An invitation from Claire Bigley, Producer of Physical Fest: 

My belief is theatre is often at its best when there is a broadening in the backgrounds of those who are making it. Why then are the majority of artistic directors, producers and chief executives in British theatre white, privately-educated men? A hugely disproportionate number of directors, writers and actors also come from privileged backgrounds. Debate around gender and class in the arts still draws on middle- and upper-class stereotypes of working-class life. As a working class artist myself, just like the conversation around ethnic diversity, I find I am often talked about rather than talked to when it comes to class identity.

Do we need to turn the notion of ‘the problem’ on its head as creatives?  Should we see the working classes as our potential audience or artists who could be supported to develop?  Why is it that the majority of audiences are not working class - it can’t be purely finances as we see thousands attend football matches, gigs, comedy nights or commercial theatres. Is it because they do not see themselves reflected on stage?

I believe we need to make sure there are ways into the sector for female working class artists, we need people in leadership roles - Artistic Directors, Producers, CEO’s, Board Members, Arts Council Officers. You might have ideas of how to do this, or other ideas, dreams, issues or projects that could help. So how can we, together, fundamentally change the make-up of those making and watching theatre for the better? Come along to this event and let’s do some work.

See you there,


Tickets are £5 and can be purchased from Physical Fest.

This venue is fully accessible. Physical Fest can provide BSL on request by contacting [email protected]. We welcome neurodivergent participants, and supervised children.

Booking for this event has now closed.