Dr Simon Bell

Lecturer, Drama

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Department:Cambridge School of the Creative Industries

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Drama

Simon is a theatre lecturer, stage combat instructor, theatre practitioner, and ‘collaborator’ with the Slovenian conceptual art group the NSK.

Email: simon.bell@anglia.ac.uk


Simon was educated at Reading University and trained in stage management at Guildford School of Acting, with a PhD in Eastern European performance from Anglia Ruskin University. He is a theatre director of over 140 productions, including musicals, revues, radio, operas, panto, national and international tours, and a director of over 40 Shakespeare productions as an Associate Director of the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival.

Simon is also the artistic director and co-founder of The Regenerator Theatre Company (Theatre In Education), and Resident Director of the Theatre of the Wheel (specialising in site-specific performance).

Research interests

Simon's research expertise is on the work of the Slovenian conceptual art group the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), and the group Laibach.

Further research interests include European Performance Art praxis, historic avant-garde performance, European history and politics, and contemporary cultural activism. This research directly interrogates the representation of the twentieth-century European traumatic historical in contemporary performance theory.


Simon teaches on the Digital Performance, Studio Performance, Making Performance, Performing Shakespeare, and the Re-conceiving Shakespeare modules.


  • 2009-2014 PhD. Anglia Ruskin University: Laibach and the NSK: An East-West Nexus in Post-Totalitarian Eastern Europe
  • 2008-2009 M.A. Contemporary Theatre, Anglia Ruskin University: Dissertation: Shopping for Subjectivities: The Spectacle of Consumer Identity in Relation to the Practice and Ideology of the NSK (Distinction)
  • 1991-1992 Stage-management Diploma, Guildford School of Acting (Post-graduate)
  • 1988-1991 B.A. (Hons.) Reading University: Film and Drama (2:2)

Selected recent publications

Bell, S., (2015) 'Contemporary Western Performance Art: The Illusion of Resistance' in Etum – E-Journal for Theatre and Media (3) 1

Bell, S., (2013) 'Laibach and the NSK: Aestheticising the East/West Nexus in Post-Totalitarian Europe' in Култура/Culture 4

Bell, S., (2012) 'Laibach and the Post-ideological Age' in Exeunt (online journal)

Bell, S., (2011) 'Ludic Paradigms in the Post-Totalitarian Age' (SPARC, June 2011)

Bell, S., (2011) 'Laibach and the NSK: Ludic Paradigms of Post-communism' in Studia Politica (11) 4

Recent presentations and conferences

Sept. 2015. The Body in Performance Art and Narcissism,  at TaPRA conference, Worcester University, Worcester

Jan. 2015. Humour and the Narcissism of Advanced Capitalism, at ‘Politics and Humour: Theory and Practice’ conference, University of Kent, Canterbury

Dec. 2014. NSK Rendezvous, at ‘Retroavantgarde’, Horse Hospital, London

June 2014. Site-Specific Performances of European Trauma, at ‘International Colloquium Spaces of Memory & Performance’ conference, University of East London

May 2014. The Performance of the European Traumatic Historical, at ‘Theatres of Catastrophe’ symposium, Goldsmiths, University of London

April 2014. The Aesthetics of ‘Difference’, at the ‘Pushing Form’ conference, N.U.I., Ireland.

Sept. 2013. Aestheticising the East-West Nexus, at the Cultural Memory conference, Skopje, Macedonia.

June 2013. East-West Nexus in Post-Totalitarian Eastern Europe, at the Seventh Annual Research conference, Anglia Ruskin University

March 2013. The Discourse of the Body in Performance Art and the Narcissism of Late-Capitalism, at the Picture of Health conference, Royal College of Art

April 2012. Laibach and the NSK: Time, at Time Tells: Temporal Excavations in Film, Theatre and Television (Journeys Across Media conference), at Reading University

March 2012. The Humour in Laibach and the NSK, at With Humorous Intent (Politicised Practices Research Group), Llandudno

January 2012. Cultural Identity: Laibach And The NSK, for Performing Research: Creative Exchanges, at Central School of Speech and Drama

January 2012. Retrogardism and the Third-Generation Avant-garde, at TaPRA Postgraduate Interim Symposium

June 2011. Laibach and the NSK: Ludic Paradigms of the Post-totalitarian Age, at Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference (SPARC), at Salford University.  Awarded best presentation

May 2011. Laibach and the NSK, at PSi#17 (Camillo 2.0: Technology, Memory, Experience)  Utrecht

April 2011. Laibach and the NSK, Ludic Paradigms of the Post-totalitarian Age, at Research conference, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge