Robert Marsden specialises in Drama Practice at Staffordshire University where he is also a Fellow in Teaching and Learning. He has an MA from Middlesex University following his undergraduate studies at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
He is also busy as a freelance theatre director and has worked extensively in both commercial and subsidised theatre across the UK and into Europe.
Recent freelance professional work (2008-2014) includes Journey to the East (Cyprus);Voices of Arran (Scotland); The Wiz (Milton Keynes Theatre);They Called It Passchendaele (Belgium); King Macbeth (National Tour); The Savonarola Debate (Florence, Italy); Jack and the Beanstalk starring Lynne McGranger (Home and Away) and Frazer Hines; Silent Anger (Tour as Producer);Dave Simpson’s new play Cock Tales and Cry Havoc! (Manchester); Journey to the East (Buffavento Castle, Cyprus); Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty (Halifax and Reading) with Cbeebies’ Justin Fletcher and Emmerdale’s Leah Bracknell. He is currently working on developing projects for the Victoria Theatre, Halifax.
In repertory, he has worked at the Yvonne Arnaud Guildford, Stephen Joseph Scarborough, Bolton Octagon, Southwark Playhouse, Oxford Playhouse and Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
Robert also spent 5 years at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle under Lyme as an assistant then associate working on over 25 productions for all departments including mainstage, studio, education and Borderlines outreach. Productions in rep ranged from working with Sir Alan Ayckbourn on his play Sugar Daddies (National No 1 Tour) and productions such as Harvest (devised), Some Enchanted Evening, A Broadway Songbook, Carmen, Cabaret, Outside Edge, Sweeney Todd and Romeo and Juliet.
Commercially, he has been Staff and Associate Director on The Extra Factor with Kevin Kennedy and Antony Costa (Blue); The Naked Truth with Lisa Riley and Julie Buckfield and Over the Rainbow (all National Touring) as well as summer season productions for Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Since 1999, Robert has been heavily involved in pantomime, and has written and directed several productions in Stoke on Trent, Ammanford Miner’s Theatre, South Wales, Wrexham, Ickenham (London) and Belfast. Since 2007, Robert has worked for producer Stephen Boden at WISH Theatre and then Imagine Theatre Ltd. Pantomimes for Imagine have been at Halifax (3years) Crewe (2 years), Porthcawl, Halifax as well as Loughborough and Reading.
He is also Creative Director of Reveal Theatre Ltd. where he has produced and directed over 15 productions in the Midlands, London and touring including King Macbeth (National Tour); Sondheim’s Into The Woods (Stoke) Am I Not a Man and a Brother? (National Tour and re-launch in association with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse), Singin’ in the Rain, Sticks and Stones (Tour) Hitting Town, Trench Kiss, Two, the documentary play On The Home Front, Charley’s Aunt and Teechers, and secured Arts Council and Home Office funding for touring productions and projects. He has also delivered numerous workshops and community projects for the company between 1999 and 2007.
Robert combines his professional directing work with lecturing and guest directing at Universities and Drama Schools. As well as Staffordshire, he has worked at The Arden School of Theatre, Expressions Academy, Manchester Metropolitan, Keele University and Aberystwyth University.
Writing has included A Sense of (re)Direction and The Story of Mrs M (New Vic) as well as numerous pantomimes. He is a member of the Equity and the DGGB and has worked for BBC Radio 4 Drama and Television.
“At the Crossroads: New Directions in Teacher Education”: Canterbury Christ Church University
Delivery on the explorations of using drama and creative techniques in teacher training.
“Dramatic Enquiry”: Creative Partnerships/Theatre Cap-a-Pie.
Part of the research team exploring theatre and philosophy techniques led by Gordon Poad.
“Creative Teaching and learning Techniques”: with Keele University
Part of a joint collaboration exploring the use of drama, acting and theatre in the teaching of History in the Secondary Curriculum.
Arts Professional Issue 242
On the use of theatre to combat extremism
Direct: Director’s Guild of Great Britain Magazine
On being a young director working in theatre