Laura Murphy is a physical performer, theatre maker and academic researcher, working across circus, live art and contemporary performance.


She likes talking - a lot - and is also  interested in how her aerial rope practice contradicts and intersects with the ethics of live art.


How can the use of loops, knots, drops and vertical space give new meaning to ideas, which go far beyond the virtuosity of performing tricks or death defying feats? She creates highly text-driven work which she devises from stories, speeches, narrations and verbal explosions. She uses her performance practice to talk about things that she thinks need to be talked about.

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Previous Work


Subjects have included: social ownership of the female body, spectacle and showmanship in British politics, mental health (anxiety disorder), banking investment in the arms trade, and how time perception affects the structuring of society.


Laura has worked with artists and companies such as Ursula Martinez, Terry O’Connor (Forced Entertainment), Firenza Guidi (No Fit State), Fernando Rubio (LIFT Festival), Broken Dream Co., Bassline Circus, Theatre Delicatessen, Lucky Pierre, Kayla Parker and the University of Plymouth on solo and collaborative projects.

Laura is a CircusNext Laureate 2018-2019: European programme coordinated by Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe and supported by the European Union. She is also in the final stages of completing a practice-led PhD at the University of Sheffield for which she is in receipt of a full AHRC studentship. Her investigation re-imagines and explores aerial work as socially critical performance.


Awards and Grants

CircusNext Laureate 2018-2019 (European programme coordinated by Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe and supported by the European Union)

Arts and Humanities Research Council IPS Fellowship Award @ Harry Ransom Centre, Austin, TX (USA) (2017)


Theatre Delicatessen Commission for ‘My Brain is a Radio’@ Horror Souk, Sheffield, UK (2014)

White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities/AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) Doctoral Research Studentship, University of Sheffield (2014-2017)


AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council MA Performance & Visual Practices Studentship Award (2011- 2012)

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