League table success: Drama #2, Creative Writing #6 and English #25 in The Times Good University Guide 2022

The School of English and Drama has been named #2 for Drama, #6 for Creative Writing and #25 for English in the latest Times Good University Guide 2022. The Head of School, Scott McCracken said:

“The School of English and Drama at Queen Mary is internationally recognised for its departments of Drama, Creative Writing, and English Literature. We are delighted to see this reflected in the departments’ top scores in the Times Good University Guide.

Professor Scott McCracken, Head of the School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London

The Drama department at Queen Mary has been named second (up from 5th) in the country in the Times Good University Guide 2022.

The department includes visionary artists and teachers like:

Our new Creative Writing department has jumped from 40th to 6th in the country after only running for around 3 years.

The department includes:

Our English department ranks #25 and is amongst the best in the UK.

“We are delighted to have improved our position to 25th. Teaching and admin staff worked incredibly hard to deliver our programme in the most difficult of circumstances and it’s lovely to see that recognised.”

Suzanne Hobson, Head of English

Some members of the team include:

  • Nadia Atia: Expert in Middle Eastern literature.
  • Nil Palabiyik: Book historian and British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow.
  • Scott McCracken: Head of School of English and Drama.
  • Zara Dinnen: Contemporary literature expert and writer of The Digital Banal: New Media and American Literature and Culture.
  • Rehana Ahmed: Writer of Writing British Muslims: Religion, Class and Multiculturalism.

Show and Tell – Inspiring Mini Talks at QMUL – Series 2 – 2019

Show and Tell is back for 2019 with a series of free inspiring talks about studying and working in the arts and humanities in February 2019

More information and book online here

See the full programme below

The evening promises to be entertaining and relaxed. Speakers will each deliver a TED-style talk, and these will be followed by a chance for guests to ask questions, before the evening ends with socialising and networking over refreshments.

Show and Tell runs on the evenings of the 6, 13, 20 and 27 February 2019, taking place between 18:00 and 20:00 at the ArtsOne Building on the Mile End Road of Queen Mary’s Mile End campus.

Everyone is welcome from sixth-form students, new QMUL freshers, alumni, school teachers, researchers and anyone who has a general interest in the arts and humanities.

If you have any questions or would like to register a group please email: showandtell@qmul.ac.uk

Sadly you missed…

Wednesday 6 February 2019

  • Kayla MacQuarrie: Stand-up comedian who recently performed her award-winning show Traumatised at Soho Theatre.
  • Matti Ryan: Matti Ryan is a performance artist, impresario and the manager of Overlock, a new mixed-arts venue in Hackney.
  • Giulia Casalini from Arts Feminism Queer (also known as CUNTemporary) is a non-profit, volunteer-run arts organisation that aims to strengthen collaboration and solidarity between queer, feminist and decolonial communities across the fields of academia, culture, activism, grassroots organisations and social policy makers.
  • Charlotte Dinkin: Stand-up comedian, director, and creative communications consultant. She recently directed Olga Koch’s Edinburgh show Fight, for which Olga was nominated for best newcomer. She’s also just completed an MA in Psychoanalysis.

Wednesday 13 February 2019

  • Sufiya Ahmed: Sufiya has worked in advertising and in the House of Commons, but is now a full-time author. In 2010 Sufiya set up the BIBI Foundation, a non-profit organisation, to arrange visits to the Houses of Parliament for diverse and underprivileged school children.
  • Alana Buckley: Alana has worked in the events industry for over 10 years, beginning her career in heritage venues including the Imperial War Museum and St Paul’s Cathedral before transitioning onto catering. She has been heading up the events team at London-based street food company KERB since 2015.
  • Charlotta Salmi: Lecturer in Postcolonial and Global Literature at Queen Mary with research involving: Postcolonial Literature and Theory; Graphic Narratives; Literary Form; Conflict and protest literature; Borders and the state.
  • Magda Oldziejewska: Activist, independent researcher and blogger, as well as fundraising coordinator and management collective member at the Feminist Library.
  • Liza Vallance: Artistic Director/CEO @Studio3Arts, co-founder of @OriginalArmy. Runner, fat, feminist, working class.
  • Maria Oshodi / Kumiko Mendl: Maria Oshodi is a freelance writer and Artistic Director and CEO of Extant, Britains leading professional performing arts company of visually impaired artists. Kumiko Mendl is Artistic Director of the UK’s award winning British East Asian Theatre Company, Yellow Earth.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

