Poppy’s Royal Holloway University Profile


Poppy is currently a PhD candidate at Royal Holloway University of London. Poppy’s practice-based research looks to move away from the cause and effect narratives that have dominated much performance practice and theory in the region, and consider alternative ways of understanding the value and impact of contemporary performance practice in East Africa.

“I’m currently a PhD candidate with Professor Helen Nicholson and Professor Katie Willis as my supervisors. I’m based within the Drama, Theatre and Dance Department at Royal Holloway, and also work in Geography. My position is supported by Techne, an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Doctoral Training Partnership, which supports students pursuing the ‘craft’ of research through innovative, interdisciplinary and creative approaches across the range of the arts and humanities.”

To read about Poppy’s time studying at Queen Mary, click here.

Choosing Royal Holloway

“I am very lucky to have fantastic supervisors. I knew of Dr Helen Nicholson and her innovative research in performance before I applied, and as soon as we spoke about my practice and ideas I knew she was the right person to work with. After honing my proposal, we approached Katie Willis to join my supervisory team. Katie is a human geographer whose interest in challenging the representation of sites of development in the global south, chimed with my work. And so, although I did apply to a number of different institutions and programs, and was lucky to have a number of choices, Professor Nicholson, Professor Willis and Royal Holloway was the right place for me.”

To read about Poppy’s inspirational volunteer story, click here.

Interdisciplinary Benefits

“Having different dynamics and two disciplines to feed my research and practice has been brilliant; when I’ve been leaning more towards one area or theory, it’s great to have other places to go and advice to look for. Most projects in my doctoral programme are interdisciplinary, radical, practical and contemporary. And so, whilst I’m one of a handful of drama students, there are people from archaeology, from history, from all sorts of areas often working with another discipline such as poetry, architecture or music.