Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
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Loughborough University

English, Drama and Publishing


The Beginning, photo of 3 people

Case Study

The Beginning

Michael Pinchbeck

English and Drama PhD student – exploring the role of the dramaturg in contemporary performance

Photo credit: Julian Hughes

Award-winning writer, live artist and theatre maker Michael Pinchbeck took his innovative show The Beginning to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase in August 2013.

Described as a “love letter to theatre”, The Beginning – developed as part of Michael’s PhD – is a collaborative work with Nicki Hobday and Ollie Smith.

The second in a trilogy – inspired by Shakespeare’s famously minimal stage directions – it explores the nature of theatre and performance.

The piece was performed seven times – between 18-24 August – to more than 600 people at the Pleasance Courtyard, and received excellent reviews.

 ‘A stunningly crafted piece of theatre’ – Fringe Review

‘Exists somewhere in the space between dreaming and waking’ – Exeunt

‘An intricate and quietly compelling deliberation on what it means to be on stage’ – A Younger Theatre

‘Intelligent and often visually stimulating’ – Broadway Baby

Having held a number of teaching posts over the years – including lectureships at the universities of Chester and Lincoln as well as New College Nottingham – Michael is keen to provide learning opportunities to other practitioners.

To this end, The Beginning’s Edinburgh team included two Loughborough student interns – Anneke van de Stege who provided technical support to the production in Edinburgh, and Faizan Qureshi who oversaw the design and print of the programme. Michael is keen to work with both interns on future projects.

The run of performances also provided Michael with a platform to promote not only his work, but the University to boot. 

His chosen venue, the prestigious and ever popular Pleasance, ensured wide press coverage as well as ample networking opportunities to secure tour dates for The Beginning and invite promoters to the trilogy’s premiere in Loughborough this autumn.

Michael has followed up conversations with interested promoters in Australia, Germany, India, Mexico and the USA – and has confirmed bookings to perform in Sofia, Bulgaria and the Curve Theatre in Leicester.

The Edinburgh performances of The Beginning were part funded by the University’s Enterprise Projects Group.

Find out more about Michael’s work by visiting his website.

Book tickets for the trilogy’s Loughborough premier on 1 November 2013.

Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Developed at The Junction (Cambridge), Lakeside Arts Centre (Nottingham), Leeds Met Studio Theatre and Loughborough University.

Michael Pinchbeck #EdShowcase

Watch Michael in interview

Links to Further Information