  • Kit Redstone: Award winning writer (Testosterone). Artistic director of Vacuum Theatre and hot tempered, belligerent short-arse trans man who wears a lot of jewellery.
  • Ben Walters: Writer, producer, programmer, critic and activist living in London. Ben is a PhD student at Queen Mary interested in queer fun, cabaret and homemade mutant hope machines — or how participatory performance practices can materialise better worlds for marginalised people.
  • Kemah Bob (BBC3, The Guilty Feminist) a stand-up comedian, writer, improviser, and drag king from Texas now based in London.
  • Jorge Lopes Ramos: London-based artist, curator and producer working in the intersection between art, technology and games. Co-founder and director of East London venue G.A.S. Station (Games and Arts Stratford) and theatre/digital arts company ZU-UK (Brazil/UK), Jorge also works as Senior Lecturer at University of East London since 2009.
  • Dr Martin Welton: Reader (Academic Teaching at QMUL) in Drama at Queen Mary researching Movement and the senses in relation to the theory and practice of contemporary performance.

Wednesday 27 February 2019

  • Professor Jerry Brotton: Professor of Renaissance Studies and author of ‘This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World’
  • Nurull Islam (QMUL fellow): (QMUL fellow): Nurull Islam is one of the Co Founders of Mile End Community Project ( MCP ). A multi-award winning film and media organization with a commitment to helping young people recognise their potential. MCP engages young people through creative learning opportunities, such as peer-led film making, art, and media projects.
  • Moa Johansson: Moa Johansson (UK/SWE) is a performance artist whose work occupies the space between performance installation, live art, and dance. Her practice investigates theories concerning the body, space, subjectivity and communication in the context of an intersectional, ecofeminist and queer reading. www.mojocompany.org
  • Dr Nisha Ramayya: Nisha Ramayya is a poet and lecturer in Creative Writing at Queen Mary, University of London.
  • Katherine Igoe-Ewer: is the award-winning The Yard Theatre‘s producer for local projects.

Please note all speakers appearances are subject to change

Welcome to New Students 2017

Welcome to the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.


Welcome Week

View a schedule of Welcome Week events here

If you’re starting a joint degree, check the website of your other School for information about their Welcome Week events:


Summer Preparation

For suggestions about some reading you can do before you join us (and if you need to buy any books) please click your subject area below:

Some modules will also have free module packs that you can collect when you start.


Term Dates and Provisional Timetable

Welcome Week runs from Monday 18 September to Friday 22 September 2017.
Teaching begins on the week commencing Monday 25 September 2017.

Semester 1

  • 18 September – 15 December 2017
  • Teaching starts 25 September 2017

Semester 2

  • 8 January – 29 March 2018
  • Bank holidays: 30 March and 2 April 2018

Semester 3 – revision week

  • 23 April – 27 April 2018

Semester 3 – examination period

  • 30 April – 8 June 2018
  • Bank holidays: 7 and 28 May 2018


What and When is Reading Week?

There’s a Reading Week in Semester 1 and Semester 2. It’s a chance for you to catch up on your reading and assignments. In 2017-2018, Reading Weeks are as follows:

Semester 1: 6 November – 10 November 2017
Semester 2: 19 February – 23 February 2018


Teaching Timetable

You’ll be able to get your timetable online once you’ve enrolled.

Module Choices

If you’re starting one of the following degrees you can choose an optional module in your first year. To select which one you want to take, complete this form by Monday 11 September.

  • QV31 English and History
  • QQ13 English Literature and Linguistics
  • QW36 English and Film Studies
  • English and a language (French, German, Hispanic Studies, Russian)

If you’re starting one of the following degrees, all your first year English or Drama modules are compulsory:

  • Q300 English
  • QW11 English with Creative Writing
  • QW34 English and Drama

If you’re starting any of the following, all your Drama modules are compulsory:

  • W400 Drama
  • WW46 Film Studies and Drama
  • Drama and a language (French, German, Hispanic Studies, Russian)

Make sure you visit the website of your other Department or School: School of History, School of Languages, Linguistics and Film about optional modules in your other subject and how to select them.


Can we help?

If you have any questions about starting your degree in the School of English and Drama, please do get in touch:

Visit us: School of English and Drama Main Office, 3rd floor, ArtsOne Building, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End, London E4 (map link)
Email the team: sed-information@qmul.ac.uk
Tweet: @QMULsed

Clearing and Results Day 2017 FAQ – School of English and Drama

Update: Clearing and adjustment in the School of English and Drama is now closed for 2017 entry.

Congratulations if you’ve already got your grades and are coming to study with us. Welcome information is here.

Don’t worry if you’re not in this situation.

We’re here to help you on our dedicated Clearing and Confirmation hotline on results day and beyond.

