Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Performance and Cultural Industries


Dr Aylwyn Walsh

Lecturer in Applied Theatre and Intervention

Stage@Leeds 1.10


Aylwyn works on performance and social change as researcher and applied theatre practitioner. She is predominantly interested in a feminist approach using critical ethnographic methods and her research spans social, political and activist performance; radical pedagogies and intercultural performance as well as arts and mental health.

She directs Converge – course for people using mental health services, in partnership with Leeds Mind.

In 2018, she will co-convene the Sadler seminar series ‘Activist Tactics: Performing Geographies of Social Change’ with Prof Paul Routledge (Geography/ University of Leeds).

Aylwyn is programme leader of the MA in Applied Theatre & Intervention. Prior to this she was senior lecturer at the University of Lincoln’s School of Fine and Performing Arts where she headed up the Practice as Research cross-disciplinary group. She has recently worked on projects including the Arts of Logistics about the politics and poetics of infrastructures, counter-logistics and mobility. Her current project relates to Prison Cultures, mapping performance, resistance and desire in women’s prisons.


Aylwyn is a performance maker & scholar working on the arts and social change whose work is concerned with exploring interdisciplinary methodologies. Most recently, she’s developed practice-led research in women’s prisons in the UK and in Greece. Aylwyn is artistic director of Ministry of Untold Stories. Her artistic work has been hosted across Europe, including Germany, Greece, Finland, and in the USA, Brazil, as well as Zambia and South Africa. She has worked on a wide range of freelance projects as evaluator, lead artist, and has lectured in both South African and UK universities.

Recent publications have included work on women in prison for Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies; Prison Service Journal; Crime, Media, Culture and Contemporary Theatre Review. She has published articles about arts and migration in Performances of Crisis, Capitalism and Resistance and Theory in Action; about protest in Qualitative Inquiry; Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies; Journal of Arts and Communities; arts behind bars in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Crime, Media, and Popular Culture. She has also written on arts in healthcare for the Journal for Applied Arts and Health; on street art in Journal of Arts and Communities and about violence in Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies. She co-edited Remapping ‘Crisis’: A Guide to Athens, published by Zero Books. Her monograph Prison Cultures: Performance, Resistance, Desire is due in 2019 with Intellect.

Research Interests

Prison theatre
Borders, Migration and Refugees
Arts & Mental health
Anti-racism & critical race studies
Radical pedagogies
Feminist criminology
Applied theatre methods
Innovative research methods
Practice as research
Queer theory
Critical theory



PECI 1711 Performance Perspectives

PECI 2703 Performance project 2: Collaborative performance (module leader)

PECI 3700 Independent Research Project

PECI 5603 Research Perspectives MA ATI (Module Leader)

PECI 5601 Applied Theatre Practices (Module leader)

PECI 5602 Critical Concepts in Applied Theatre (Module Leader)

PECI 5601 Applied Theatre Practices (Module Leader)

PECI 5102 ATI Research Project

PECI 5104 Individual Project

Prior to the role as programme leader for the MA in Applied Theatre & Interventions, Ally led undergraduate modules on Reading Performance, Improvisation & Devising, Teaching Drama, Performance in Social and Community Contexts, World Theatre and MA modules in Prisons, Punishment and Performance.

She has taught at Lincoln, Northampton, UEL and Goldsmiths in the UK and Rhodes University and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa.


Programme Leader, MA Applied Theatre & Intervention

Faculty of Arts Humanities and Cultures Research Ethics Committee


Journal articles

  • Walsh A (2018) “‘I’ve stood at so many windows’: Women in Prison, Performativity and Survival”, Liminalities : a Journal of Performance Studies. 14.3: 211-230.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/131832/

  • Walsh AM (2018) “Performing Punishment, Transporting Audiences: Clean Break Theatre Company’s Sweatbox”, Prison Service Journal. (Accepted)
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/133599/

  • Walsh A, Tsilimpounidi M (2017) “Dear TINA: Protesting Institutions in Times of Crisis”, Qualitative Inquiry. 23.2: 137-148.
    DOI: 10.1177/1077800416643984, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/119914/

  • Walsh AM (2016) “Staging women in prisons: Clean Break Theatre Company’s dramaturgy of the cage”, Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal. 12.3: 309-326.
    DOI: 10.1177/1741659015613675, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/119916/

  • Walsh A, Tsilimpounidi M (2015) “Virtues of violence: A testimonial performance, or an affidavit of lies, excuses, and justifications”, Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies. 15.3: 180-189.
    DOI: 10.1177/1532708614562883

  • Walsh A (2014) “(En)gendering Habitus: Women, prison, resistance”, Contemporary Theatre Review. 24.1: 40-52.
    DOI: 10.1080/10486801.2013.858327

  • Walsh A, Ledgard A (2013) “Re-viewing an arts-in-health process: For the Best”, Research in Drama Education. 18.3: 216-229.
    DOI: 10.1080/13569783.2013.810923

  • Walsh A (2012) “Breaking frames: Mark Storor’s For the Best – A case study about an artist in residence”, Journal of Applied Arts & Health. 3.2: 217-228.
    DOI: 10.1386/jaah.3.2.217_1

  • Tsilimpounidi M, Walsh A (2012) “Late Extra! Merry Crisis-mas (from Greece)”, City. 16.1-2: 249-252.
    DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2012.662379

  • Walsh AM, Tsilimpounidi M (2012) “Disappearing Migrants: Hunger Strike and invisible struggles”, Theory in Action. 5.2
    DOI: 10.3798/tia.1937-0237.12015

  • Tsilimpounidi M, Walsh A (2011) “Painting human rights: Mapping street art in Athens”, Journal of Arts and Communities. 2.2: 111-122.
    DOI: 10.1386/jaac.2.2.111_1

