the Creative People and Places programme), audio work, and academic research projects (including two GCRF projects in India).

Alongside this work I have written for main stage and touring theatre companies, as well as for BBC Radio. This has included an adaptation of Ibsen's The League of Youth for the Nottingham Playhouse, Dolly, a 'cloning meets country and western musical' which The Times selected as one of their top ten theatre shows of the year, and Tony's Last Tape, based on the diaries of Tony Benn, which toured extensively and was performed at the House of Commons. My radio series Lily's Years. for BBC Radio Nottingham, won a Sony Award and my most recent Afternoon Play is currently available - Barbeque 67 - The Original Summer of Love. I have received a British Council International Artist award to create work with the National Theatre of Kosovo, created work in partnership with the Sichuan Opera Troupe of Chengdu, and co-written a community play for a basti in Pune.

Throughout this period I have also worked in schools, (recently with the Creativity Collaboratives programme) as well as teaching a variety of courses and modules at Loughboough, Nottingham and Leicester De Montfort universities.

I am an Honorary Research Fellow at the Mary Seacole Research Centre at De Montfort university.

Expertise Summary

Community and applied theatre, with a focus on place-based work that often uses heritage as a way of exploring questions of contemporary collective identity.

My PhD explored the texts of the community play from the inception of this theatrical form in the late 1970s through to the present day. As a playwright and the Artistic Director of Excavate I have also written over thirty plays for communities across the region since 2000.

My theatre practice has increasingly been engaged with academic research, including two Global Challenge Research Fund supported projects, exploring issues connected to mental health, in India. I have written about this work for The Routledge Companion to Performance and Medicine and The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Health Humanities, as well as presenting papers and practical workshops connected to this in the U.K, India, and at the International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam.

I continue to write for theatre companies and the BBC radio (this being my most recent radio play) and am currently working as a Story Associate for the AHRC StoryArcs programme.

Recent Publications

School of English

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The University of Nottingham
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