Call our Queen Mary Clearing hotline:

0800 376 1800 or +44 (0)20 7882 5511 (international)

The clearing hotline is open at the following times…

Thursday 17 August 7.30am – 7pm
Friday 18 August 8am – 7pm
Saturday 19 August 9am – 2pm
Sunday 20 August Closed
Monday 21 August 9am – 5pm
Tuesday 22 August 9am – 5pm

Complete our enquiry form to get a reply

What does Clearing mean for you?

For some of you it’ll be when you first discover Queen Mary or it might offer you a chance to change your mind about what you want to do or present an opportunity to talk to us about your interest in our programmes.


When is the Clearing period?

The main clearing period starts on A Level results day, Thursday 17 August 2017 and ends on the first day of term (Monday 18 September).

However, you can always get in touch with us before clearing starts (or anytime afterwards) to register an interest in one of our degrees.


Which courses have availability within the School of English and Drama?

There are a limited number of places available on the following programmes:

Please call us as soon as you have your results to ensure the maximum chance of getting a place.



How do I apply through Clearing?

Please call the main Queen Mary Clearing hotline on to discuss your options with us: 0800 376 1800 or +44 (0)20 7882 5511.


Where will I live?

Before making enquiries into accommodation while you study with us it’s best to make sure you have an offer and accept it. This will allow us to access the resources available within our accommodation team more easily. We can then help you either find accommodation on campus or private accommodation nearby.

Queen Mary Student Accommodation

There are limited number of rooms available on site, which are allocated to Clearing applicants via a ballot.

Private Rented Accommodation

There are a large number of privately rented rooms and shared accommodation options available in the surrounding area.

Find out more about accommodation here


Can I come and visit you?

There are Clearing Visit Days on:

  • Wednesday 16 August: 1pm – 5pm
  • Thursday 17 August (Results Day): 9am – 6pm
  • Friday 18 August: 10am – 1pm

These days start at Queens’ Building Reception at our Mile End campus. (map). If you’d like to visit the School or meet a member of our teaching team please complete this form and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.


How do I apply for student finance?

Please see our handy student finance guide here for more information about student finance.


How do I get more advice?

See the full Queen Mary University of London Clearing Guide here

Independent advice is available from Which! University Guide or contact us and we’ll be more than happy to advise.


Share your #SEDstories & you could win £250!

Just extended until 4 September 2017 at 17:00 BST.

We are inviting current SED students and graduates to share their experience of studying at Queen Mary through video and photography to win some big cash prizes!


What’s your SED story? Film yourself or take a photo of something that represents your time studying at Queen Mary. If using a photo, please include a caption with your story.


  • Grand prize winner will win £250
  • 5 x highly commended prizes of £50
  • 10 x runner up prizes of £10

Each winner’s work will be used to show the School to the world and will be exhibited in a prominent location within the ArtsOne building.

How to enter

Simply use the hashtag #SEDstories with your picture or video on Twitter or Instagram or use the online form below.

The competition now closes on Monday 4 September 2017 at 17:00 BST. Please note that the School of English and Drama reserves the right to use all entries to promote the School on the Queen Mary and SED website, in publications, on School and Queen Mary Social Media accounts with credit of course.

Here’s some hashtags to help get you started:

#Multicultural #Art #Theatre #Medieval #Queer #Maps #Canal #LiveArt #Body #Gender #Narrative #18thC #Literature #Philosophy #London #Postcolonialism #Performance #Campus  #BestinBow #Romanticism

[woobox offer=’w634tw’]

Terms and Conditions

Entries must be made by using the hashtag #SEDstories or using the entry form. You can only enter if you’re a current School of English and Drama at QMUL student or alumnus. Entries must be received by the closing date 31 July 2017 at 17:00 BST extended until Monday 4 September 2017 at 17:00 BST. You can enter as many times as you like and each photo or video will count as one entry. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and you will be notified by email or direct message on social media if you win. Please note that the School of English and Drama reserves the right to use all entries to promote the School on the Queen Mary and SED website, in publications, on School and Queen Mary Social Media accounts with credit of course.

Hetta Howes chosen as BBC New Generation Thinker 2017

We are delighted to announce that  Dr Hetta Howes has been selected as one of the AHRC/ BBC Radio 3/ BBC 4 New Generation Thinkers for 2017.

This is a highly prestigious national competition for early career researchers whose work is of the highest quality and greatest public interest.

The high standard of Hetta’s public engagement work has been recognised and now she will have opportunities to make programmes with the BBC.

