Health and Safety is a Killer!!!!

Convener(s): James Jagg 

Participants: Amy, Nick, Robert, Sophie, Nina Ayres

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

We talked a lot about the ins and outs of the topic and the effects it has had on the world of theatre.

Why do we need health and safety? Does it not take away the spontaneity and excitement from theatre? Eg. House of horrors.

In order to make audiences REALLY feel ALIVE at the theatre, can we not do away with health and safety and allow ourselves to RUN WILD?!

Robert says NO WE CANNOT! Health and safety checks must be used in order to keep audiences and theatre crew ALIVE. (in a different way).

Health and Safety potentially could repress and sanitize theatre. We would like to prevent this as theatre should be a place where ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. That’s why we go!

The cost of health and safety is RIDICULOUS for people who want to produce theatre and also very time consuming (Robert disputed this).

Our society is obsessed with being culpable and ‘safe’.

However, companies such as Punchdrunk still manage to create theatre which can make audience feel at risk, when really they are SAFE.

Robert says that today health and safety seem to present producers with guide lines as opposed to rules. IT DOES HAVE A VALID ROLE (it saves lives)

There has to be a happy medium between safety and fun, meaning production managers who have a creative instinct and actors who are more accepting and able to compromise when the time is right. 


It was noted that most disputes between companies and health and safety come from lack of planning and lack of imagination.