Simon Sladen


  • Simon Sladen
  • Area

    School of Arts & Humanities


    Senior Tutor

  • Simon Sladen is responsible for the Performance Pathway on the History of Design. He teaches term one’s module Material Remains: Shards of Performance and term two’s module Performance Landscapes: History and Historiography. Simon also supervises dissertation students working on performance related topics. 

  • Biography

  • Prior to joining the RCA in 2017, Simon lectured on theatre and performance undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Royal Holloway, University of London, the University of Winchester and Syracuse University, New York. He joined the V&A in 2012 and have been Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Performance since 2015. Key curatorial projects to date include a large scale HLF project around the acquisition of the Peter Brook Collection and curation of displays and exhibitions ‘Tommy Cooper; Just Like That!’, ‘Censored: Stage, Screen, Society at 50’, ‘Ivan Kyncl; Captured’ and ‘Carry On Laughing? From Rule Britannia to Brexit Britain’. His own research focuses on the field of popular culture, in particular comedy and pantomime. He is interested in how celebrity often disrupts structures of performance and can lead to new interpretations and practices, as well as how perceptions of tradition and Nation are inherited, interpreted and enacted. His recent research has focused on cross-dressed performance, costume, iconography and training in contemporary British Pantomime. He is Chair of the Society for Theatre Research and Popular Entertainment Working Group Co-Convenor at the Theatre and Performance Research Association. He is on the editorial board of the British Theatre Guide, a member of the Shakespeare North Museum panel and chair the Academic Advisory Board of Blackpool Museum.

  • External collaborations

  • Working Group Co-convenor: Popular Performance, Theatre and Performance Research Association

    Chairman: Society of Theatre Research

    Academic Advisory Board Chair: Blackpool Museum

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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Sladen, S. (2018). Design for Pantomime in eds. Long, Philip and Norman, Joanna. The Story of Scottish Design. London: Thames and Hudson / V&A. pp. 144–145.

    Sladen, S. (2017). From Mother Goose to Master: Training Networks and Knowledge Transfer in Modern British Pantomime.  Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (Special Popular Performance Issue), 8(2), pp. 206–224.

    Sladen, S. (2017). Hiya Fans: Celebrity Reception in Modern British Pantomime in eds. Ainsworth, Adam, Double, Oliver and Peacock, Louise. Popular Performance: A Reader. London: Methuen Drama. pp. 184–208.

    Sladen, S. (2014). The Death of the Dame? Tales from the National Database of Pantomime Performance. Studies in Theatre and Performance, 35 (1), pp. 80–89.

    Sladen, S. (2012). The globality of pantomime: a brief excursion. Popular Entertainment Studies, 3(2), pp. 65–71.

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  • Awards and Grants

  • (2013) Stephen Joseph Award, Society for Theatre Research for research into pantomime traditions and genre evolution 

Selected work