Hetta Howes’s research has explored the relationship between women and water, tracing misogynist rhetoric back to the Middle Ages. Her new project will examine the part that fluids play in medieval life and how this might connect to today.

Hetta is interested in how women are treated or portrayed in medieval literature, and how women’s writing challenges or subverts various medieval female stereotypes as well as challenging our own modern preconceptions of women in that time.

Read more in the announcement here


#SEDweekly – Events and Opportunities Digest – 30th November

Welcome to our third weekly digest featuring the best events and opportunities we’ve just discovered and that are coming up in the next week. To get an email alert when the new digest is live please sign up using the form below. If you’d like to add anything to next week’s digest then please email us.

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Drama Quorum Seminar Series: Margherita Laera | Wed 30 Nov | 6pm | QMUL Mile End Campus

Continuing our themes of capital and imperialism, we welcome Dr. Margherita Laera for a seminar entitled ‘A Theatre of/for Europe: Giorgio Strehler and the Dream of a United Continent’.


English PGR Seminar Series: David Nowell-Smith | Thu 1 Dec | 5.15pm | Lock-keeper’s Cottage, QMUL Mile End Campus

Dr. Nowell-Smith is Senior Lecturer in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at UEA, his main interest being in philosophical poetics. His talk is entitled ‘Eight Theses on Poiesis’.


Spoken Word with PEACH | Wed 1 Dec | 7-9pm | Drapers Lounge, QMUL Mile End Campus

PEACH is hosting the first Spoken Word Open Mic event of the year this Thursday in Drapers Lounge with professional poets: Kat Francois and Chris Redmond!


Critical Solace – A guest | Mon 5 Dec | 6-7pm | Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Literature

Our very own David James is giving a special visiting lecture at Birkbeck entitled ‘Critical Solace’. The talk relates to work that David has recently been undertaking into the consolotary powers of literature, funded by a Leverhulme Research Prize.

For more SED events see our calendar here


Jobs & Paid Internships

Development Officer | Young Vic | £25,500 – £27,500 | Deadline: Monday 5 December

The Young Vic are looking for a Development Officer to join their busy fundraising team with writing experience and a strong interest in the arts for a primarily research based job.


Opportunities & Volunteering


Student Media Conference | Weds 7 and Thu 8 Dec | QMUL, Mile End Campus

The Student Media Conference 2016 will feature a programme of talks and workshops from media industry professionals and recent alumni who were involved with Student Media during their time here. The event concludes with an evening networking sessions over drinks and nibbles.


Calls for Papers

None sent through to us this week.


To add a listing to next week’s digest or to help us update this edition please email sed-web@qmul.ac.uk by Friday 2 December at 5pm

#SEDweekly – Events and Opportunities Digest – 23rd November

Welcome to our second digest featuring the best events and opportunities we’ve just discovered and that are coming up in the next week. To get an email alert when the new digest is live please sign up using the form below. If you’d like to add anything to next week’s digest then please email us.

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SLAPPIN’ DA BASS on Wednesday 30 November – more details below…

English PGR Seminar Series: Dr Kathryn Allan | Thu 24 Nov | 5.15pm | Lock-keeper’s Cottage, QMUL Mile End Campus

A free guest seminar by Dr Kathryn Allan (UCL) as part of our Postgraduate Research series exploring ‘degrees of lexicalization’ for concepts across the history of English.


Emeritus Professor Dr Dushant Patel presents Guest Lecture Series: Marginalisation, Unmarginalisation, Extramarginalisation, Demarginalisation, Premarginalisation, Postmarginalisation.  | Wed 23 Nov | RR2 2pm – 3pm & RR2 4:30pm – 5:30pm

In this comedy lecture, taking place in the year 2100AD, Professor Patel re-examines the structural and personal protest actions that occurred in a response to racialised inequality, gentrification, and racism itself throughout the 2050s.


Location, Location, Location – A Festival by Queen Mary Theatre Company | QMUL Mile End Campus | Fri 25-Sun 27 Nov

A weekend festival of performance presented by Queen Mary Theatre Company around the themes of location.


QMUL Inaugural Lecture Series: ‘The Lion, the Children and the Bookcase: Anne Frank and C.S. Lewis’ Professor Margaret Reynolds | Tue 29 Nov | 6.30pm

Join Professor Margaret Reynolds, Professor of English, for her Inaugural Lecture at Queen Mary University of London.


The discussion is this one: (not really) belonging in arts one. | QMUL Mile End Campus –  RR1 | Wed 30 Nov 2-6pm (come and leave as you please)

A space where students from the School of English and Drama at QMUL who experience under-representation / are not recognised (race, disability, class, neurodiversity, etc.) can talk about this issue freely and without censorship.

