Sunday, 14 November 2010

November update

I'm really excited to be involved in a whole load of seminars and projects starting next week, especially working with internationally recognised writer/director George Rodosthenous as a script consultant  for Euripides' Orestes and to develop a series of masterclasses. The masterclasses will involve taking an academic and a performance perspective to the Orestes' staging and characterisation. These masterclasses will be open to the public and/or intended for the cast of George's new production ( world premiere March 2011 at

I'm also organising a series of pre-performance talks for the general public by academics, following on from the success of the series of three pre-performance talks accompanying George Rodosthenous' Hercules' Wife (May 2010 at So look out for Dr. Roger Brock on politics, Prof. Malcolm Heath on dysfunctional families and myself on Euripidean staging and surprising the audience...

Other than that, Underworlds Live in Leeds, is still going places - a university/local arts partnership seminar and networking event next week and a seminar on performance-based research after that. Watch this space for further details!

Monday, 25 October 2010


I've just completed Underworlds Live in Leeds, a major performance project - one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, classics outreach events in the north of England this year - and thoroughly enjoyed scripting, directing and costuming all the characters, and especially improvising one of them for five hours(even though I never planned to). The challenge was to help the general public to connect to the texts and characters of the ancient world and the medium of a city's public art and architecture, in conjunction with the performances, seemed to bridge that gap really well. At least the requests for repeats as a single 'walk' for a group - 'walking theatre' with a narrator/tour guide - seem to indicate that's the case. So my outreach work is now generating some performance-based research data and seems to have legs!

The experience got me thinking about all the other productions and theatre-related projects I've been involved in and how that background has shaped the way I approach the dramatic authors I work on, lecture on, and write about in my academic persona.

So, because I don't want to waste what I've learned about blogging and wanted to catalogue my ephemera anyway, I thought I'd start a new blog that will come to encompass my theatrical experience and as much evidence of it as I can accrue. If you can help me out with any more photographs, programmes etc. please get in touch with me (Eleanor OKell - without spaces or dots) via googlemail.

As a professional lecturer/researcher and a theatre practitioner, I'm also available to give talks, lectures and workshops and for that am beset contacted on my Visiting Research Fellow address (e.r.okell) through the University of Leeds (


Eleanor as Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, St. Joseph's College, Stoke-on-Trent, April 1993.
Press photo for The Sentinel.