Dr Phil Smith

Dr Phil Smith

Associate Professor (Reader)

School of Humanities and Performing Arts (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)


BA Drama Bristol 1977

PhD Plymouth 2013

Teaching interests

Site-based theatre, ambulatory performance, performance and environments, community theatre, improvisation, directing, playwriting, live art, symbolist theatre, rough theatre.

Research interests

Ambulatory performance, walking as performance, performance and the city, situationist practice, rough theatre, street performance, processions, heritage sites, counter-tourism, pseudo-sacred spaces, interiority, zombies, site-specific performance and dance and site-based theatre.

Creative practice & artistic projects

Dracula (TNT Theatre) Co-writer. The Tempest (TNT Theatre) Dramaturg. Le Petit Prince (TNT Theatre) Director. Two European tours. Calton Hill Constellations Edinburgh, Artlink (with Siriol Joyner) - performance for visually impaired audience. Jane Mason's 'Life Forces' (Dancer) 2015 Le Petit Prince (Director) TNT Theatre Co. 2015

Alice's Derives in Devonshire (novel) Triarchy Press, 2014. 

There is an account of the autobiographical aspects of my performance work related to walking in Deirdre Heddon's 'Autobiography and Performance' (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) pages 105-111.  

Surviving Again and Again and Again. Walk for 'Art of the Edgelands' symposium. For Spacex Gallery, Exeter. 2014. 

Refrains For Uncertainly Sacred Spaces – a walk for Airspace gallery, Stoke-on-Trent. 2014.

Venturing Out During the War on Interiority - a talk/performance for Airspace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent. 2014.  

Life Forces: performer/deviser for this dance project with choreographer Jane Mason. 2014-15. 

Cramond: description performance for a visually impaired audience, with choreographer Siriol Joyner. 2013.

Walls, Doors and Layers: keynote performance for b-side's Resonant Terrains symposium, the chapel of HMP The Verne, Portland.  2013.

Here, Now  Blind Ditch (deviser, performer)  2013.

Shapes - an ambulatory performance. b-side Festival, Weymouth. 2012.

Signs & Wonders (with Katie Etheridge and Simon Persighetti) for Green Close Studios & LICA. 2012.

Aldwych Walk - for the Site, Performance and Environmental Change AHRC Network. 2011.

A Yarn Around The West End for Drive In Deco/Hidden City, Plymouth. 2011.

A Tour of Sardine Street (with Simon Persighetti) - culmination of the Relics and Processions project. 2010.

Geo-Quest project (with Tony Lidington & Hugh Nankivell). 2010.

Water Walk (with Simon Persighetti). 2010.

Morte Point Mis-Guide (for the National Trust). 2009.

Light Walk - a short film made with Polly Macpherson, shown at Spacex Gallery. 2009.

Gardens Always Mean Something Else (at A la Ronde, National Trust)  with Francesca Falchi-Pereira and Rakeen Silawi. 2009.

Beer, Beef and Royal Steps  mis-guide-performance/"twalk" for Royal William Victualling Yard, Stonehouse. 2009.

dramaturg for 'Catherine', Hidden City Festival, Plymouth. 2008.

The Fabulous Walks (Teignbridge, Devon, UK) with Anoushka Athique, Katie Etheridge, Simon Persighetti, Fumiaki Tanaka, Nicola Singh, Rachel Sweeney and Chartwell Dutiro. 2006.

Wrights & Sites curating "Misguided' for the Belluard Bollwerk International, Fribourg, Switzerland. 2006.

In Search of Pontiflunk (play) performed by New Perspectives Theatre Company. 2006. 

Manchester, Mythogeography and Mobile Machinoeki - performance at TRIP conference, Manchester. 2006.

A Man About The House - performance with Simon Persighetti, at A la Ronde, National Trust commission. 2008.

Mobile Machinoeki project (including 3 performance walks & Rescued From The History Hut performance, with Anoushka Athique & Katie Etheridge). 2005.

misguided STADTverFÜHRUNGEN in Wien, Vienna Festival, curating 16 artists (Wrights & Sites). 2007.

Foray – performance/walk at A La Ronde for The National Trust. 2007.

Mis-Guided Walk + Mapping Workshop, Northlands Park, Basildon (with Wrights & Sites). 2007.

Taunton A-Dead Mis-guided Walk for Taunton Brewhouse Anti-Static Festival. 2006.

Exeter Everyday Festival, Wrights & Sites. 2006.

Crab Steps Aside (written and performed, with directorial assitance from Sue Palmer)

For Space - performance for Making Space/Taking Space Conference (Devon Arts Forum/CCEP). 2006.

It’s Crab Walking! – talk and walk presentations for Teignbridge DC Walk This Way groups. 2006.

Masses – a mis-guided walk, ICA London. 2006.

The Present Generation, led 2-day workshop section for Organic Theatre (for Wrights & Sites), Palazzo delle Arti Napoli (PAN). 2006.

Drift (film, directed by Clive Austin). 2006. 