Please email pateldushant@gmail.com if you have access requirements.


Young Writer of the Year Showcase | Wed 30 Nov | 7-8.30pm | Second Home, Shoreditch | Free (ticketed)

A special event to celebrate the shortlist of The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2016 ahead of the upcoming winner announcement, join us for author readings, discussion and free beer. The event will feature readings and discussion from three of this year’s four shortlisted writers – Max Porter (Grief is the Thing with Feathers), Benjamin Wood (The Ecliptic) and Jessie Greengrass (An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It) – plus last year’s winner, Sarah Howe (Loop of Jade), and will be chaired by The Sunday Times literary editor, Andrew Holgate.

The event opens at 6.30pm for free beer provided by Brewdog. Authors will be signing their books after the event.


SLAPPIN’ DA BASS | Wed 30 Nov | 8-10pm | Pinter Studio, QMUL

SLAPPIN’ DA BASS (pictured above) is a monthly variety night hosted by Chloe Borthwick and Livvy Lynch in the Pinter Studio, Queen Mary. The event aims to create a space where the talents of Queen Mary folk, ranging from a variety of disciplines, can come together for an evening that celebrates diversity on the stage.

For more SED events see our calendar here


Jobs & Paid Internships

Dina Roncevic, Car Deconstruction at Fierce 2014 photo by James Allan
Dina Roncevic, Car Deconstruction at Fierce 2014 photo by James Allan

Freelance Operations Manager | Fierce Festival | Application deadline: Wed 7 Dec  | Set fee: £5,000

Fierce is an international festival of cross art form performance centred in Birmingham. The Festival is looking for an experienced Operations Manager to join the team between now and April 2017 on an interim basis to help support the operational side of the business and some fundraising support. This is being offered as a freelance role based on 40 days between now and the end of April at a set fee of £5000. If you are interested in the position please request a full job description from recruitment@wearefierce.org

Production and Marketing Coordinator | Poet in the City | Application deadline: Mon 5 Dec | £18,000 (pro-rata) April-December contract

Do you have a passion for photography? Do you want to develop your skills by producing photographs for a wide range of projects and events? The Students’ Union is looking for enthusiastic students experienced in events photography to join our team as QMSU Student Photographers!

Opportunities & Volunteering

Wellcome Trust introduces new funding schemes

The Wellcome Trust has unveiled a new programme of funding for engaging the public in conversations about health-related science and research. These may be of particular interest to those studying MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health.


Calls for Papers

English Studies in Ruins | Deadline for Abstracts: Fri 16 Dec

Papers are invited for ‘English Studies in Ruins?: The Future Shape of English Studies in a Changing Academic Climate’ at next year’s English: Shared Futures conference.

Download the CfP document here

To add a listing to next week’s digest please email sed-web@qmul.ac.uk by Friday 25 November at 5pm

#SEDweekly – Events and Opportunities Digest – 16th November

This is the first of our weekly opportunities and events digests. They will be released every Wednesday.

To get an email alert when the new digest is live please sign up using the form below. If you’d like to add anything to next week’s digest please email us.

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Beyond Digitisation: Reimagining the image in Digital Humanities | Thursday 16 November | Mile End Campus | Free (booking required)

In this lecture, Melissa Terras will showcase work from projects as diverse as the Great Parchment Book, Transcribe Bentham, and the Deep Imaging Mummy Cases projects, showcasing how those in the Digital Humanities can contribute to advanced cultural heritage imaging research.



A Season of Bangla Drama | Until 27 November 2016 | Various Times and Prices

The festival continues with the women only Saree Day on Sunday and lots more events for everyone to celebrate Bangla drama and Queen Mary’s commitment to working with our local community.

Download the full programme here


Plus don’t miss these coming up:

For more SED events see our calendar here


Jobs & Paid Internships

Student Photographer Position | QMSU | Application deadline: Fri 18 Nov 2016 | Rate: £9.39 per hour | Hours: Flexible

Do you have a passion for photography? Do you want to develop your skills by producing photographs for a wide range of projects and events? The Students’ Union is looking for enthusiastic students experienced in events photography to join our team as QMSU Student Photographers!

Marketing and Communications Manager | Wilton’s Music Hall | Application Deadline: Mon 12 Dec 2016 | £26k

The Marketing and Communications Manager is a key member of Wilton’s team and will be responsible for driving all marketing and communications activity for Wilton’s including our cultural programme, learning and participation programme and our commercial offer, creating effective and creative marketing strategies across print, broadcast and new media.



