Performance Design

Adele Keeley

Senior Lecturer – Costume and Performance Design

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’s professional career since 1996 has included a variety of costume making and design work. Including: Andrew Louden’s: Mary Barton,  C Scape’s: Within These Walls as well as Ellie Nixon’s The Ship of Fools. More recently Adele has paired with research partner Gobbledegook Theatre to design the highly successful production Ear Trumpet. Adele is currently working on Gobbledegook’s most recent project Mesozoic.


Adele has a keen interest in regional partnerships and is actively engaged in the performing arts community in Dorset. Adele sits on the Board of Director’s for Activate Performing Arts. In 2017, in partnership with Activate Performing Arts and AndNow:.  Adele coordinated an opportunity for students to explore Outdoor Arts, site specific performance and design in the Landscape in a 2 day residency at Slade Farm. The residency provided practical experience, enabling students to develop unique skills required for working creatively outdoors, in a well-supported environment with highly experienced industry professionals.

Professional practice

Professional Practice

2017 Designer Mezozoic! – Gobbledegook theatre
2017 Co-Coordinator Explore: Outdoor Arts In the Landscape-

2 –day residency

2016 Creative Partner Coordinator What They Left Behind – Wimborne Community Theatre
2016 Co-Curator Firebird  – AUB
2016 Creative Partner Coordinator Above the Soaring Sky – Arbonauts
2015 Designer Ear Trumpet  – Gobbledegook theatre
2011/12 Creative Partner and Student Coordinator Breathe integrated dance Company – Site Specific – Weymouth
2011/12 Creative Partner Battle For the Winds – Weymouth Opening Ceremony for the Cultural Olympics
2011/12 Creative Partner and Student Coordinator Chalk Legend – BSO and Pavilion Dance – Weymouth
201112 Set Designer Ship of Fools directed by Ellie Nixon, BA (Hons) Acting Co. Ocean Room Theatre, Pavilion Dance, Bournemouth
2010/12 Creative Partner and Student Coordinator Moving Tides ProcessionWeymouth
2011 Project Coordinator Pure Funk Dance CompanyBournemouth
2010 Costume Coordinator and industry liaison Pavilion Dance Gala, Bournemouth
2010 Costume Coordinator Nosferatu, B– Side Festival Weymouth


2011                Member of Cause for Concern panel: BA (Hons) Modelmaking.
2010                Annual Course Review Cross Reader: FdA Visual Communication
2006                External Validation Panel Member BA Construction for the Screenand Stage University of Glamorgan

Professional memberships

  • Director Activate Performing Arts (2011–2017)
  • Society of British Theatre Designers (2010–2017)


  • 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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