Coastal Edge - performance for Tide & Time (Phoenix Arts Centre). 2006.

4 Screens (2), (installation), psi, St Mary’s College, London Wrights & Sites. 

A Beaminster Mis-Guided Walk for Beaminster Festival. 2006.

Simultaneous Drift (lecture/performance for Situations), Arnolfini, Wrights & Sites. 2006.

Desire Lines walk – Art and Ecology symposium, Dartington. 2006.

4 Screens (1), Walk 21 Conference, Melbourne (installation). 2006.

Mis-guided Soho - Walk for Living Streets (Wrights & Sites). 2006.

Crab Steps Aside (writer/performer). 2005.

Performance On The Path (walk/performance) Tide & Time/South West Coast Path Team. 2005.

Time and Light - performance with St James High School/Exeter Phoenix (writer/director/performer). 2005. 

Observatory Walk (walk/performance to the Norman Lockyer Observatory for Alias Encounters). 2005.

A Michael Chekhov Mis-Guide: walk/performance at Michael Chekhov Conference, Dartington (with Simon Persighetti, Wrights & Sites). 2005.

Subverting the City: A Mis-Guide to Milton Keynes, Wrights & Sites, for Optimistic Productions & Fulcrum TV for Channel 4. 2005.

The Gap – performance/walk (with mathematician Matthew Watkins), British Association Festival of Science. 2004.

The Crab Walks! – written and performed, (directorial assitamce by Anjali Jay). 2003.

Hat and Book – a Blue Boy Walk for Spacex Gallery (part of the Homeland/Middle England exhibition). 2003.

Theatre work with TNT (Munich) since 2003

The Wave (co-adaptor), 2013. Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (co-adaptor), 2013. Don Quixote (co-adaptor), 2010. Much Ado About Nothing (dramaturg), One Language, Many Voices (co-adaptor), Oliver Twist (co-adaptor), Fahrenheit 451 (co-adaptor), Taming of the Shrew (dramaturg), King Lear TNT (dramaturg), The Crucible (dramaturg), Frankenstein (co-adaptor), Romeo and Juliet (dramaturg), The Death Of A Salesman (dramaturg), Moon Palace (co-adaptor), Hamlet (dramaturg), Harold & Maude (dramaturg)

Other theatre since 2003:

Sprout, Proteus Theatre Company (writer). 2005.

Bleak House, Oxfordshire Touring Theatre Company (adaptor). 2003.

David – (Auto)biographical theatre piece scripted for David Oddie, Barefoot Project. 2003.

Research groups

  • Theatre, Dance and Performing Arts

'The MK Myth' (Triarchy Press, 2018) ‘Dolphin Square to MI6 Walk – produced by disappearing, almost’. Essay in ‘The Creative Critic’, Routledge, eds. Emily Orley & Katya Hilevaara, 2108. 'The Architect-Walker'. Co-written with Wrights & Sites. (Triarchy Press, 2018). ‘Rethinking Mythogeography in Northfield, Minnesota’ (with John Schott), Triarchy Press, 2018. Storylines. Northampton: Threshold Studios. 24 storylines (walks related to publications) for Milton Keynes. 2017. ‘Radical twentieth century walkers and the Romantic qualities of leisure walking’, chapter in ‘The Routledge International Handbook of Walking’ (eds. M. Hall, Y.Ram & N.Shoval), 2017 'Using Zombies to Teach Theatre Students', chapter published in 'Monsters In The Classroom: essays on teaching what scares us'. eds. Adam Golub & Heather Richardson Hayton, McFarland. 2017. Calton Hill Constellations A Practitioner Report (with Siriol Joyner) Scottish Journal of Performance 3:1 2016. ‘Pedagogy and the Zombie Mythos: Lessons from Apocalyptic Enactments’, chapter in ‘Generation Z: zombies, popular culture and educating youth’. Springer. (eds. Carrington, V., Rowsell, J., Priyadharshini, E., Westrup, R. A Footbook of Zombie Walking Triarchy Press 2015

“Psychogeography and Mythogeography: Currents in Radical Walking” chapter in ‘Walking Inside Out: contemporary British psychogeography’. (ed.) Tina Richardson. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.



'Sites of Dereliction: beginnings and allies of performance' in Performance Research, Vol 20, Issue 3, 2015, pp. 67-74. 

Walking's New Movement (Triarchy Press, 2015)

'Performative Walking In Zombie Towns' in Special Issue:Zombies & Performance,  Studies in Theatre & Performance, Vol. 34, issue 3, 2014.

Special Issue: Zombies & Performance,  Studies in Theatre & Performance. (Co-edited with Lee Miller & Roberta Mock.)

'A methodology for ‘mis-guided’research: from guided tours to counter-tourism'. In Tourism Methodologies, (eds)Jane Widtfeldt Meged, Bodil Stilling Blichfeldt, Lulu Anne Hansen &Kristian Anders Hvass. Frederiksberg: CBS Press

On Walking. (Triarchy Press, Axminster, 2014).