Opportunities & Volunteering

QMSU Volunteering

There’s lots of opportunities coming up to volunteer in the winter months. Help make something great happen in your community!

Submissions wanted for Woolf Zine

Ramblings, responses and ruminations on Virginia Woolf. First Issue Dec 01. Published bi-monthly. Submissions always open. Submit to: woolfzine@gmail.com.

Calls for Papers

Adapting Medieval and Early Modern Culture | 3 March 2017 | Centre for Adaptations | Trinity House, De Montfort University, Leicester

The convoluted histories of medieval and early modern monarchs, reformers and rebellions have inspired plays, novels, poems, fairy tales and a recent outpouring of popular medieval and early modern adaptations in novels, film and television, such as Merlin, The Game of Thrones, The Tudors and Wolf Hall. We invite proposals that discuss the adaptation of the medieval and early modern periods in film, television, animation, plays, novels and poetry.

Proposals of a maximum of 100 words should be sent to Cassandra Hunter by 15 December 2016. P11235624@my365.dmu.ac.uk


Theatre, Performance & Employment | 23 – 24 February 2017 | Queen Mary University of London

The conference is open to critical engagements with theatre, performance and employment across historical moments and geographical locations, including interdisciplinary approaches. We are seeking 20 minute papers and performative presentations that may be inspired by, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • representations of (un)employment in performance
  • automation / backstage labour / Front of House
  • touring / working across borders
  • familial labour / gendered experiences of labour
  • contracts / pay / unions / strikes
  • unemployment / benefits / workfare
  • voluntary work / internships
  • migration / workers’ rights
  • freelancing / the gig economy / casualisation / precarity
  • regulations / administration
  • non-professional or amateur performance
  • auditions / interviews / casting practices

Please send a 250 word abstract and short biography to: theatreandemployment@gmail.com

Deadline: 12 December 2016



To add a listing to next week’s digest please email sed-web@qmul.ac.uk by Friday 18th at 5pm

#LifeAfterSED – Drama Graduate and Puppeteer Edie Edmundson talks about her latest show

We spoke to 2015 SED Drama graduate, Edie Edmundson about her time at Queen Mary, her career so far and her latest show The Old Woman Made of Stardust which is coming to Theatre N16 on 27 October 2016. 

theoldwomanmadeofstardustTell us about ‘The Old Woman Made of Stardust’ and how the project came about?

The first glimmers of the play appeared during my final year at QM, when I rediscovered a letter my Gran wrote for me before she died. It was a beautifully written letter – some of it has made it into the show! The tone of the letter perfectly struck a balance between softening the blow for a young child (I was 8 at the time), and maintaining clarity about the reality of death. I decided to turn the letter into a play!

Things sparked into life thanks to the Queen Mary Theatre Company. I was able to put the play on as part of the New Writer’s Festival and from there it was chosen for the Fuel London Student Drama Festival. I have always loved puppetry, and I wrote my dissertation on the relationship between puppetry and childhood – particularly how puppet theatre can be used to help children deal with trauma. Puppets can help break down the barriers of self-consciousness and distil complicated issues.

My research – and a puppetry course I took after leaving uni – prompted me to revisit ‘The Old Woman Made of Stardust’, to develop it into something which could help promote honest and open conversations about how the grief caused by bereavement can affect children and their families.


What can an audience expect to experience in the show?

The show is aimed at families, and I hope it will appeal to audiences of all ages. It tells the story of Lily, a little girl who loves to look at the stars. Lily and her Gran play games together, dreaming up constellations and flying like birds. What kind of bird would you be? But when Gran dies, Lily’s vivid imagination catapults her into a strange and tangled forest as she tries to find her way through the grief and make sense of death. Lily’s world is full of magic and colour, a place of paper birds, talking foxes and shooting stars. It is a world turned upside down by the loss of her Grandmother. The play uses innovative puppetry and original music to create a magical world and tell a heart warming, hopeful story or love, loss and growing up.


Puppet Theatre Barge

What else have you been up to since graduating from Queen Mary?

I’ve been very busy! Straight after uni I started training to be a puppeteer on the Puppet Theatre Barge in Little Venice (a wonderful place everyone should visit!), and I did an intensive ten week course at the Curious School of Puppetry in Bethnal Green. From there, I’ve teamed up with some fellow puppeteers to start a company called Wondering Hands who use puppetry to investigate complicated issues – our other show is about sex and consent! Alongside working part time at Wilton’s Music Hall (great local venue!) and the Barbican, I’m just about to start rehearsals as a puppeteer for The Little Match Girl at the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse this Christmas. It feels like a lot has happened since leaving QM….!


