4 - 5 October 2012

D&D Roadshow Leeds

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds


James Brining's invitation:

As the new Artistic Director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse I am delighted to welcome the Devoted and Disgruntled Roadshow to Leeds.  The idea of a national conversation about theatre started in 2005 and I have witnessed its impact and power many times over the years in a number of places throughout the UK.  

I’ve been back in my home city for only a few weeks, but I am already bursting with questions and thoughts as well as huge ambition for my city and this great theatre.  I’ll be at D&D Leeds because I want to meet and listen to other artists, performers, directors, any kind of theatre maker in fact.  I’m interested in the views of other venues, producers, administrators, marketers, theatre technicians, theatre companies, students of theatre at every level and audience members. 

I want to explore how theatre is changing and evolving with the world around us.  I want to argue about “what for?” and “how?”.  I want to turn “why?” into “why not?”.  I want to learn about new forms and hear new voices.  I want to wrestle with what it means to be truly engaged with our city whilst having national and international ambitions.  I want positive, transformative opportunities to come out of the event, to generate conversations leading to actions which might actually change things for the better.  I think now, more than ever it is vital to initiate and be part of conversations like this, conversations that can lead to change and I’m excited that by joining forces with Improbable we will be able to facilitate and host these conversations in our city. 

So, whether you engage with West Yorkshire Playhouse on a regular basis, or you’ve never stepped through the doors before, please come and have your say.

James Brining

Phelim McDermott's invitation:

Do you love theatre?

Do you find it frustrating?

Do you feel audiences don't get a voice?

Do you feel like an outsider in your own profession?

Have you just started out and need support?

Been in the profession for years and feel jaded?

Is your region always left out of the discussions?

Do you usually dread discussions and meetings?

Are you looking to change things?

In 2012 for the first time ever, you have the opportunity to take part in a unique nationwide conversation. 

In 2006 I wrote a heartfelt invitation and the first ”Devoted & Disgruntled: What are we going to do about theatre?” took place. This was an open and collaborative conference, a chance to check in with the theatre community, share the news about what we were doing well, talk about what we could be doing better and take action on how to improve things.  

Devoted & Disgruntled has subsequently become an inspiring annual three day event and since then there have been over 100 offshoot D&D events. Some have been monthly themed satellites, some have been regionally based like D&D Scotland and D&D North East, some have been international events like D&D New York and Vancouver. These conferences have kept the important conversations alive and have lead to companies being formed, venues being opened, festivals started, shows created, and many other projects and initiatives. 

The Devoted and Disgruntled Roadshow has come about in response to numerous requests for these conversations to reach beyond London, and engage with all parts of the UK.  So as part of the Cultural Olympiad we are going on the road, holding D&Ds in twenty different locations round the country, and we are going online, launching a new interactive D&D website, which will record and connect all the D&D events. 

In theatre, as in so many things, it can feel like the agenda is set, and the decisions are made by a faceless, unreachable "them". We wait for "them" to talk about what we think needs talking about and for "them" to solve our problems. Guess what? "They" aren't going to do it. But you can, and D&D is the place to start - so if there are questions that you think should be asked, projects you want support on, things you want changed, join Improbable this summer on the Devoted & Disgruntled 2012 Roadshow in a conversation that could reshape the theatre landscape. This is a unique chance for your voice to be heard and for us to listen to each other, face to face and online, locally and nationally. Join us and let’s work together towards making theatre better and making better theatre.

Phelim McDermott and Improbable

Booking for this event has now closed.