David Richmond

David Richmond.JPEG

David has worked as a performer, designer, deviser, director, writer for: Clanjamfrie (Scotland), Collectif Organum (France), Theatre of Public Works (England); was a founding member of Pants Performance Association, and for the past 25 years has been collaborating with Jules Dorey Richmond.  David has also worked in film, in particular with Daniel Reeves (USA). He has worked with the European Council running workshops with young men as a means to prevent violence in everyday life. 

Research Interests

In an attempt to answer 'How can you bear testimony to an event you did not witness?', David developed the Level 2 module Artist as Witness to evoke a pedagogic model of how to liberate the creativity of student participants within a non-fixed, fluid, ruptured landscape. The project sat alongside, and was interconnected with David’s postgraduate work into memory, place and performance.

This project aimed to engage students in a three year performance research programme examining the effect of the Shoah as an epistemic breach in the ‘story’ of culture. Specific emphasis was placed on representation, creativity, composition, performance, documentation and collaboration.

In each year of the project, David takes a group of Level 2 students to Poland for a five day study visit. The group spend an eight hour day at Auschwitz and Birkenau, in addition to a walking tour of Kazimerz, the site of the Jewish community pre-Hitlerzeit and the Kantor Museum.

On their return to York, the students spend a 14 week semester working to reflect on the cultural, political and aesthetic repercussions of the events, and then create a performance which reflects the times we live in.

Publications and Performances


Reflect on this! with Susan Orr & Jules Dorey Richmond. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, Pp. 197 - 210, December 2010, Vol 3 issue 3.

Mercy Seat with Jules Dorey Richmond. Performance Research PP. 86 – 96, 16 (1), May 2011.

floorplan with Jules Dorey Richmond as part of a co-authored chapter on performer training edited by Simon Murray & Jonathan Pitches, a Routledge publication – Research Methods in Theatre & Performance edited by Baz Kershaw & Helen Nicholson, 2010.
Devised Theatre: a beginner’s guide. A pamphlet designed for secondary school teachers and students.  Conceived and written by David Richmond & Jules Dorey Richmond. Published and distributed by the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, 2000.



terrorists of the heart is a duet by long-term collaborators Jules Dorey Richmond and David Richmond. It is a meditation on parenthood, ageing, grief and loss, as well as a political manifesto with some Morris dancing, performed:

In association with The Sunday Lunch Club at The Lawrence Batley Theatre - Huddersfield;

In association with Oui performance at Space 109 in York;

Performance Recall Festival at the Arches Theatre Glasgow in spring 2011;

The Cultures of Memory Conference at YSJU October 2013.

It has been said that collaboration is ‘an affair of the mind’, for Jules & David it has been rather more, as they are not only artistic partners but also married and parents. They assert that, working collaboratively, their work is constantly shifting and developing in ways that, as individual artists, they could never have envisaged or achieved alone. Their long-term collaboration takes their performance work into new and diverse territory; they have performed in theatres, galleries, clubs, streets, quarries and rivers throughout the UK, Europe and parts of the Far East and the USA.

Whatever else their work might be concerned with, at its core is human beings interacting in the here and the now. Their work evidences their interest in questions of how we re-present ourselves in performance and even more importantly how we re-present others in performance. Jules & David investigate where personal and cultural memories collide, creating performances that flow from the small and almost insignificant to the grand and overpowering.

terrorists of the heart was a tender manifesto for their relationship both as artists and family. It was at times comic…mostly though it was moving in its honesty. And it was incredibly inspiring to see something that exemplified the work we all do on the degree. On my way out I heard someone comment, “…well now I get why we’re learning this” and I saw that she was crying.



slipping away is inspired by a lost photograph. A photograph that David is not sure exists any more, which he has searched for but cannot find. A photograph of him, aged 7, standing on a beach with his Tarzan trunks pulled down around my ankles.

This is a particularly strong and important memory for David and his family. It is of a rare time having fun with his sisters, a memory of innocence and childhood. It is a memory which has always been filtered through the photograph. Now the photograph is lost the event itself seems doubly mislaid, a memory of the time and place itself and a memory of the photograph itself.