What was your favourite thing about studying at Queen Mary?

Studying Drama at QM really opened my eyes to a wide range of live art and performance I would not have come across otherwise. The work we studied and also the incredible work created by students as part of the course and through QMTC really broadened my horizons when it came to my options post uni. The course encouraged me to interrogate art and performance and place it in a wider context in a way I had never done before – something I think is very useful for anyone considering a career in the arts! I think my favourite thing about QM in general probably has to be the location… the East End has so many great venues and interesting things going on. And coming from a small town in Devon, the chance to meet people from all over the world was brilliant.


What advice would you give current students that you wish you’d known before starting at university?

Get involved in societies! It was my involvement with the Theatre Company which introduced me to some fantastic friends and helped me gain some valuable practical skills. There are so many great societies at QM, and they need students to make them grow! I wish I’d had the confidence to get more involved with political societies such as QM Equality, I was always hovering on the fringes but never quite got stuck in. I think now more than ever students need to have a voice, and it’s getting together for common goals in societies that can give people the experience and community needed to make things happen!

Autumn SED Events & Arts Preview 2016

The changing of the seasons means a whole new batch of SED students and we’re really excited to present a lot of in house events as well as champion the diverse cultural highlights London has for 2016.

Chez nous (French) / At Our Gaff (Cockney)

English Postgraduate Research Seminar

A weekly English research seminar that takes place every Thursday during the first and second semesters of the academic year.

  • 29 September: Prof Catherine Maxwell (Queen Mary), ‘Carnal Flowers, Charnel Flowers: Perfume in the Decadent Literary Imagination’
  • 6 October: Pub Quiz at the SCR bar, Queens’ Building, Mile End campus.
  • 20 October: Dr Ewan James Jones (University of Cambridge), ‘Thermodynamic Rhythm / The Poetics of Waste’
  • 27 October: Prof Nicholas Royle (University of Sussex), title TBC.
  • 3 November: Dr Clara Dawson (University of Manchester), ‘Letitia Landon: Close Reading Print Culture in the 1820s.’
  • 24 November Kathryn Allan, (UCL), title TBC.

Download the programme here


Hear about the latest developments in theatre and performance with engaging research seminars plus free drinks and nibbles at the School.

  • 5 October: Bridget Escolme – Nostalgia for empire in Shakespeare costuming – Rehearsal Room 2
  • 19 October: Philip Crispin Translating Un Tempête – Rehearsal Room 2
  • 2 November: Namita Chakrabarty [auto ethnography and Critical Race Theory in Theatre Application on disaster – Pinter Studio
  • 16 November: Aylwyn Walsh [terrorism and incarceration] – Rehearsal Room 2
  • 30 November: Margharita Laera [Giorgio Stehler and the Piccolo Teatro] – Rehearsal Room 2
  • 14 December: Joe Kelleher [Economies of Art]

All details of these events are subject to change please sign up below for the latest.

Also keep an eye out for:

  • Free taster lectures at our next Open Day
  • A Season of Bangla Drama

Everybody is welcome at these events but please do sign up here to get further details and invites to our events:

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And the best from London…

We asked folks on Twitter to send in suggestions about events happening near us (featured below) below but it’s not too late to add yours.

Tweet us your #SEDautumnwonders


Caoimhe Mader McGuinness

Station House Opera - Photo by Jospeh Buttigieg

Penelope Woods

  • Donmar Warehouse’s Shakepeare Trilogy: An all female Shakespeare season in a new 420-seat in-the-round temporary theatre at King’s Cross.



Markman Ellis



Rupert Dannreuther

  • Barbican Open Fest – Saturday 8 October: A free festival at the UK’s largest cultural hub including films, performances and a new designers’ market.
  • VISIONS at The Nunnery – 5 October-18 December: A festival on our doorstep in Bow of short films and performances.



Shane Boyle

Elections Watch: Keep an eye out for events popping up in London about the US elections in the run up to polling day on 8 November, it’s sure to be a fascinating time politically.



Meet the School of English and Drama at our October Open Day

Our autumn open day on Saturday 8 October 2016 is now open for registration and we’d be delighted to meet you then.

Register here

Open Day – Saturday 8 October 2016 – 10am-4pm

Get to know our Undergraduate programmes and take a tour of our East London campus on our college open day in October.

At our open day you can get the chance to:

  • Soak in the world of Queen Mary’s English and Drama programmes with some taster seminars.
  • Understand the application process and ask any burning questions to our friendly academic staff team.
  • Most importantly meet our students who can share their own experiences of our programmes.