  • Walsh AM (2006) “Chasing after white rabbits: directing community theatre for the National Arts Festival”, South African Theatre Journal. 20.1: 65-78.
    DOI: 10.1080/10137548.2006.9687826


  • Walsh A (2017) “A Critical Introduction to Arts Behind Bars”, In: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Crime, Media, and Popular Culture. Oxford University Press.
    DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190264079.013.18, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/121752/

  • Walsh A (2017) “What Works: The affective and gendered performance of prison.”, In: McAvinchey C (eds.) Applied Theatre: Women and the Criminal Justice System. Applied Theatre Series. Bloomsbury. (Accepted)
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/117815/

  • Walsh A (2017) “Staging the Radical Potential of the Imagination: A Critical Introduction to A Machine they’re Secretly Building”, In: Westerside A; Proto-type Theater (eds.) A Machine they’re Secretly Building. Oberon Books. 6-10
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/117810/

  • Walsh A (2016) “The Paradox of Dis/appearance: Hunger Strike in Athens as a Performance of Survival”, In: Duggan P; Peschel L (eds.) Performing (for) Survival: Theatre, Crisis, Extremity. Palgrave Macmillan UK. 203-221
    DOI: 10.1057/9781137454270_11, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/107343/

  • Walsh A (2015) “Staging the others: Appearance, visibility and radical border crossing in Athens”, In: Zaroulia M; Hager P (eds.) Performances of Capitalism, Crises and Resistance: Inside/Outside Europe. Palgrave Macmillan. 134-149
    DOI: 10.1057/9781137379375.0014, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/107342/

  • Walsh A (2015) “Staging the Others: Appearance, Visibility and Radical Border Crossing in Athens”, In: Performances of Capitalism, Crises and Resistance: Inside/Outside Europe. 134-149
    DOI: 10.1057/9781137379375_8

  • Walsh AM, Tsilimpounidi M (2014) “‘It’s a Beautiful thing, the destruction of wor(l)ds’: the Script. in Protests as Events, Events as Protests”, In: Spracklen K; Lamond I (eds.) Protests as Events: Events as Protests. London: Rowman And Littlefield. 137-150

  • Walsh AM, Tsilimpounidi M (2014) “Introduction”, In: Walsh AM; Tsilimpounidi M (eds.) Remapping 'Crisis' A Guide to Athens. London: Zero Books / John Hunt Publishing. 15-24

  • Walsh AM, Tsilimpounidi M (2013) “‘Projections of an Urban Revolution’”, In: Raqs Media Collective and Shveta Sarda (eds.) Sarai Reader 09: Projections. Sarai reader. Mumbai: Raqs Media Collective. 2010-216

  • Walsh AM (2012) “‘Awaiting Justice in South African Prisons: Performing Human Rights in a State of Exception’”, In: Cheliotis LK (eds.) The Arts of Imprisonment: Essays on Control, Resistance and Empowerment. Basingstoke: Ashgate. 303-310

Research Projects & Grants

Containers as Social Landscapes (2014 – 2015, University of Lincoln research Investment Fund)
Stand Together: Gender Based Violence Bystander Intervention (2013 – 15, University of Lincoln research Investment Fund)

Research Centres & Groups

Participation research group


External Appointments

SCUDD PG subcommittee chair
External Examiner, Kingston University BA Drama

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

Sam McKay
Hayley Alessi
Chiedza Chinhanu

PhD Thesis

Performing (for) Survival: Performance Tactics of Incarcerated Women


Professional Practice

Applied Theatre Projects:
Converge Leeds: Drama project in collaboration with Leeds Mind

Act up/Act out: Performance making at Cygnet Psychiatric Hospital

One to One Performance:

The Horn of Desire (The Unison cellar, Lincoln February 2017)
Perverted Communion (The Unison cellar, Lincoln November 2016)

Salt: a film with Fenia Kotsopoulou screened at the Athens School of Fine Art Summer festival in collaboration with Laura Corcuera, 2016.

Ministry of Untold Stories:

  • ‘Cruising utopia: A riff on longing, desire and the yet-to-come in politics and performance’ (CAPPE Brighton, Keynote Sept 2015; Ministry of Untold Stories).
  • ‘Dear TINA: We’re Sorry for the Inconvenience, but this is a Revolution’ (CAPPE conference 2014, Athens GCAS conference, 2015; extracts at University of Lincoln Critical Encounters, 2014; and in the La Pocha Nostra Workshop, Athens 2015; Ministry of Untold Stories).
  • ‘Virtues of Violence: A testimonial Performance or an Affidavit of Lies, Excuses, Justifications’ (CAPPE conference 2103; UEL 2014; Thessaloniki 2014; Istanbul 2015; Ministry of Untold Stories)
  • ‘It’s a Beautiful thing, the destruction of wor(l)ds’ (Berlin Biennale 2012; CAPPE 2012; London, 2013; Amsterdam, 2013; Leeds 2013; Loughborough 2013; Manchester 2013; Mersin, 2013; Ministry of Untold Stories)Selected Projects
  • Athens Velaxa Festival VII: Wild Sheep Chase A devised theatre performance with young Athenians, July 2010.
  • Prison Theatre, HMP Ashwell. Summer 2007 and November 2007, August 2008, December 2008. Devised workshops and performance material for 4 site specific theatre events in adult male prisons, UK.
  • City Ambassadors, Art of Regeneration Project, Royal National Theatre, London, Sept 2006 – Mar 2008. Lead Artist
  • Street Theatre – National Arts Festival, 2005, 2006. Director & Project Co-ordinator for Ex/Change – a street theatre event with Eluxolweni Shelter for Street Children.

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