Sonya Moorhead, 15 January 2017

Session 1: Seahorse

Incited by Sonya Moorhead.

Minutes taken by Sonya Moorhead: Please if you feel misrepresented or that

something was accidentally omitted, feel free to amend or add to this report.

The Great Outdoors-

An open conversation about UK outdoor theatre with a focus on introducing

outdoor artists, heritage, values and working practices to venues and indoor

practitioners and visa-versa.


Jenna Omeltschenko

Anna Barrett

Catherine Boot

Fergus Evans

Beth House

Pippa Bailey

Nigel Mawson

Kirsty Cox


Richard Heddon

Tom Brocklehurst

Is all theatre on a spectrum, utilizing the similar and transferable skills or, in the case

of outdoors arts, are we dealing with a completely different medium?

• Richard Heddon shared his experience of creating work in both contexts: being

flexible, adaptable, low tech offers more opportunity and is more sustainable.

• Many venues are looking to programme outdoor arts but are not approached by

those companies, he also recommended making marketing materials siting the work

indoors if that’s the context that you want a booking.

• It was pointed out that in terms of business models - Indoor theatre contracts and

box offices, the Outdoor Sector pays a fee and offers the show to audiences for free

hence the massive potential for engagement. Outdoor artists will go where their

politics lie but also where the proper fee is. – (Could we discuss next time how that

business model could be transferred into venues?)

• Closing the gap: a number of points were made about training courses. Students,

with a few exceptions are not made aware of the outdoor arts sector as a viable career


- Access to training is difficult for people facing obstacles; access to training in the

outdoor arts is even more difficult.

- “Attitude is everything” good place to reference access advice.

- Circus training facilitates such as Circomedia are more successful at introducing

students to outdoor arts because of the obvious connection between those art forms

and capability of outdoor contexts.

Can you bring outdoor art/ artists into a venue or does that erode the politics of making

outdoor work in the first place?

Are ticketed shows sited in one location really outdoor arts? They are outdoors but are

they carrying the values of the sector. This lead on to a discussion about the National

Theatre of Wales and the demographic of their audiences and an interrogation of their

success in integrating their work into the community where the work was sited.