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Devising Theatre and Performance: Curious Methods

This book makes a major contribution to the fields of theatre and performance studies, devised performance practice, and practice-based research. The authors provide a treasure-trove of performance exercises that will be invaluable to performance-makers, educators and students as they develop their creative practice.

‘For the student/teacher/creator of performance practice, this work is a gift from the gods. The original gods – the muses – where creation takes shape from within the body and the body politic (the necessary “I” and “we” of it). If you imagine you don’t need this book, you especially need this book. The very reading of this text brings the reader’s body into being and we are suddenly prompted to get up and create in response. The best advice: “Start with a question.” This, the first step, in the journey of original work that Paris and Hill invite us to return to with every new day as artists and scholars; and, they have created a compelling cartography of design to guide us along the way. I am deeply grateful for their wisdom.’

Cherríe Moraga, University of California Santa Barbara

‘Curious’s methods are at once tender, lyrical, soul-stirring, and politically charged. To practise their methods with them is joyous and inspiring.’

Jen Harvie, Queen Mary University of London

Devising Theatre and Performance: Curious Methods has been supported by LADA.


Curious has produced over 50 innovative works for theatres and festivals including the London Cultural Olympiad, the Edinburgh Festival, Centre Pompidou and Sydney Opera House. Frequently edgy, often humorous and always authentic, Curious plough a furrow between theatre, live art, installation and research. Curious combine rigorous dramaturgy and community outreach with performance-making to create impactful work that has been called ‘as smart as it is seductive’ (Irish Times).

Helen Paris and Claudia Bart are standing on top of a huge cut trunk in a forest. They are wearing a black and a white gown. Curious methods

Leslie Hill

Leslie Hill is a Professor of Theatre and Performance Making at the University of Roehampton London and Artistic Director of Curious. She is interested in the intersections of theatre and Live Art with politics, activism and social justice movements. She is author of several books, including Sex, Suffrage and the Stage: First Wave Feminism in British Theatre which was published for the UK suffrage centenary in 2018 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Helen Paris

Helen Paris is an award-winning artist and Artistic Director of Curious, a London-based performance company that has shown work in 17 countries. Paris is currently Artist in Residence at Canterbury Christ Church University. Paris has published widely, specializing in somatic and immersive work and interdisciplinary research through her collaborations with the biological and ecological sciences. Her debut novel, Lost Property, is published by Penguin Doubleday.

Banner image credit:

Devising Theatre and Performance: Curious Methods cover. Intellect, September 2021. Cover image: Helen Paris, Claudia Barton and the Discovery Tree, Curious Retreat, Big Trees State Park, California. Photo Leslie Hill.


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