This paper is intended as a provocation; and it asks questions of the ways in which knowledge and understanding are articulated through P-a-R in and through performance. The article argues that P-a-R’s creeping status as more of a mantra than a methodology necessitates the asking of some questions. The article's overtly UK perspective is tempered by a positons at two Australian universities; residencies undertaken in the US, Asia and mainland Europe; collaborations with academics in a dozen countries and PhD examination in three countries. Whilst the focus of the article remains predominantly British and Australian the issues addressed are not entirely local; whilst not quite an autoethnography, the article draws on its writer’s examination of numerous P-a-R students. It is from this platform that the article questions some of the assumptions around P-a-R, not least the idea that creative practice can readily serve as its own articulation within formal research contexts.