In July 2017 I publishing of my first book, Rhythm in Acting and Performance: Embodied Approaches and Understandings,  released through Bloomsbury, Methuen Drama.

This book was written and compiled over an eight year period, through enquiry, collaboration, discussion and play in the field of rhythm and performance. Informed by my own practical knowledge of working as an actor, percussionist and educator, this text discusses the ways practitioners approach, embody and understand rhythm within their creative work and play.

Click on the preview link to left to reach a short extract from the introduction and see below for more detail of the books content and links for purchases. Details of other writings can also be found on my writings page.

‘Forget voice and know expression; forget expression and know pitch; forget pitch and know rhythm.’ … The rhythm must be understood throughout, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end.

–Zeami Motokiyo, A Mirror to the Flower, 1424

 Rhythm in Acting and Performance traces this common and yet diverse subject through a range of contexts and perspectives, including the work of Konstantin Stanislavski, Suzanne Bing, Jerzy Grotowski, Anne Bogart, John Britton and the author’s own practices as a trainer and performer. Including topics such as ensemble, improvisation, voice and ritual, this text examines these familiar performance themes through the lens of rhythm, emphasising rhythms role in uniting performers, inspiring vitality, shaping meaning and states of consciousness.

Offering informative and useful insights to aid and inspire further creative and academic explorations, and including case studies, practical examples, analytical reflections and interviews, Rhythm in Acting and Performance is an ideal guide for students and practitioners.


‘Morris opens up this vital but neglected term with a multiplicity of approaches, ranging from historical context and practitioner analyses and interviews through 24 sample exercises to more philosophical reflections. This broad range is artfully grounded by his highly informed and embodied understanding of rhythm.’

-Paul Allain, Professor of Theatre and Performance and Dean of the
Graduate School, University of Kent

Table of contents

PART ONE Establishing a Pulse

    1. What is Rhythm? An Open Question

      The etymology of rhythm
      Productive categories of rhythm
    2. An Epoch of Rhythm: Now and Then

      Natural and organic rhythm
      Mechanical and deterministic rhythmic aesthetics
      Rhythm as a universal language
      Authenticity and real time
      A new epoch of rhythm

      PART TWO Stanislavski on Rhythm

    3. Tapping emotions: the Ins and Outs of Tempo-Rhythm

      An aspiring opera singer
      Psychophysical techniques
      Eurhythmics and polyrhythm
      Tempo and rhythm – ins and outs
      Tempo-rhythm in training
      Tempo-rhythm in rehearsals

      PART THREE Structure and Spontaneity

    4. Suzanne Bing: Music and Games in Actor Training

      Initial interests in rhythm
      Children’s school in Paris
      Applying eurhythmics in actor training
      Voice, movement and storytelling
      Musique corporelle
      Legacy of rhythm and play
    5. Vsevolod Meyerhold: Rhythm Not Metre

      Form as a means to freedom
      A rhythmic vocabulary
      Rhythm versus metre
      Tripartite rhythm
    6. John Britton: Smashing the Ensemble Groove

      Musical accompaniment
      Jazz as model for ensemble improvisation
      Smashing the groove
      The shape of an action
      The energetic
    7. Anne Bogart and Tina Landau: A Horizontal Viewpoint

      A non-hierarchical ethos
      Musical accompaniment
      Rhythm in Suzuki work
      Viewpoints of time
      Reflections on structure and spontaneity 

      PART FOUR The Ecstatic Performer

    8. Rhythm and Altered States of Consciousness: Entrainment and Communitas

      Rhythmic entrainment
      Group/ensemble rhythm
    9. Jerzy Grotowski: Seeking Pulse, Movement and Rhythm

      Influences and sources
      Exercises plastiques
      Techniques of sources
    10. Nicolás Núñez: Becoming Present

      Slow walking
      Contemplative running
      Cosmic verticality
      ‘Here and now’
      Continuity of effort and the sustaining of rhythm
    11. Eilon Morris: Orbits – Cultivating Simultaneity

      Vertical time
      Running Orbits
      Reflections on polyrhythm and simultaneity

      PART FIVE A Plurality of Voices

    12. Rhythming Words: Where, how and Why

      Meaning and rhythm
    13. Creating spaces: Conversations with Judith Adams and Karen Christopher

      Judith Adams
      Karen Christopher
    14. The Poetry of the Breath: Conversations with Bruce Myers and Kate Papi

      Bruce Myers
      Kate Papi
    15. The Tune is a Framework: A Conversation with Chris Coe and Frankie Armstrong


      PART SIX Reflections



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