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Dr Jonathan Croose

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Cambridge School of Creative Industries
Areas of Expertise:
Research Supervision:
Courses taught:

Jon’s areas of expertise lie in Theatre-making, Cultural Studies, Site-Specifics, Outdoor Theatre and Cultural Geography. He is a playwright, theatre director, performer, musician and published poet.

[email protected]


Jon has 25 years’ professional freelance experience in participatory festival, street theatre, TIE, youth theatre, site-specifics, community theatre, heritage performance and processional crafts. For many years he was a stage manager in outdoor theatre at Glastonbury Festival. Jon is also an associate artist and performer with Gobbledegook Theatre, working nationally and internationally in site-responsive Outdoor Theatre.

Jon’s PhD The Practices of Carnival: Community, Culture and Place (University of Exeter) explored arts-led placemaking in the context of street theatre processions during the 2012 Olympics. His doctoral study built on his previous practice-led postgraduate research, supervised by Professor Baz Kershaw in association with Welfare State International, for which he received an MA in Cultural Performance at Bristol University. Jon joined ARU as senior lecturer in Drama in 2024 after seven years at Arts University Bournemouth, where he was course leader in Performance Design and Film Costume.

Spoken Languages
  • English
  • French
Research interests

Performance, Place and Politics:

  • Theatre, performance and notions of place.
  • Politics and performativities of heritage.
  • Role of the arts in urban regeneration, place-making and social participation.
  • ‘Vernacular’ or ‘illegitimate’ performance forms: carnival, street arts and busking.

Practice As Research In The Arts

  • Self‐reflexive, experimental art-as research.
  • Phenomenologies of creative engagement.
  • The artwork as 'epistemic object:' locations of research knowledge and experience.

Historical Legacies of Popular Performance:

  • Buffalo Bill in Britain: Decolonising the Wild West Show. A review of the literature surrounding the British tours of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show between 1887 and 1904 from a post-colonial perspective.
  • English Cowboys: Gunslingers and Rough Riders in British Fairground Culture from 1905. A research project that explores the influence of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show on British fairground and circus culture.
  • Postcolonial Theatre. Research, production and performance of a play text that dramatizes an apocryphal meeting between Chief Ogila-sa Red Shirt of the Sioux Nation, Queen Victoria and Buffalo Bill Cody, after her attendance at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Earls Court in 1887, her first public appearance after 25 years in mourning.
Areas of research supervision
  • Theatre, Drama and Performance.
  • Participatory arts.
  • Cultural Geography.
  • Performance and place.
  • Politics of ‘heritage’ performance.
  • Art in education, urban regeneration and social participation.
  • ‘Vernacular’ or ‘illegitimate’ performance: street arts, busking, walkabout theatre and clowning.
  • Cultural democracy and the democratisation of culture.
  • Performance and contested notions of public space.
  • Performance / practice-as-research methodologies.
  • Ethnographic methods in arts-based research.

Current Doctoral Students:

  • Ece Selimoglu: 'Questioning the Temporality of Temporary Events: The Social and Spatial Residues of Temporary Events in Urban Areas,' (Arts University Bournemouth, co-supervisors: Dr Willem de Bruijn and Dr Christian McLening).
  • Ayodeji Alaka: ‘Visibility, Yoruba representation & A right to Southwark: Re-Imagining Untold Stories in Public Spaces Using Participatory Visual Arts’ (Arts University Bournemouth, co-supervisor: Dr Emma Shercliff).

Doctoral Completions:

  • (2024) Laurence Dube-Rushby: 'Art as Education; Redefining a Live-Art Practice as a Pedagogical Tool, and its Perception and Place in the Learning Environment,' (Arts University Bournemouth, co-supervisors Prof Mary Oliver and Dr Petronilla Whitfield).
  • 2019 PG Cert, Supervising Research Degrees, University of the Arts, London.
  • 2017 Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.
  • 2014 PhD, Cultural Geography, University of Exeter: The Practices of Carnival: Community, Culture & Place. AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site.
  • 2010 PG Cert, Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Stage 1.
  • 2004 MA in Cultural Performance, University of Bristol.
  • 2000 Post-Graduate Certificate in Education: Secondary English, University of Bristol.
  • 1992 National Certificate in Newspaper Journalism. National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).
  • 1990 BA Hons English and French, University of Kent at Canterbury.
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • Lead Researcher: Carnival Culture: the Performance of Place and Identity at the 2016 Rio Olympics Arts University Bournemouth Research Fellowship: 2016. £5700.
  • Lead Artist / Researcher: Longshore Drift / Smugglers’ Gold, Drama in Education / Touring Heritage Theatre / Museums Development. Heritage Lottery Fund; East Devon District Council Natural Environment Awareness Grant. East Devon AONB ‘Making it Local’ Fund. 2009-2011. £48,995.
Selected recent publications
Professional Practice Outputs:

Croose J. (2014-present) Ear Trumpet: for Gobbledegook Theatre / Without Walls: (Site specific participatory Outdoor Theatre) Coventry City of Culture 2022, Stockton International Riverside Festival, Inside Out Festival, Dorset, Brighton International Festival, Salisbury International Festival, Devizes International Festival of Street Theatre, Chelmsford City Connections Festival, Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival, Hull (City of Culture) Freedom Festival, National Trust Feast Festival, Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, Seoul Street Arts Festival, S Korea.

