Hard-Hitting Issues vs Family Friendly? Attended by Anja Meinhardt (Justice & Motion), Celine McKillion (Imagine Watford/Luton), Nathan Curry (Tangled Feet) with Jo Burns (Without Walls) and Ezra Trigg (Gorilla Circus) joining later. Great conversations within the group, mainly imagining what tools could be used to make issue based work accessible to a wider audience, without compromising or watering down the content, and hard-hitting aspects. Importance of understanding from the outset what you aim to do with this exploration - who you want to reach, what you want to provoke? What is the purpose? Then deciding what is the most appropriate form to get your message across. Balance between form and content - it is the form that is inaccessible or the subject explored? Main point was on what FORM to use, and to decide on what is most appropriate. To not necessarily start from an indoor show and adapt it for outdoors, but rather the other way around. Example of Freedom Festival Hull - ATSA 'While we eat soup' - not performance based but initiating important conversations within a festival context. Ways of using space. Headphones piece? How do you keep the passers-by interested who didn't experience the whole narrative? Work with METAPHOR and POETRY. Dance/visual/physical - rather than narrative based. Decide on what time and space is most suitable for issue based theatre, so that it can stand alongside of more family friendly content. Marketing copy can be important, how its described to audiences. We talked about the importance of bringing issue based content to outdoors, and into people's comfort zone - to really engage all sorts of audiences in these discussions. Thoughts on using headphones and elements of 'close your eyes', to separate what audiences can see / hear at any given point in time - effectively portraying two shows simultaneously, addressing the same issue without having the problem of some parts not to be visible to children. Issue of newer festivals / platforms and less arts-engaged audiences - wanting to remain accessible to people who don't usually engage with the arts, - danger of putting them off. People want meaningful stories. Duty of care - safe place to engage/discuss difficult issues. Example of Company Chameleon's 'Witness' which explored mental health issues, they engaged with local mental health charities to be onsite during performances to be available to anyone affected.