Noel Witts - Professor of Performing Arts


“Noel has been a supporter and disseminator of our work for a long time. He was particularly helpful during the dark times here in Serbia and encouraged us to keep making work and talking about our experiences through theatre. He has helped us in so many ways.” (Maja Mitic, DAH Theatre, Belgrade)

“He [Noel] almost single-handedly masterminded the development of a postgraduate theatre and performance culture in a small seaside town (Scarborough) and at a conference he organised in Jerusalem we spent an exhilarating few days performing, exploring, debating and engaging with wonderful people placed in extraordinary circumstances in a hostile political environment.” (Andrew Head, University of Hull, Scarborough)

“I met Noel in about 1982 when Impact Theatre performed at Leicester Poly and he struck me then as the consummate theatre person – he had a vision and sophistication that I found incredibly powerful – he reminded me a little of Richard Demarco, who I got to know in my teens. Noel recognized in me – as he saw in so many people – someone he wanted to draw into projects and conversation. We worked together on the very beginnings of Performance Research and he was a deeply thoughtful, funny and caring colleague at DMU.” (Claire Macdonald,  Editor, Performance Research)

“Noel was such an inspiration for me when I was an undergraduate on the BAPA (Dance) course at what was then Leicester Polytechnic.  He had a vision for how performance should be transformative, risky, always rigorous and respectful of the individual artist, which has stayed with me throughout my career.  He was always generous and supportive, and had a great sense of humour.” (Professor Sarah Whatley, Coventry University)

“Professor Noel Witts has been an extraordinary educator, artist, talent scout, cultural commentator over a number of years. He continues to lobby for the importance of the contemporary within theatre performance practice and must take enormous credit for instigating and supporting the development of a number of influential performance courses in the UK and internationally.” (Professor Nesta Jones, Rose Bruford College, London)

“In the face of skepticism and ignorance within the upper ranks of parts of the UK HE establishment, he has persuaded VC’s and senior University managers to invest in new performance research and practice, creating resources for academic-practitioners to extend the boundaries of performance making within the academy. As the value of art making is being severely challenged in the current economic and political climate, it is my hope that Professor Noel Witts continues to argue vociferously for the centrality of art making in the UK HE environment.” (Teresa Brayshaw, Director of Performing Arts, Leeds Metropolitan University)

“I got rescued by Noel. Brought into the Leeds Met Performance family, of which he is the glamorous uncle: urbane, cosmopolitan, passionate, kind, generous, informed by years of seeing everything and seeing it all and still wanting more.  I owe him … a piece at the very least. I only hope I can cut the mustard when he eventually sees me bust a few moves. Huge thanks.” (Rachel Krische, Choreographer, Head of Dance, Leeds Metropolitan University)

“Noel Witts is a true cosmopolite , completely at home in the international art world. It could be said that he has created an extended family among his students past and present, and among those who share his love for teaching through the performing arts” (Richard Demarco, CBE)



    Just back from the funeral event for Mike and his multiple family , a  major figure in the development





    This year Liverpool Hope has made me a Professorial Fellow - an honour which I have been pleased to accept.
    Several years ago John Theocharis and I made a BBC Radio 3 documentary about the redoubtable Barbara,






    "Demarco's Travels"  is an ambulant performance devised for this year's Edinburgh fringe at the Summerhall



    BUXTON FESTIVAL, 2013 This is this the first Buxton festival under the direction of Stephen Barlow





    The response to Vaclav Havel's death outside the Czech and Slovak republics has been a strange mixture



    Just back from seeing the run of Andriy Zholdak's 'Mefisto', being shown at the State Theatre in Uppsala,
    Sally-Anne Kelly, an MA student from Central St.Martins, London, has just finished digitalising most
    Sad to hear of Dragan's death - one of the most interesting and combative theatre intellectuals I have
    Just back from a validating visit to Lasalle College of Arts in Singapore, an extraordinary glass building
    Heard last week of the death of Linda, one of he founders of the Performing Arts degree course at Leicester



    Just been present at a Kantor show at Rose Bruford College, London, where third year students were directed


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