Ms Alexandra Suzanne Bonham

MA (Hons), MA (Cantab)

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


I trained as an actress in London after graduating with a BAHons in Law and many happy memories of the ADC and Footlights Club from Cambridge University. I combined performing with publishing through my twenties, starting as a literary agent's assistant before becoming an editor at Hodder & Stoughton. I have nine years trade publishing experience where I specialised in structural edits of commercial fiction. 

I left publishing in July 2010 to have two children. Since then I directed the play Copenhagen by Michael Frayn, my first professional theatre production, in June 2012, Oh What a Lovely War in 2014,and Grounded in 2015. I also assisted Michael Hurst on A Midsummer Night's Dream in early 2015 and will direct a street theatre version of Two Gentlemen of Verona in 2018. I have recently completed a Masters in Drama at the University of Auckland, graduating with first class honours in 2016 and began my PhD study in July 2017. 

I am a member of Women in Urbanism Aotearoa and am a guide with Auckland Free Walking Tours which is a surprisingly rich avenue of narrative enquiry encompassing historical, geographical, sociological research, performance and storytelling. My play personality is explorer/storyteller. I also enjoy cycling, singing, dancing, board games, banter and books.

Research | Current

I am in my first year of a practice-led PhD with creative component, exploring the concept of a playful city, considering how the public may co-produce, and so transform the city, through play. I am considering play spaces, the potential to play in and with spaces, and whether there is permission to play in the city. I am taking a theatrical mindset to new urbanism that is also shared with leading figures in Panuku Auckland. I wonder about the connection between play, the social fabric and community resilience, the intersections between intersubjectivity through play, trust, and a more democratic and kinder process of urban development. 

At the moment I am working on The Children's Path - a theatrical placemaking intervention raising questions on children's independent mobilities in the city. I spoke on this project at the 8th Symposium on Mobilities hosted by the University of Otago's School of Physiotherapy in November 2017.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 525
New Zealand