Professor Ken Pickering has successfully combined the careers of actor, librettist, writer, theatre director, theatre historian and educator.
He is Chairman of the Marlowe Society and Visiting Scholar in Communications Arts at Gonzaga University, USA, where he was Professor of Theatre. He is the co-founder of the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education, London and was Deputy Director of the London College of Dance and Drama. He is now Hon. Professor of Drama at the University of Kent and was largely responsible for the validation of the first University degrees in Performing Arts and in Dance in the UK. He has directed an opera company, a touring theatre company taking plays to multiple venues and directed drama productions in many English Theatres and Cathedrals as well as running workshops in Poland, Germany and the USA. He is the author or co-author of 17 books on the study of drama and musical theatre. His book Drama Improvised is widely regarded as a seminal text for drama teachers and therapists and he is also the author of a large number of published and widely performed stage plays and musicals. He is the last English actor to have played the role of Becket in Murder in the Cathedral in Canterbury Cathedral itself. He is currently writing on Peter Brook’s work. He will soon be receiving an honorary D.Litt from the University of West London (London College of Music) for services to Arts Education.
Professor Pickering will deliver a very interesting talk entitled “Music, Movement and the Making of Performance“.
In this talk, he examines the way in which music shapes many of our national and performance events by integrating movement, action and words. He explores the roles of composers in the creation of works for the theatre and concert hall and discusses how movement and ballet have challenged the boundaries of performance.
Professor Pickering will talk about the adaptation of ancient legends into stage works and consider the work of choreographers and theorists in articulating ideas about the inter-action between dialogue, music and movement. He will also draw examples from two of his stage works that have been premiered in the USA this year.