Dr Nicholas Holden BA Hons, MA, AKC, AFHEA, PhD

Lecturer in Drama

Dr Nicholas Holden joined the University of Greenwich as a Lecturer in Drama in October 2018, having previously held positions at the University of Nottingham and the University of Lincoln. He holds a PhD in Contemporary British Theatre from the University of Lincoln (2018), where his thesis presented an original history of the Royal Court Theatre from the perspective of its work with young people and playwrights. He is the co-convenor, with Dr Jacqueline Bolton (University of Lincoln), of the International Playwrights' Symposium, which is a biennial event that brings academics, practitioners and students together to discuss the work of a single playwright. In 2019, this event will focus on the work of Zinnie Harris.

In the arts industry, he has worked professionally as an actor and dancer in film for production companies such as Pathé and Warner Brothers, and on stage in shows across the UK.

He welcomes enquiries related to postgraduate supervision in any of the following areas:

  • Contemporary British Theatre
  • Contemporary Playwriting Pedagogy
  • The Royal Court Theatre

Responsibilities within the university

Module Leader for City Stages: Theatre and Theory in Contemporary London (Level 4).


  • Member of the Theatre and Performance Research Association
  • Member of the International Federation for Theatre Research
  • Member of the American Society for Theatre Research
  • Member of the Irish Society for Theatre Research
  • Member of Comparative Drama
  • Member of the Standing Conference for University Drama Departments' Postgraduate Subcommittee

Research / Scholarly interests

My current research is focused on the work of London's Royal Court Theatre and specifically its historical and current engagement with young people. I am also currently involved with projects on Hoxton Hall; legacies of 1990s British theatre; and the stage and screen work of Dennis Kelly.

Recent publications

(2017) '"Making New Theatre Together": Developing Writers and Creating Community in the First Writers' Group at the Royal Court and its Legacy within the Young Writers' Programme'. Theatre History Studies, Vol. 36, Special Issue on Histories of New Writing, pp. 126-140.


(2018) A Model for International Playwriting Practice: The Royal Court Young Peoples' Theatre and the Regional Arts Association, 1988-1998. In: Regions, Ruins and Regeneration, Irish Society for Theatre Research Annual Conference, Friday 1 June – Saturday 2nd June 2018, University of Lincoln, UK.

(2017) 'The Guru Effect': The Politics of Process in the Young Writers' Programme at the Royal Court. In: Theatre and Performance Research Association, History and Historiography Working Group, Wednesday 30 August – Friday 1 September 2017, University of Salford, UK.

(2016) 'There are Times when Naturalism just isn't Enough': Breaking open the kitchen sink in the theatre of Alistair McDowall. In: British Theatre in the 21st Century, Thursday 13 October РSaturday 15 October 2016, Universit̩ Paris-Sorbonne, France.

(2016) 'Think Kitchen Sink with a Wormhole Where the Plug Should Be': Exploring new approaches to new writing in the plays of Alistair McDowall. In: What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English, Monday 27 June – Thursday 30 June 2016, University of Lincoln, UK.(2015)'The Jewel in the Crown': Developing a Young Peoples' Theatre Scheme at the Royal Court Theatre.

In: Theatre and Performance Research Association, History and Historiography Working Group, Tuesday 8 September – Thursday 10 September 2015, University of Worcester, UK.