So without the photograph, all he has is words, litanies, repetitions, agonies of words.

Words with him, as he is now, taking the place of him as he was then. Or as he remembers as it was then. David will then have another memory of the event, a memory of creating the event – or rather of recreating the photograph… or are they the same thing?

On a beach on the west coast of Scotland nearly 80 years ago today my Uncle was washed up dead.

In a hospital in London nearly 30 years ago today David's Dad took his last in breath.

slipping away is a performance as an event that calls upon witnesses, seeks to bare testimony and itself constructs memories.

A middle aged man is slipping away struggling to re-member, is this how it is, is this how it is?

Performed at:

Dartington Festival, June 2010

National Review of Live Art, March 2010

Writing Encounters International Performance Writing Conference, September 2008

Gravity Project Festival, Juniata College, Pennsylvania, USA, August 2008

Guest Performaner for MAPP International (New York) as part of Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell, National Review of Live Art, Glasgow, March 2011 



For the past 15 years David has been collaborating with Jules Dorey Richmond creating experimental and innovative works, pulling together their respective disciplines of visual art and theatre. Since 1996 they have been engaged in a Theatre of Witness series of collaborative works with World War Two Veterans, Survivors and Witnesses in various communities throughout Britain. This process is ongoing and led them on a secular pilgrimage to Auschwitz.

David & Jules have been funded by the Scottish Arts Council and Glasgow City Council and obtained commissions from Mayfest & CCA, as well as receiving support in kind from the British Council.

"The discussion around your proposal highlighted the belief that your work is of the highest quality and integrity. All the Panel members who knew your previous work felt that your process of creation acts as a model of good practice for collaborative projects".
Scottish Arts Council

1998   Burnt Offering, a site-specific, performance installation in an underground bunker, reflecting on the artists secular pilgrimage to Auschwitz.  Funded by the Scottish Arts Council (SAC), Glasgow City Council (GCC) supported by the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA).

1997    Safe House, a site-specific event in a cellar of a house in Glasgow. Supported by the British Council.

1997    Armistice, an action in Central Station, Glasgow at 11am on 11th November.

1997    Fathers' Day,a site-specific outdoor event about World War Two, in a Glasgow park, on Fathers' Day. Funded by SAC, GCC & CCA.

1996    Resolutions This was a performance / installation, with a fire sculpture, a magic act, acts of self-renewal, scenes from "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?" dancing on tables, chocolate cake, cigarettes and scotch.  A CCA commission.

1992   The Dispossessed . Fuelled by the Gulf War this piece explored the role of women in conflict. A Mayfest commission, which toured community venues throughout the Strathclyde region and Tramway.

1989    Arthur & Delores. An intimate relationship falls apart during a magic act, fusing theatre, magical props, visual gags and interactive anger counselling.  Toured the cabaret circuit throughout Devon.

Pants Performance Association

Pants are Adrian Lambert, David Richmond, Ewan Forster, Fred McVittie & Gavin Clayton.

2009    Lastmaker conference @ Lancaster University
Invited by Goat Island to perform absent friends as pants with Fred  McVittie and Gavin Clayton.

1996   Gag - Invited Artists at the National Review of Live Art (NRLA), also seen at Chapter Arts ( Cardiff ) and CCA (Glasgow).

1994    Spam - In residency at Crewe & Alsager College (MMU) and Chapter Arts (Cardiff ) developed and performed the last reincarnation of Spam.

1992   Spam - Co-commissioned by CCA (Glasgow) and Arnolfini (Bristol).  Performed at BAC, The Green Room and Dartington Arts. Pants received the Barclays New Stages Award for Experimental British Theatre, and were part of the Royal Court Festival.

1991    Democracy - A highly physical comedy commissioned by London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) and the Third eye Centre (CCA, Glasgow). Seen at the ICA, Green Room Manchester, Arnolfini Bristol, Prema Arts Gloucestershire, Battersea Arts Centre and Glasgow .

