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Dr James Lovelock

Dr James Lovelock

Subject Leader for Musical Theatre

  • Email address
  • Phone number 01902 323107
  • Location Walsall
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts
  • Institute School of Performing Arts
  • Areas of expertise

    Musical Theatre

    Queer Theory

    Gender (Masculinities)

    Creative Writing

    Audience Response

    Directing (Theatre)

James is a musical theatre academic with a background in improvising and creating musical theatre. He was the original musical director for Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, and his musical Sunshine Guy was premiered at the University of Birmingham in 2013 and subsequently performed at the Landor Theatre in February 2013 as part of the From Page to Stage series. James is the director of Baron Sternlook Productions, which produced two full runs of Baron Sternlook's Improvised Musical at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014 and 2015 and continues to perform regularly in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

James graduated with a PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2017 after submitting his thesis titled 'Not Just For Gays Anymore: Men, Masculinity and Musical Theatre'. He has been involved in a range of LGBTQ initiatives including a concert performance of Soho Cinders as part of LGBT History Month in February 2015 and the establishment of a staff-student LGBTQ* Performing Arts research group at the University of Wolverhampton in 2017. James has over 15 years of teaching experience and has presented papers at both national and international conferences.

  • LGBTQ* representation in musical theatre and other media
  • Writing and producing new musical theatre
  • Masculinity in popular culture
  • Empirical research and audience response theory - how audiences connect to musical theatre and other narrative forms
  • Standpoint theory and the role of lived experience in musical theatre
  • Directing musical theatre

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of Musical Theatre Network (representing the University of Wolverhampton)

Member of Mercury Musical Development Advanced Writers' Lab

  • PhD in Musicology, University of Birmingham
  • PGCE Secondary Music, University of Central England
  • BMus Music, University of Birmingham

Conference Papers

  • 'Connections and the ‘core theme’ in musical theatre and opera', RMA Research Students Conference (University of Birmingham, UK) 2014
  • '"Changing My Major To Joan": LGBT representations in musical theatre', Song, Stage and Screen XI Conference (City University, New York) 2016
  • '"And the crowd went wild": approaches to audience response theory in musical theatre', Song, Stage and Screen XII Conference (Guildford School of Acting, UK) 2017
  • '"We're Looking For A Piano": Camp as an act of resistance in the work of Julian Slade and Sandy Wilson', International Society of Cultural History Conference (Columbia University, New York) 2018
  • 'A Peter sort of Susan: How Marianne Elliot's adaptation of Company queers and straightens gender and sexuality', Song, Stage and Screen XIV Conference (University of Leeds, UK) 2019


  • ‘Using the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid in sociological studies’ (Journal of Bisexuality, Vol.14 No.3, 2014)
  • '"What About Love?": Claiming and re-claiming LGBTQ+ spaces in the 21st century musical' in Reframing The Musical: Race, Culture and Identity (ed. Sarah Whitfield), Palgrave Macmillan - 2019
  • LGBTQ* characters and queer representation in the contemporary musical: 'Fantasies Come True', Methuen Drama, forthcoming 2022

Teaching Responsibilities

  • 4DR008 - Musical Theatre Practice 
  • 5DR008 - Politics, Popular Performance and Musical Theatre
  • 5DR009 - Creating Musical Theatre (module leader)
  • 5MU014 - Performance in Practice
  • 6DR005 - Contemporary Context of Musical Theatre
  • 6DR006 - Musical Theatre Production
  • 6DR009 - The Professional Project (module leader)
  • 7SW015 - The Creative Product (module leader)

Employment History

  • Nov 2014-present: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Musical Theatre, University of Wolverhampton
  • May 2013-present: Director of Baron Sternlook Productions
  • June 2012-present: Member of Advanced Writing Lab at Mercury Musical Developments
  • Sep 2012-June 2016: Visiting Lecturer in Academic Skills and Critical Musicology at the University of Birmingham
  • Sep 2011-Oct 2014: Academic Writing Advisory Service Tutor and Workshop Facilitator at the University of Birmingham

Non-Teaching Responsibilities

  • Convenor of LGBTQ* Performing Arts Research Project