Croose J. (2021) Walpole Rollerdrome, 1981, Ink, Sweat and Tears. (Poetry) Available at: Jonathan Croose | Ink Sweat and Tears.

Croose J. (2021) ‘Tier 4 is Class War; I Know Its Not You’: The Brown Envelope Book, Morrison, A. & Jay, K. (eds) Caparison, Culture Matters. (Poetry).

Croose J. (2020) ‘Crow Cold Nation’ The Bangor Literary Journal, 13.

Croose J. (2018) Dancing on Eggshells, Brexit Performance Triptych, Trio of Men.

Croose J. (2014) The Heaviside Condition, Trio of Men for Doorstep Arts, Torbay: Torquay Museum, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, The Edge, Brixham.

Croose J. (2012) Battle for the Winds, Street Theatre, Procession, Outdoor Theatre, for Cirque Bijoux / Desperate Men, London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Weymouth.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Papers:

Croose, J (2017) ‘The Official Feast: Cultural Tensions in UK Carnival’ Social and Cultural Geography 20 (4) 1-24.

Croose, J (2016) ‘Ear Trumpet: Investigations In 'Sonic Geology’’ Theatre and Performance Design, 2 (3-4) 233-249.

Book Chapters:

Croose, J. (2019) ‘Performing Places: carnival, culture and the performance of contested national identities’ in: Ashley, T. and Weedon, A. (eds) (2020) Developing A Sense of Place: The Role of the Arts in Regenerating Communities, London, UCL Press.

Book Reviews and Articles:

Croose, J (2020) (ed) ‘Doing it for real’: ‘Complementarity’ as collaborative pedagogical practice in BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design at Arts University Bournemouth. Creative Pedagogies Journal 13. AUB Centre for Creative Learning.

Croose, J. (2020) Review of Prior, R.W. (ed) (2018) ‘Using Art as Research in Learning and Teaching: Multidisciplinary Approaches Across the Arts’. Bristol: Intellect Books. Creative Pedagogies Journal 13, AUB Centre for Creative Learning.

Recent presentations and conferences

Croose J. (2022) Ear Trumpet: Performative Investigations in ‘Sonic Geology’, ‘Sounding Identities:’ International Conference of Music and Sonic Art, Middlesex University.

Croose, J. (2021) Performing Places: carnival, culture and the performance of contested national identities’: Book launch: Developing a Sense of Place: The Role of the Arts in Regenerating Communities, University of Bedfordshire (online).

Croose, J. (2020) Place-making and symbolic representation: scenographies of contested place identity: University of Leeds, School of Performance and Cultural Industries, MA Performance Design (Critical Concepts).

Croose, J. (2020) ‘Place-making and symbolic representation: Scenographies of contested place identity at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.’ ‘Design-it’ Lecture Series, Arts University Bournemouth (online).

Croose, J. (2019) Politics and Place-making: Olympic representations of London 2012 and Rio 2016, University of Leeds, School of Performance and Cultural Industries, MA Performance Design (Critical Concepts).

Croose, J. (2019) Performing Places: carnival, culture and the performance of contested national identities at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Theatre & Performance Research Association, Annual Conference. University of Exeter.

Croose, J. & Wright, S. (2019) Learning by Doing: Experiments in Alternative Assessment at the Arts University Bournemouth. Inclusive Practice Network Annual Conference: "Inclusive assessment: innovations in practice" University of Bath.

Croose, J. & Keeley, A. (2018) Scenographies of Sound and Landscape: Designing Deep Time, ‘Sonic Geology’ and the Anthropocene. Theatre And Performance Research Association, Annual Conference, University of Aberystwyth.

Croose, J. (2017) Ethnography, Carnivals and the 'place-politics' of the 2012 Olympics, Arts and Public Engagement Research Seminar, 3S Science, Society and Sustainability Research Group, University of East Anglia.

Croose, J. (2013) (a) The Practices of Carnival, Communities, Culture and Place. Contest/ed Scenes and Spaces: Exposing Cultural Infrastructures. (b) Creative Coasts: Carnival in the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Los Angeles.