Devoted & Disgruntled 11: What are we going to do about theatre and the performing arts?


January 9th-11th, The Birmingham Repertory Theatre

An Invitation from Phelim McDermott & Lee Simpson, Artistic Directors of Improbable:

Devoted and Disgruntled is where those who care about theatre and the performing arts come together to discuss, plan and take action to make a stronger sector and better art. It is a gathering of the devoted and the disgruntled.

We've been doing this every year since 2006 and in that time D&D has grown and sustained a theatre and performing arts community and shown time and again that we all have more individual and collective agency as part of that community.

This year sees the biggest change for D&D since it began. Having held our main annual event in London for 10 years, this January it'll happen in Birmingham. Maybe that makes it more possible for you to be there? Maybe you are thinking about coming for the first time?

Do it. Dive in.

D&D is your event where you can work on your goals and your grievances. If you want to get something done then this is the place you can do it. We think the theatre maker Chris Goode said it best (he so often does):

"I resisted going to D&D for the first three years. When I come to write my memoirs, these will be known as "The Stupid Years." D&D is one of the places I go to learn how to live in the future that I want."

But maybe you've been to D&D before? We've been there every year, so let us tell you why we can't wait to get stuck into it again.

Phelim: D&D is where I find out what the urgent issues are going to be in 2 or 3 years time. It's like an early warning device - listen to the conversations and the gossip and you hear what's in the wind. That is part of the wider reason why I return to D&D: it connects me to my community and for most of the year we are a community that doesn't meet with each other, we compete with each other. D&D shows an alternative way for the world to work, it is like returning to a wise teacher - I leave replenished, invigorated and less lonely.

Lee: At the moment one of the hottest issues for me is provoked by our move from London to Birmingham. In the arts, the relationship between London and the rest of the country feels like it is becoming more and more tortured and bad tempered and it is clearly a relationship in flux (D&D moving is a part of that). I'm interested in having a proper conversation about that because I think there is a danger of divisions across the country being exploited by those who want to further decimate our sector.

Whether you've been before or not, come to D&D because you are in control of your future. Don't underestimate what you can make happen at this event. Open Space means that you can work on whatever you want to work on in whatever way you want to work, with people who want to be there working on it with you. It's your event and you can shape what it is. Shape the future that you want to live in. Be in Birmingham!

Booking for this event has now closed.