Dr Broderick Chow, BA, MA, PhD, FHEA

Job title

Deputy Director of Learning and Teaching


I am a scholar, educator, and artist whose work focuses on the intersections of theatre, performance, and sport. My research on sport and physical culture practices including weightlifting, wrestling, and bodybuilding crosses numerous academic fields, such as performance studies, masculinity and gender studies, sport history, and qualitative research in sport, exercise, and coaching. In addition to this research, I also have research interests in Philippine commercial theatre and popular music, economies of theatre, and anti-racist and anti-colonial pedagogies.

I grew up in Vancouver, Canada, and hold a BA in Theatre and English from the University of British Columbia. I came to London in 2005 to study at Central on the MA in Advanced Theatre Practice and in 2010, became Central’s first PhD graduate. Before returning to my alma mater, I taught at the University of East London and Brunel University London. I been a visiting scholar at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and I am a regular visiting researcher at the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, University of Texas at Austin. In 2016 I was awarded an AHRC Leadership Fellows grant for the project Dynamic Tensions: Dynamic Tensions: New Masculinities in the Performance of Fitness (www.dynamictensions.com), a cultural history of men’s fitness and its intersection with the theatre in Britain and the United States, from the late nineteenth century to the present day. 

I have extensive experience teaching musical theatre, acting, and performance writing, as well as research-led modules that integrate theatre and performance theory with methodologies of ethnography and Practice Research. As Central’s Deputy Director of Learning and Teaching for Central, I am involved in shaping pedagogy across the College. I have a particular commitment to equality, inclusion, anti-racism, and social justice at every level of the institution. 

In terms of service to the field, I am currently Assistant Editor of Contemporary Theatre Review in charge of its online site, Interventions, a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, co-convenor of the London Theatre Seminar, and Research Officer: Development and Public Engagement for the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA). 


Research Degrees (PhD)

Teaching Areas

  • Research methodologies
  • Performance theory
  • Theatre histories 
  • Performance writing
  • Ethnography
  • Practice research
  • Musical Theatre 
  • Acting
  • Solo performance and stand-up comedy

Areas of Expertise 

  • Sport, physical culture, and performance
  • Sport and physical culture history
  • Masculinities and gender studies
  • The body in performance
  • Professional wrestling and/as theatre 
  • Philippine theatre, performance, and popular music
  • Economies of theatre and performance
  • Commercial theatre and spectacle
  • Anti-racist and anti-colonial pedagogies and practices
  • British East Asian theatre and performance
  • Solo performance and stand-up comedy

PHD Supervision

I have supervised three PhD projects to completion in political theory and performance, applied place-making performance, and humour theory. I currently supervise projects on actor training and gender and Eastern European identity in British theatre, and would be happy to hear from any potential PhD students interested in any of my listed research areas. 

Key Publications

2019. (co-authored with Eero Laine) ‘Between antagonism and eros: the feud as couple form and Netflix’s GLOW’, Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory.

2019. ‘Sculpting Masculinities in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Physical Culture: The Practiced Life of Stanley Rothwell’, TDR: The Drama Review, 63: 2, pp. 34-56.  

2019. ‘How does the trained body think?’ in Thinking Through Theatre and Performance, edited by Maaike Bleeker, Adrian Kear, Joe Kelleher and Heike Roms (London: Bloomsbury). 

2019. ‘Seeing as a Filipino: Here Lies Love at the National Theatre’, in Re-framing the Musical: Race, Culture and Identity, edited by Sarah Whitfield (London: Red Globe Press).

2018. ‘Feeling in Counterpoint: Complicit Spectatorship and the Filipino Performing Body’, Theatre Journal, 70: 3, pp. 327-347.

2018. (co-authored with Claire Warden and Eero Laine) ‘Working Loose: A Response to “Donald Trump Shoots the Match” by Sharon Mazer’, TDR: The Drama Review, 62: 2, pp. 201-215.

2017. ‘Every Little Thing He Does: Entrepreneurship and Appropriation in the Magic Mike Series’. Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association, 6 (1) (2017).

2017. ‘Parterre: Olympic Wrestling, National Identities, and the Performance of Antagonism’, in Performing Antagonisms, edited by Tony Fisher and Eve Katsouraki (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 61-79. 

2016. (co-edited with Eero Laine and Claire Warden) Performance and Professional Wrestling (London: Routledge). 

2016. ‘Muscle-Memory: Re-enacting the fin-de-siècle strongman in pro wrestling’, in Performance and Professional Wrestling, edited by Broderick Chow, Eero Laine, and Claire Warden (London: Routledge), pp. 143-153.

2015. ‘A Professional Body: Remembering, Repeating and Working Out Masculinities in fin-de-siècle physical culture’, Performance Research 20:5. 

2014. ‘Here is a story for me: representation and visibility in Miss Saigon and The Orphan of Zhao’, Contemporary Theatre Review 24: 4, pp. 507-516.

2014. ‘An Actor Manages: Actor Training and Managerial Ideology’, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training 5: 2, pp. 131-143.

2014. (co-authored with Eero Laine) ‘Audience Affirmation and the Labour of Professional Wrestling’, Performance Research 19: 2 (2014), pp. 44-53.

2014. ‘Work and Shoot: Professional Wrestling and Embodied Politics’, TDR: The Drama Review 58: 2, pp. 72-86.

2014. (co-edited with Alex Mangold), Žižek and Performance (London: Palgrave Macmillan).

2014. ‘The Tickling Object: On Žižek and Comedy’, Žižek and Performance, edited by Broderick Chow and Alex Mangold (London: Palgrave Macmillan).


Practice Research forms a significant part of my research work, often in tandem with (auto)ethnographic and archival methods. The form, genre, and nature of my artistic outputs depends on the subject I am exploring. From 2012 to 2014, I created and toured the dance-theatre performance Work Songs with my collaborator, actor and choreographer Tom Wells. The work drew on my ethnographic research into professional wrestling and explored how labour is made perceptible on the theatrical stage. For my AHRC Leadership Fellowship project (2016-2018) I created The Dynamic Tensions Physical Culture Show. This performance combined sport, live art, physical theatre, musical theatre, and verbatim performance, while drawing on the aesthetics of the “physical culture” lecture-demonstration variety shows popular in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Collaborators included bodybuilder Peter Moore, strongman Daniel Crute, wrestler/personal trainer Philip Bedwell, and rugby player/performer Jonathan Hinton.

Register of Interest

The United Kingdom Theatre Trust (Charity No. 9999999) - Trustee.