Register online here


2016 Masters Opportunities at SED

Our MA programmes can provide a breath of fresh air, empowering you with advanced subject knowledge and experience within the realms of English and Drama.

Register your interest


New for 2016


MA Poetry

With artists like Kate Tempest and Benjamin Clementine breaking into the mainstream, poetry really is the new rock and roll. Our MA in Poetry provides a chance to specialise in historical and contemporary poetry while studying in London, the heart of the nation’s creative industries.

See the full programme description


MSc in Creative Arts and Mental Health

A unique opportunity to study applied theatre and it’s connections with mental health.

Download our PDF for more information


The Classics


MA English Studies

With 7 different pathways our MA in English Studies is a great way to get closer to the literature and theory you love. Our team has a huge range of research expertise. We recommend having a trawl around our staff pages to see who might be right to support your study.


MA Theatre and Performance

Our MA in Theatre and Performance is well-renowned for groundbreaking practical research, take a look at our pages here for more information about the cutting-edge programme.


Ask a question about our Masters programmes

Queen Mary at the Edinburgh Festivals

The Edinburgh Festivals are stuffed full of talented students, graduates and staff from Queen Mary. If you’re at the fringe please do support these performers and staff.

Queen Mary Theatre Company

qmtc fringe

Queen Mary Theatre Company is made up of students from across Queen Mary including from our Drama and English programmes. This year they’re presenting four shows:

  1. Crapappella (Aug 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27): Featuring timeless classics such as Diarrhoea, The Comic Sans Song, and Ballad to Beige, Crapappella isn’t any ordinary a cappella show…
  2. iDolls (Aug 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27): Can’t imagine a world without social media? Welcome to a world within social media.
  3. Monkhouse (Aug 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26): Welcome to the world’s worst school disco. The Monkhouse School Annual Ball goes horribly wrong as an unknown shooter fires two shots into the dark 1960s London night.
  4. Rotterz (Aug 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 ): Four youngsters and their dog battle an unexpected apocalypse on a small Scottish island.


Alumni at The Fringe


Our alumni are out in force to represent the best of theatre and performance practice and critique. Here’s a selection:

  1. Billy Barrett: Fringe reviewer and member of company Breach showing the much talked about and now (19/08/2016) Fringe First award-winning Tank.
  2. Figs in Wigs: Quirky pop-theatre sensation Figs in Wigs are a favourite of Lyn Gardner the Guardian’s theatre supremo and their show is already getting rave reviews.
  3. Victoria Hancock: is performing her Tom Waits inspired solo show Frontal Lobotomy at Southside Social!
  4. Dr Brian Lobel: MA and PhD grad is leading The Sick of the Fringe programme.
  5. Catherine Love: Reviewer extraodinaire, read Catherine’s articulate insight into the world of contemporary performance.
  6. Elf Lyons: Comedienne and provocateur Elf explores ‘the age-old fear of turning into your mother and what it means to have it all…’.
  7. Simon Nader: Simon is at Assembly Roxy with a ‘sell out B-movie show (deep breath) Escape From the Planet of the Day That Time Forgot.
  8. Sh*t Theatre: One of the Guardian’s picks of the day, Letters to Windsor House is an eye-opening look into east London life through the opening of other people’s mail is a must-see.
  9. Xavier de Souza: Prolific producer Xavier is chairing an event for producers as part of innovative health-based programme The Sick of the Fringe.
  10. Karl Taylor: Producer extraordinaire of the talk of the fringe, Triple Threat by Lucy McCormick at Underbelly Cowgate.


Staff at the Edinburgh Festivals


Our staff across the School are busy performing or presenting their research to a wider audience of festival goers:

  1. Jerry Brotton (Aug 27): We admit this event isn’t at the Edinburgh festivals but it’s in AUgust a lovely event so we thought we’d include. Jerry Brotton looks at maps and how they can embody cultural values at Beyond Borders International Festival of Literature & Thought.
  2. Daniel Oliver (Aug 11-14): Daniel brings his ‘calamitous participatory performances’, Weird Seances to the Forest Fringe.
  3. Tiffany Watt Smith (Aug 18): Dissects the history and meaning of a cornucopia of emotions at the Edinburgh Book Festival.


Did we forget anyone? Please let us know and we’ll make sure we add into this post.

Secret East London Map

East London is one of the most diverse and culturally rich areas in the world. We’ve made this east London map to help you discover the hidden gems that can get you closer to your ideal career, meet new friends and have fun while you study or work with us.

Did we miss a hidden gem? Email us or tweet @QMULsed with your favourite place in East (ish) London and we’ll add to the map.