Performance Design

Adele Keeley

Senior Lecturer – Costume

MA Theatre Arts


 Adele joined the AUB in 2001 and became a Senior Lecturer in 2006. In that time, she has continued to develop her professional practice through CPD activities and research. In 2008, she completed a MA in Theatre Arts which investigated the use of use of Computer-Aided-Design in the creation of costume illustration. Her commitment to the digital platform has supported the development of the course in recent years and has contributed to making this area of specialism at the forefront of Higher Education costume teaching in the UK.

Adele Keeley is a costume designer, theatre collaborator and senior academic. Adele’s professional career since 1996 has included a variety of costume making and design work. More recently Adele has worked as a practitioner-academic on a range of landscape-inspired outdoor theatre projects often in collaboration with research partner Gobbledegook Theatre. Adele’s work is informed by environmental issues, landscape, nature and outdoor theatre and has been seen at various national and international performance festivals including costume and set design for Gobbledegook Theatre’s  highly acclaimed production Ear Trumpet. In 2017/18 Adele worked with the Jurassic Coast Trust to design a performance that accompanied the Natural History Museum’s Dippy on Tour Exhibition. Adele was a trustee for Activate Performing Arts between 2011–2018. She is one of the founder members of Environmental Arts Practice Research Collective.  

Professional memberships

  • Director Activate Performing Arts (2011–2018)
  • Society of British Theatre Designers (2010–2019)


  • Queens Anniversary Award for excellence in Costume Design (2018)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Research Specialism

My practice as research explores the artistic interpretation of earth sciences and deep time to explore the opportunity to embed learning into the design of costume and performance space. Inspired by amateur palaeontologists, natural landmarks, and museum collections and the concept of deep time the research explores the nature of a laboratory peopled by enthusiasts. Though contextual research, site-visits, involvement in Jurassic Coast events and the testing of ideas with leading scientists, I consider the locality of the UNESCO World Heritage site and its relationship to the arrive of the Natural History Museum’s Diplodocus Skeleton. The aim of the research is to work with the Jurassic Coast to inspire a generation of young scientist by breaking down barriers to learning. The research will consider one of the most important concepts of our time: The Anthropocene. Through creative exploration I use the construct of the Anthropocene as a tool to encourage the audience to think about the world and to be naturally curious about abstract concepts.

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