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Lecturer in Theatre, University of Bristol

Kirsty is an award-winning scholar specialising in audience research and cultural value.

Her work investigates how people find value in cultural participation. How do they experience and respond to the things they see? How are these pleasures and disappointments made meaningful within their lives? And what can all this tell us about the role of the arts in society, as well as the relationship between cultural institutions, power, identity, and place?

Her 2016 book Locating the Audience (Intellect) was the first to explore how people developed relationships with a new cultural institution at the time of its formation: the then brand-new National Theatre Wales. Her second, The Reasonable Audience, examines behaviour policing in the theatre etiquette campaigns. She has published on subjects ranging from exclusions in immersive and participatory theatre, to the ways online audiences talk about digital representations of live performance, to how Harry Potter fans felt about the Cursed Child stage play. Kirsty is currently working on a three-year British Academy-funded research project investigating community engagements with the Bristol Old Vic theatre through time.


  • 2020–present
    Lecturer in Theatre, University of Bristol
  • 2016–2020
    British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Bristol
  • 2016–2016
    Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Newcastle
  • 2014–2016
    Arts Impact Evaluation Consultant, Audience&Co


  • 2014 
    University of Aberystwyth, PhD in Audiences

Grants and Contracts

  • 2016
    A Theatre of Two Cities
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    Funding Source:
    British Academy