David Bullen

David Bullen


  • TW20 0EX

Personal profile

Personal profile

I am an academic, director, writer, and dramaturg; my practical and research interests centre on myth, adaptation, feminist and queer theatre practice, and ecodramaturgies. I have taught in the Department of Drama, Theatre, and Dance since 2013. Currently I chair the staff-student steering group for The Student Workshop, the Department's student-led theatre company, and am Careers and Professionalisation Lead for the Department of Drama, Theatre, and Dance and the Department of Music. In the academic year 2021-22, I am co-leading the School of Performing and Digital Arts' inclusive education project.

Since 2011 I have co-led By Jove, a collective of artists and academics specialising in the adaptation of myth, which I helped to found. My adaptations of works by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes have been performed in the UK and US. It was in my capacity as a theatre maker with expertise in working with ancient Greek drama that I was a Visiting Research Associate at King’s College London from 2015 to 2021, overseeing, professionalising, and innovating the Department of Classics’ annual production of an ancient Greek play.

At Royal Holloway, I am part of the Centre for Contemporary British Theatre and the Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome. I am a trustee for the longest-running company working with ancient Greek drama in the UK, the Actors of Dionysus. With Professor Fiona Macintosh at the University of Oxford, I co-convene the annual postgraduate symposium in the reception of ancient Greek and Roman drama.

Research interests

I am interested in the ways that traditional narratives and forms – especially ancient Greek myth and drama – are adapted for political purposes, with a particular focus on the work of feminist and queer theatre makers since the beginning of the twentieth century, as well as the implications of these narratives and forms for ecodramaturgy. My research is thus at the intersection of theatre history, adaptation studies, classical reception studies, and – in the overlap with my work as a practitioner – contemporary performance practices.

Currently I am working on two book-length projects: a monograph, Greek Tragedy in Twenty-First Century British Theatre, for Liverpool University Press, and a collection of essays on the role of theatre in UK Classics ecologies, co-edited with Dr Christine Plastow (Classics, OU) for Routledge. Previous publications include a prize-winning essay published in the Society for Theatre Research’s journal Theatre Notebook. This was based on a chapter from my practice-informed doctoral thesis, a performance history of feminist theatre makers’ engagement with Euripides’ Bacchae from 1908 to the twenty-first century.


I have been teaching in the Department of Drama, Theatre, and Dance since 2013. I regularly teach core first year modules Theatre & Performance Making and Theatre & Text, as well as later optional modules on such subjects as adaptation, directing, and tragedy across all of the module baskets. I have created a number of new modules for the Department, including Theatre & Ideas 2: The Idea of Tragedy and Advanced Option Workshop: Telling Tales. I also teach the Concept and Dramaturgy module for the MA Directing programme.

Alongside Professor Sigrun Wagner from the School of Business and Management and my DTD colleague Professor Liz Schafer, I co-lead the college’s Carbon Literacy Training initiative. Validated by the Carbon Literacy Trust, we regularly deliver this training to staff, students, and governors in the college, as well as more recently to theatre organisations such as the RSC, the National Theatre of Scotland, and Theatre Alibi. In June 2022, we were awarded a college team teaching commendation for the initiative.

In 2019, I was recruited to the team developing the college’s new Integrated Foundation Degree, helping to deliver the programme throughout its initial three-year pilot stage.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or