Enchanted Things: signposts to a new nomadism. (Triarchy Press, Axminster, 2014).

'The volative virtues of the guided tour: live performance and the journey to counter-tourism' in Conference Proceedings: 3rd International Forum on Guided Tours (2013). 


Performance and the stratigraphy of place: Everything You Need To Build A Town Is Here (with Stephen Hodge, Simon Persighetti & Cathy Turner) in The Oxford Handbook of The Archaeology of the Contemporary World. Oxford: OUP (2013).

Walking-Based Arts: A Resource for the Guided Tour?  Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism  (2013) 


Counter-Tourism: The Handbook (Triarchy Press, Axminster, 2012).

Counter-Tourism: A Pocketbook (Triarchy Press, Axminster, 2012). 

'History, Terrain and Tread: The Walk of Demons, Zombie Flesh Eaters and The Blind Dead' in European Nightmares: Horror Cinema in Europe since 1945, (eds.) Patricia Allmer, Emily Brick & David Huxley, New York: Wallflower Press (2012). 

‘Gardens always mean something else’: turning knotty performance and paranoid researchon their head at A la Ronde (CulturalGeographies 2011;18, no 4: pp 537-546)

Mythogeography works: performing multiplicity on Queen Street  (Research in Drama Education, Vol 16, Issue 2, 2011.

A Sardine Street Box of Tricks: How To Make Your Own Mis-Guided Tour On Main Street (with Simon Persighetti) (republished Triarchy Press, 2012) - available from

Tourists and Terrorists - Useful Ambiguities in a Search for Models (Rhizomes 21, Winter 2010)  online at  http://www.rhizomes.net/issue21/smith/index.html

'A la Ronde: eccentricity, interpretation and the end of the world' in Performing Heritage, eds. Anthony Jackson and Jenny Kidd (Manchester University Press, 2011)

Mythogeography  (Triarchy Press, Axminster, UK, 2010).

A Manifesto for a New Walking Culture: 'dealing with the city' co-authored with Stephen Hodge, Simon Persighetti & Cathy Turner, in 'Performance and the Contemporary City: An Interdisciplinary Reader' ed. Nicolas Whybrow (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

The contemporary dérive: a partial review of issues concerning the contemporary practice of psychogeography   Cultural Ge ographies Volume 17 Issue 1, January 2010

The Mis-Guide Tour and the Standard Tour - a study of contrasting tour-guiding practices in the city of Exeter (UK)   Gothenburg Research Institute proceedings of 1st International Research Forum on Guided Tours, Halmstad, 2009

“Burning the Box Office: locating the relics oftheatricality in a dramaturgy of the everyday”  Performance Research  Vol 14 (3).

A Mis-Guided Tour - a film by Siobhan McKeown, performed by Phil Smith, of a 'guided tour' using a mythogeographical approach: available free of charge for teaching and research purposes from philip.smith@plymouth.ac.uk

Walking, Writing and Performance: Autobiographical Texts by Deirdre Heddon, Carl Lavery and Phil Smith edited by Roberta Mock, Bristol: Intellect, 2009.

"Inside The Darkness Outside"  in walkwalkwalk: stories from the Exeter archive, published by Site Projects, London, 2009.

"Actors As Signposts: A Model for Site-based and Ambulatory Performance", New Theatre Quarterly, Vol. 25, 2009.

"Theatrical-political Possibilities In Contemporary Procession", Studies in Theatre and Performance, Vol 29 (1), 2009.
The Mythogeographical Manifesto  (with etcetera) - published for the Hidden City Symposium, 2008

"From Theatre To Dispersal: a Journey from Stalowa Wola to Mobile Machinoeki", Performance Research 12 (2), 2007

"There"  - essay in Focus On Farmer, Aune Head Arts, Princetown UK, 2007.

"The Mythogeography of Things To Become" serialized,  Cabinet, 3, 4 & 5, etcetera, Exeter, 2007/8.

Possible Forests (dvd-rom (2006)and exhibition (2007)) CCANW/Wrights & Sites

"A Taxonomy On Its Toes", Performance Research 11 (1), 2006. 

"A Manifesto For A New Walking Culture" (with Wrights & Sites) -  Performance Research 11 (2), 2006.

A Mis-Guide To Anywhere
Wrights & Sites, Exeter, 2006.

"Street Performance and Public Ritual in Exeter, 1830s to 1930s", Studies In Theatre and Performance Vol 24 (2), 2003.

"A Short History Of The Future Of Walking" Rhizomes, 7, Fall, 2004.  www.rhizomes.net

An Exeter Mis-Guide
Wrights & Sites , Exeter,  2003.

"Dread, Route and Time: An Autobiographical Walking of Everything Else", Reconstruction, 3 (1), Winter 2003.   http://www.reconstruction.ws

“O Are You Not Being Phil”, Studies in Theatre and Performance, Vol 22 (1), 2001.

"This Is My World" in Site-specific: The Quay Thing Documented, Supplement 5, Studies in Theatre and Performance, 2000.