Malcolm Raeburn Read

Pathway Leader: Performance and Media

Office Times

Monday 1.00pm - 2.00pm

Tuesday 10.00am – 2.00pm

Thursday 1.00pm – 2.00pm


I joined the University in 1999 after previously combining posts as visiting lecturer and director at Edge Hill University and Arden School of Theatre with work as a writer, director and performer.

I began my career as an actor/teacher in Theatre-In-Education at Spring Street Theatre Hull in 1974  before becoming a founding member of Broadside Mobile Workers' Theatre, before joining Red Ladder Theatre, to whose shows Strike While The Iron Is Hot (a.k.a. A Woman's Work Is Never Done) and the NHS satire It Makes You Sick I contributed songs as well as being co-writer/deviser.

Since 1978 I have been lead singer and lyricist with Agony Column, a New Wave rock band with a brief recording career in the Eighties, still performing occasionally.

My writing for theatre includes commissions for Dr Fosters Theatre, M6 Theatre Company; Interplay Community Theatre; an oratorio libretto, music by Christopher Fox, for York Soundpool, Empire of the Dead,  an opera libretto, music by Christopher Fox (Banff Music Festival, Canada), as well as an adaptation of The Government Inspector for Edge Hill University and lyrics and other material for the many comedies created and performed by the award-winning Lip Service Theatre Company from 1985 to the present.

Performance work includes repertory theatre, theatre-in-education, community theatre, street theatre and improvised comedy. I have played many television roles since Brideshead Revisited and The Jewel In The Crown in the 1980s, and have been heard in many featured roles in BBC radio drama.  

I was a founder member of the comedy improvisation troupe Comedy Express, whose members have gone on to have careers in television scriptwriting, industrial training and theatre as well as academia. My abiding interest in comedy led to taking a lead role in writing the new Comedy Practices pathway.

I am Media Performance Pathway Leader for BA Hons Performance. As a former Director of Admissions for the School and Admissions Coordinator for Performance I continue to take an active interest in marketing and recruitment. I also coordinate the graduating students' Performers' Showcase, which has increasingly raised the University's profile in the arts and entertainment industries as a source of outstanding talent. I am committed to bringing students in contact with the industry which they aspire to join, not only through Showcase, but also finding opportunities for students to appear in radio, video and TV recordings and bringing in industry professionals to give talks and hold master classes.

Having spent much of my career performing in television and radio, my teaching mostly centres on acting for the camera and microphone. I also teach and am passionate about pop music and popular culture, theatre acting, comedy and theatre and writing and devising. I have directed a great number of college and university productions and recently directed a short film.


Pathway Leader: Media Performance; Module Leader: Acting for the Camera; Radio Acting; Radio Performance and Production; Programme Production Techniques.

I have also taught Scriptwriting, Voice, Theatre Acting, Improvisation, Comedy and Theatre, and have directed numerous productions here, at other institutions and professionally.

Research Interests

The psychology and phenomenology of stage fright and performer confidence. Improvised comedy, radio performance and production, scriptwriting for screen and stage, comic songwriting and lyric writing for theatre and popular song.

Qualifications and Memberships

MA with Distinction in TV and Radio Scriptwriting, University of Salford. 2003

PgCert, Learning and Teaching in HE, University of Salford. 2007

BA Hons English and Philosophy University of Leeds 1974

Full Member of Research Centre: Performance

From January 2010 to present.

Chair, Actors Centre North, 2010-2012

Member, Salford TV Workshop Partners Group 2012-ongoing

External Examiner:

Christ Church Canterbury University: BA Hons Perfoming Arts: 2010 - 2013

University of Huddersfield: BA Hons Drama 2007 - 2010

University College Suffolk: BA Hons Perfoming Arts 2005 -2008

Arden School of Theatre: MA Scriptwriting 2005 - 2007