1990   Founded Pants Performance Association in 1989, directed the first show Pants, performed at Dartington Arts, the Place (London ), the NRLA (Scotland) and Singapore International Arts Festival.

Clanjamfrie (A multi-media performance company - Glasgow)

1995     Satellite - a large scale site-specific outdoor event. Seen by 800 people on December 10 in Cathedral Square. Involving four 40 foot towers, 10 meter by 10 metre video projections of Glasgow life, angels falling from the sky, a Glasshouse passing through the audience, 90 ballroom dancers and a 30 strong Gaelic Choir.

1995   Flow Nightclub - a site-specific performance in a club. A commissioned event for the International Architecture Winter school .

1992    The World's Edge. David directed this critically acclaimed multi-media site-specific piece, created in a derelict boiler house, commissioned by Tramway & Mayfest.

Daniel Reeves is an internationally acclaimed video artist. He has received three Emmy Awards, has been a Guggenheim Fellow in Video Art and was a recipient of the prestigious Rockerfeller Inter-Cultural Film and Video Fellowship.

1998    Perdu. A feature film in development, Perdu being the central character played by David. The film is a contemplation on Daniel's experiences in Vietnam during the war. Shot on location in Southern France.

1997   One with Everything. David plays a Buddhist monk and is the lead role in this comedy short for Channel 4. David plays all the characters in this 30-minute film. Seen at the Berlin, Lisbon, Liverpool, San Francisco, Utrecht, London, Charlottesville, Washington and Rotterdam Film Festivals.

1991    Jizo Response Created and performed a solo in Daniel Reeve's installation Jizo Garden in the gallery at the CCA (Glasgow)

Conference Papers

The Cultures of Memory Symposium 16th – 20th October 2013. A paper entitled Talking Back the Y(t)ears by Jules Dorey Richmond & David Richmond, on their theatre of witness work, with particular reference to cultural trauma of the Shoah.  The Symposium is a collaboration between Syracuse University (USA), Massey University (NZ) & York St John University (UK).

Caos Terni 2011 with choreographer Beth Cassani and artist Jules Dorey Richmond created a performance – crazy cow - with performers from 3 countries at the international Caos Centre in Terni Italy.

Centre for Teaching and Learning in Art & Design Annual Conference Berlin, 12th &13th April 2010 – Reflect on this! – a collaborative paper with Professor Susan Orr & Jules Dorey Richmond.

Tikkun Olam as part of national Holocaust Memorial Day 2011 presented a paper and photographic exhibition at YSJU.

Caos Terni 2010 with choreographer Beth Cassani created an improvised performance Delicata Melancholy - with performers from 3 countries at the international Caos Centre in Terni Italy.

YSJU Conference roaring
April 2009 enquiry based learning (EBL) an interactive performance the pedagogue of improvisation and the improvisation of pedagogue. In collaboration with students and academics from dance, music and critical studies.

YSJU Conference – International Partners
March 2009 – Performing Memory: a trip to Auschwitz

Juniata College Pennsylvania USA
August 2008 as part of staff exchange in collaboration with Beth Cassani (dance artist and lecturer) worked with Students at Juniata on an ensemble performance.

York St John University Symposia on Reflection
February 2008 reflect on this!, convened in collaboration with Jules Dorey Richmond.  Keynote paper between knowing and doing and participation event floorplan.

Faculty of Arts YSJU Research Conference
September 2007 - Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Collaborative paper with Jules Dorey Richmond how will we
remember when all the witnesses are gone.

York Guilds Conference 2007
A paper entitled an avant garde mystery – York July 2007

Association of Art Historians (AAH)
33rd annual International conference AAH – Contestations – Belfast April 2007.
How will we remember when all the witnesses are gone? A Collaborative paper, with Jules Dorey Richmond, for the session - makers and making between trauma and cultural memory.

Theatre and Performance Research Association (TAPRA)
Central School of Speech and Drama July 2006
Collaborative paper, with Jules Dorey Richmond, for the performer training working group - being not seeming.

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