Dr Adam J. Ledger FHEA, FRSA

Photograph of Dr Adam J. Ledger

Department of Drama and Theatre Arts
Reader in Theatre and Performance

Contact details

Department of Drama and Theatre Arts
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My research centres on directing, performance practice and the creation of new work.

I have published widely on theatre practice, especially directing, and significantly on the work of Odin Teatret and Eugenio Barba. I have recently completed the monograph The Director and Directing: Craft, Process and Aesthetic in Contemporary Theatre (Palgrave Macmillan).

I am co-artistic director of The Bone Ensemble, where major projects include international tours of performance about environmental issues.


  • 2018: Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts
  • 2011: Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy
  • 2007: PhD Performance Practice, University of Exeter
  • 2000: MA Theatre and Performance Studies, Rose Bruford College
  • 1992: Diploma in Acting, Webber Douglas Academy, London


Before joining the department at Birmingham, I was a Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at University College Cork, Ireland, and a Lecturer in Drama at the University of Hull.

Alongside my academic work, I have directed and led projects internationally in a variety of situations and settings, including professional productions and tours, in drama schools and universities, in the community and with my own company.


My teaching and curriculum development work has been particularly practical in focus, based around performance preparation and realisation, with further seminar or study options concerning the history and philosophy of acting, the practice and theory of directing, and text-based courses.

Postgraduate supervision

I have supervised in areas related to my research and teaching interests, and welcome enquiries, particularly from those wishing to pursue practice-based research in contemporary theatre-making.

Find out more - our PhD Drama and Theatre Studies  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My research interests centre on performance practice, especially directing, acting (and how these are brought together through rehearsal), devising and performer training. My recent research has focussed on Odin Teatret and now especially concerns contemporary directing and performance-making practices.

I have recently published a monograph on contemporary directing, The Director and Directing: Craft, Process and Aesthetic in Contemporary Theatre (Palgrave Macmillan).

My ongoing practice as research activities include Where’s My Igloo Gone? with The Bone Ensemble, a family performance that explores how theatre can engage with climate change, and now Gulp!, a piece about the politics of water for family audiences. This work has regularly been funded by Arts Council England, the University of Birmingham, several Trusts and commissioning partners.

Other activities

I have acted as external examiner for other universities and developed distance-learning materials. I have worked with several European and Indian universities.


Recent publications


Ledger, A 2019, The Director and Directing: Craft, Process and Aesthetic in Contemporary Theatre. 1 edn, Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-40767-2

Ledger, A 2012, The Odin Teatret: Theatre in a New Century. Palgrave Macmillan.


Ledger, A 2018, 'Essais: Where’s my igloo gone?: ‘Trainings’ for/in participatory performance for family audiences', Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 282-286. https://doi.org/10.1080/19443927.2018.1475161

Ledger, A 2016, ''It’s not about fucking it up’: The Trial of Ubu, the text and the director', Contemporary Theatre Review, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 345-356. https://doi.org/10.1080/10486801.2016.1183663

Ledger, A 2010, 'Does What?: reflections on acting, directing and rehearsing Martin Crimp's 'Fewer Emergencies'', New Theatre Quarterly, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 121-132. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266464X10000266

Ledger, A 2009, '"The People of Ritual": Odin Teatret's 'Festuge'', About Performance, vol. 9.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Ledger, A & Kuhlmann, A 2018, The Tree of Performance Knowledge: Eugenio Barba. in P Allain (ed.), The Great European Stage Directors: Grotowski, Brook, Barba. vol. 5, Great European Stage Directors, Bloomsbury.

Ledger, A 2017, ‘The thrill of doing it live’: devising and performing Katie Mitchell’s international multimedia productions. in K Reilly (ed.), Contemporary Approaches to Adaptation in Theatre. Adaptation in Theatre and Performance, Palgrave Macmillan.

Ledger, A 2016, Caravania!: intimate theatre for family audiences. in J Frieze (ed.), Reframing Immersive Theatre: The Politics and Pragmatics of Participatory Performance. 1st edn, Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-36604-7

Ledger, A 2016, The Women of Odin Teatret: Creativity, Challenge, Legacy. in K Syssoyeva & S Proudfit (eds), Women, Collective Creation and Devised Theatre: The Rise of Women Theatre Artists in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. 1st edn, Palgrave. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-55013-2


Ledger, A 2013, Stan's Cafe: the Vision of the Ensemble. in J Britton (ed.), Encountering Ensemble. Methuen.

Ledger, A, Fliotsos, AL & Vierow, W 2013, Women Directors in the UK. in A Fliotsos & W Vierow (eds), International Women Stage Directors. University of Illinois Press, pp. 136-147.

Ledger, A, Kershaw, B & Nicholson, H 2011, The Question of Documentation: creative strategies in practice as research. in Research Methods in Theatre Studies. Edinburgh University Press.

Book/Film/Article review

Ledger, A 2011, 'Contemporary European Theatre Directors: Ed. by Maria M. Delgado and Dan Rebellato. London and New York: Routledge. 2010. xx+428 pp.; 16 colour plates. £20.99. ISBN 978-0-415-46251-8.', Modern Language Review, vol. 106, no. 3, pp. 842-44. https://doi.org/10.5699/modelangrevi.106.3.0842


Ledger, A, Performance and the Environment: Where's My Igloo Gone? and Gulp!, 2016, Performance.

View all publications in research portal