Mr Matthew Morrison

Mr Matthew Morrison

I am the Course Leader for ‘Creative Writing and English Literature’ and ‘Creative Writing and English Language’. Alongside my academic work, I am a playwright with a passion for all forms of creative writing. My books and academic publications include 'The Soho Theatre, 1968-1981' (STR, 2017), 'Key Concepts in Creative Writing' (Palgrave 2010), and 'Big Questions: Incredible Adventures in Thinking' (Wizard Books, 2007). I have had plays performed at theatres including the Riverside Studios, the Arcola, the Finborough and the Gate, and was a Literary Associate at Theatre503 and an  Artistic Associate of the theatre/dance collective Hannah Bruce and Company, which specialises in site-responsive work. I am co-Creative Producer for the ‘Soho Poly’ arts venue.

My monograph The Soho Theatre, 1968-1981 (STR, 2018) is the only published history of a theatre company of national significance. In 2023 I co-authored an article which discusses the more recent work that Professor Osborn and I have produced at the revived venue (‘Disrupting work and leisure in lockdown: the case of the Soho Poly, International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, From 2021 to 2023, as part of a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, I led a substantial archival research project which involved the recording of 12 new oral histories with former Soho Poly practitioners. These interviews, which were conducted following training from the British Library Oral History Society, are now available publicly via the University of Westminster website. Considered together, the different strands of my research have revealed a previously occluded story of post-war alternative theatre practice.

Beyond the Soho Poly, I have wider research interests in the fields of contemporary British playwriting and dramaturgy, and in the relationship between text and place. Since 2013 I have been an associate artist with Hannah Bruce and Company, a theatre/dance collective which has created site-responsive work at venues such as Wilton's Music Hall, Northern Stage and Shoreditch Town Hall. Much of my work as writer for this company has emerged out of archival research into the respective places of performance. One such commission, ‘A Collection of Small Choices’ (Hoxton Hall) was nominated for a Museum and Heritage Award (2017). I also have an interest in drama about the Arctic and successfully applied to be included in The Arctic Circle Artists and Writers Residency Programme, circumnavigating Svalbard for three weeks in Summer 2022.

I also continue to develop my creative practice as a playwright. My most recent play, ‘Dance’, received four- and five-star reviews when it premiered at The Kings Head in 2021. Other notable productions include: ‘The View from the Mountaintop’, which received Arts Council England funding and was performed at the Brighton and Plymouth festivals; ‘The Shelter’ a LAMDA commission, performed at the Riverside Studios; ‘Through the Night’, a Papatango New Playwriting Award runner-up, produced at the Finborough Theatre; and ‘Inside Out’, selected for the inaugural HighTide Festival (see box 5 below).

My professional writing experience has always had a direct impact on my teaching and, in 2010, I gathered my knowledge of wider creative writing practice into a handbook for Palgrave as part of their Key Concepts series (‘Key Concepts in Creative Writing’).

  • Creative Writing
  • Centre for Law, Society and Popular Culture

Sustainable Development Goals
In brief

Research areas

Theatre, New Playwriting, Arctic