Fan Wu

Teacher Creative Business

Dr. Fan Wu is an international market researcher and cross-cultural creative business consultant with over ten years of experience in creative and cultural industries across the UK, China, and Europe. She has a diverse practice in theatre, film, festivals, fashion, and tourism.


Dr. Wu is passionate about connecting academia and creative practice and is fully trained in research methodologies with rich experience in teaching and practicing in creative business.

She completed her PhD with the thesis titled "Attracting the 'Sojourners': Insights into Cross-Cultural Arts Marketing Through a Case Study of Chinese Theatre in the UK" in 2018 from the University of Leeds, where she also did her MA in Culture Creativity and Entrepreneurship. Before that, she completed her undergraduate study in media and communication in Beijing and Taipei.

Dr. Wu has worked across academia and creative business practice in the UK, Europe, and China since 2013. During the global pandemic, she worked as an External Post-Doc Researcher at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and dedicated herself to understanding the digital engagement of live performance during the lockdown. Along with extensive academic experience, she has also been active in the creative industries. In the theatre industry, she worked to introduce Chinese Opera to the West End in London for five years and staged this foreign art live on the BBC for two years in a row. She also worked as an international marketing consultant for festivals (performance, film, and botanic), fashion communication, and market research.

With her research and practice, she has been actively publishing via podcasts, industrial and academic journals, and book chapters. She recently published a chapter in Routledge's book "Transforming Leisure in the Pandemic: Reimagining Interaction and Activity during Crisis" with the title "Changing 'Theatre-Going' Behaviours During Covid-19: Theatre on the Screen."

She teaches Research Design and Data Driven Prototype in the Creative Business BA programme.

Fields of expertise

  • Communication
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
  • Professional Practice
  • Graduation Process
  • Student Coach

Research themes

Fan's research interests center on exploring audience engagement within the creative and cultural sectors, cross-cultural marketing strategies, and the impact of digitalization and platformisation on cultural experiences.

Project title Changing 'theatre-going' behaviours during Covid-19: Theatre on the Screen
Keywords theatre-going, digitalization, audience engagement, digital engagement, live performance
Years of completion 2021
General project description

The project aims to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on theatre-going and the shift towards digital platforms for live performances. Before the pandemic, broadcasting theatre on radio and television had been practiced, and the HD live broadcasting of performing arts productions became integrated with filming technology across media and digital platforms. However, the lockdown has made theatre-going at home the only option, and this project aims to understand the impact of theatre-going changing from physical to digital by analysing the audience's perception of “theatre-going” at home during the lockdown and their participatory experience and behaviour changes. The research is based on a questionnaire and in-depth interviews to help theatre makers and marketeers create post-Covid strategies. Additionally, the research highlights the importance of audiences in theatre creation and promotion, and marketers must first gain fresh, deep insights into what customers need and want to create value for them and build meaningful relationships with them.

Role in project Primary researcher

Other recent projects

Attracting the “Sojourner”: Insights into Cross-cultural Arts Marketing Through A Case Study of Chinese Theatre in the UK, 2018, University of Leeds (PhD)

Key publications

Professional publications

Wu, F. (2017). A Dream of Nanke – a group of British undergraduate students’ representation of Nankeji. Review Oriental Art, 2017 (11). [In Chinese]
Wu, F. (2016). The theatre audiences in Edinburgh. New Drama, 2016 (11). [In Chinese]
Wu, F. (2016). Why Shakespeare is popular in China while Tang Xianzu is invisible in the UK. Shanghai Artist, 2016 (5). [In Chinese]

Scholarly publications (peer-reviewed publications & book chapters)

Wu, F. (2022) Changing “theatre-going” behaviours during COVID-19: Theatre on the screen. In Transforming Leisure in the Pandemic (pp. 161-175). Routledge.
Conference paper:
7 Experiences² Summit 2021, Breda University of Applied Sciences; Title: Participate through a screen: An empirical study of “theatre-going” experience during Covid-19. 
July, Audience Research in the Arts Conference, University of Sheffield; Title: The impact of audience interactions of unfamiliar theatre productions. 
June, CMCI Emerging Voices Conference, the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries (CMCI) at King’s College London (KCL); Title: Cultural Memory in audience engagement in the cross-cultural theatre context. 

2017 [selected] 
November, Intercultural Relations in Arts and Cultural Management Practice, Goldsmiths University of London; Title: Audience Experience in Cross Cultural Contexts 
September, Symposium on Audience Research, University of Leeds; Title: Sojourning: a study of audience experience of Chinese theatre in the UK 
September, 16th International Colloquium on Arts, Heritage, Nonprofit and Social Marketing, Kingston University; Title: Audience Understanding and Development in Cross Cultural Context 
June, 14th International Conference on Arts and Cultural Management, AIMAC 2017, Peking University (Beijing, China); Title: Audience Study and Market Development of Jingju in a Foreign Cultural Context 
June, Collaboration and Competition in the Cultural and Creative Industries, Shanghai Jiaotong University (Shanghai, China); Title: Cross Cultural Theatre in the Globalised Context: A Case Study of Peking Opera 

2016 [selected] 
July, Academy of Marketing Conference hosted by Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK; Title: HOW TO MARKET CULTURAL PRODUCT IN CROSS CULTURAL CONTEXT BASED ON AUDIENCE STUDY: A CASE OF PEKING OPERA COMMERCIAL TOUR IN THE UK


  • PhD Creative Industries, University of Leeds, 2018
  • MA Culture Creativity and Entrepreneurship, University of Leeds, 2013
  • BA Communication Study (media market survey & analysis), The Communication University of China, 2012