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Sports and Leisure History Group Members profile

Dr Claire Robinson

Dr Claire Robinson

Research Associate


The cultural and social history of the Manchester region, theatre history, Victorian periodicals, public history, audience development and public engagement.

BA (Hons) General Arts (English, History and Mass Media)
MA Popular Culture
PhD Cultural History


  Previous Posts
Prior to returning to academia Claire had a career in cinema and theatre management, where she specialised in audience development and community engagement. Immediately before beginning her doctoral research she spent two years as project manager for an arts and creative industries development project in Derbyshire.
  Research Interests
The cultural and social history of the Manchester region, theatre and cinema history, Victorian periodicals, Victorian pantomime, audience research and public engagement, oral history, material culture and everyday practice, the long nineteenth century.
  Projects / Publications
Claire is currently beginning a research project that will investigate a rare Victorian periodical that was first published in Manchester. It launched in 1887, the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and it provides a snapshot of the cultural life of Manchester in that year. The project will see the publication digitised, and involve contributions from members of the SpLeisH Group and other invited academics on topics related to their own research specialisms.

'Pantomime and the Bankruptcy of Captain Bainbridge' in Day, Dave (ed.) Sport and Leisure Histories. Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University. (2013)

'The representation of theatre and pantomime in Punch.' Punch Historical Archive 1841-1002. Gale Cengage Learning (Forthcoming Spring 2016)
  Additional Information
theatre-royal-manchester Claire has recently completed a PhD in theatre history at the University of Birmingham. The title of her thesis is Popular Theatre in Manchester 1880 -1903: Commercial entertainment, rational recreation and politics. It will be made public online shortly after graduation in July. Currently, the abstract is available at

During the academic year 2014-15 she was a researcher in the AHRC funded MMU Institute of Humanities and Social Science Research collaborative skills training programme Creating our Future Histories.

In the academic year 2012-13 she was a researcher on the AHRC funded Hidden Collections digital archiving skills training programme based at the University of Nottingham, where she was in the Theatre and Performance group.

She is also a Public Engagement Ambassador with the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement which is based at the University of the West of England in Bristol.

Claire has also been a volunteer with Manchester Histories since 2012. Amongst other things this has included taking part in the Remembering Strawberry Studios and Belle Vue: Showground of the World oral history projects.

Claire is also the producer and presenter of a weekly show on FCUM Radio, an online community radio station owned by the football team FC United of Manchester.

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