Anna Furse

Staff details

Anna Furse




Theatre and Performance


a.furse (

Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups

Research includes issues of the body: hysterias and trauma, touch practices, death and dying, performance and medicine

Professor Anna Furse directs the MA in Performance Making, supervises practice PhDs, Co-Directs the interdisciplinary Centre of the Body, Department Research, serves on the Editorial Committee of Goldsmiths Press, Academic Board and Council. An award-winning director and published author of theoretical and creative works, her many productions have been commissioned and performed internationally in a 40-year career funded by ACE, AHRC, British Academy, British Council, the EU Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme and Awards from the Wellcome Trust for her research that braids medicine and performance. She is currently on the Advisory Board of Digital Theatre Plus, External Examiner at Rose Bruford College, co-Director of the Performance Studies Laboratory PeARL, Art and Design School, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, and Artistic Director of her company Athletes of the Heart:; www.

Academic qualifications

  • BA in Drama and French, University of Bristol 1976
  • PGCE Drama, Goldsmiths 1978
  • PhD in Performance and Medical Imagery, Leeds Met 2011

Teaching and supervision

Anna supervises practice research in a broad range of body-related issues including costume, maternity, storytelling, medicine, choreography and performance methodologies.

Research interests

Anna teaches performance making and performance analysis and an MA theory option she recently launched in Performance and Medicine, drawing on her research into a range of medical topics including infertility, hysterias, death and the status of the cadaver, with specific interest in public perceptions of anatomical/psychological interiority. Her academic work draws on her professional career: one of a handful of women directors in the UK in the early 1980’s, she pioneered the fusion of European physical theatres and feminist issues with her company BloodGroup, touring internationally with a London home at the ICA. Artistic Director of the new writing company Paines Plough 1990 - 1995, she directed international touring productions and pioneered the now accepted practice of writers collaborating across disciplines and in site specific contexts with her School Without Walls and Pre-Text Laboratories. Bi-lingual in French, she created a major production to inaugurate a new venue in Chalon Sur Saone in 1992, worked as Consultant at the Comédie de Caen, and presented her productions at the Théâtre de La Métaphore, Lille and the Théâtre de Gennevilliers, Paris. A director of over fifty-five new works and published playwright, she was among the first of her generation to straddle dance and theatre, from her early training at the Royal Ballet School and subsequent involvement with new dance as performer, founder member of Chisenhale Dance Space, activist, writer and editor with New Dance Magazine; as chosen participant in Grotowski's 'paratheatre' experiments in the 1970s; as apprentice/translator at Peter Brook's ICTR in Paris in 1971. She continues to produce new performance projects, recently a 3-year Residency with CREATE Ireland's EU-funded Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP), Live Collision Festival, Dublin. A frequent keynote speaker at international conferences, Anna publishes widely and is an invited consultant with external HEIs and organisations.

Publications and research outputs


Furse, Anna F. D.. 2019. To the Moon and Back. In: "To the Moon and Back", Barbican, London & Cambridge Junction, United Kingdom, April - June 2019.

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2018. Shocks (To the System). In: "SHOCKS (TO THE SYSTEM)", Craiglockhart Campus, Napier, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 18 November 2018.

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2018. Anna Furse Performs An Anatomy Act: A Show and Tell. In: "Anna Furse Performs An Anatomy Act: A Show and Tell", Chisenhale Dance Space, London, United Kingdom.


Furse, Anna F. D.. 2019. OTHER MOTHERS. In: "OTHER MOTHERS", Cambridge Junction, United Kingdom, May 2019.

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2019. MUSCLE. In: "MUSCLE", Crawford Art Gallery, United Kingdom, 2019 -2020.


Furse, Anna F. D.. November 2016 - January 2019 The Theatre of Our Bodies.

Furse, Anna F. D. and Plahuta, Marko. 2006-2008 Cyber Studio.


Furse, Anna F. D.. 2021. Staying in Touch. Teoriia Mody: Odezhda, Telo, Kulʹtura [Fashion Theory: Dress, Body and Culture](62), pp. 25-44.

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2014. Hospital Drama: Visual Theatres of the Medical Rendezvous from Asylum to Hospital with Reference to Specific Works by Anna Furse. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 39(3), pp. 238-257. ISSN 0308-0188

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2011. In Every Litre of Seawater There are Two Tablespoons of Salt… On Making SEA/WOMAN. Women: A Cultural Review, 22(4), pp. 411-427. ISSN 0957-4042


Furse, Anna F. D.. 2020. Performing Nerves: Four Plays, Four Essays, On Hysteria. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138389366

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2011. Your Essential Infertility Companion. London: Thorsons. ISBN 978-0-00-711954-7

Furse, Anna F. D.. 1997. AUGUSTINE (Big Hysteria). London: Routledge. ISBN 978-3718659357

Book Section

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2021. Hysteria in Pictures. In: Johanna Braun, ed. Hysterical Methodologies in the Arts, Rising in Revolt. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 73-104. ISBN 9783030663599

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2020. Jorge Crecis. In: Jo Butterworth and Lorna Sanders, eds. Fifty Contemporary Choreographers. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780367376789

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2020. Foreword. In: Maryclare Foá; Jane Grisewood; Birgitta Hosea and Carali McCall, eds. Performance Drawing: New Practices since 1945. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, viii-ix. ISBN 9781788313841

Artist's Book

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2018. Corpography.

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2018. I Am Not A Piece Of Meat.


Furse, Anna F. D.. 2007. My Glass Body.


Furse, Anna F. D.. 2014. Anna Furse on Leaving the Ballet for The Beatles.

Conference or Workshop Item

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2019. 'The Theatre of our (dead) Bodies'. In: THE THEATRE OF OUR (DEAD) BODIES. University of Bath, United Kingdom 4 - 7 September 2019.

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2019. 'Telling the Story of our Bodies, this will be an audio-visual presentation that animates a digital site:'. In: Storytelling and the Body, Progressive Connections. Verona, Italy July 2019.

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2019. 'The Theatre of Our Maternal Bodies'. In: Maternal Journal Workshop. Cambridge Junction, United Kingdom 27 May 2019.


Furse, AFD. 2021. Dear Body.

Furse, Anna F. D. and Bosch, Susanne. 2019. create-news-26-anna-furse-i-am-not-a-piece-of-meat.

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2018. Spectacular Body.

Edited Book


Edited Journal

Furse, Anna F. D., ed. 2010. Gender and Performance: Theatre / Dance / Technology, Gender Forum: An Internet Journal for Gender Studies, 31.

Furse, Anna F. D., ed. 2010. Gender Forum: Gender and Performance, Gender Forum, 31.


Furse, Anna F. D.. 2018. Fertility Fest 2018. Fertility Fest, Bush Theatre, London.

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2018. Residency. Trinity College, Dublin.

Furse, Anna F. D.. 2018. Performance Nerves. Anna Furse, Athletes of the Heart, Craiglockhart Campus, Napier, Edinburgh.