Outdoor Theatre in the Winter

Convener(s): Sophie Austin 

Participants: Sophie. Andrew, Kas, Lwin, Su Su, jill, Paul, Jonathan

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

We discussed the idea of creating a promenade theatre piece specifically for an outdoor space in winter

When doing outdoor theatre in the winter you need to think about the following:


  • Toilets – how many?
  • Power – generators? Noise, distance cabling
  • How not to make actors ill – heaters, space blankets, hot water bottles, gazebos
  • Voice – how to ensure an actor is heard? Well trained actors, good warms ups, employ speech/sound expert to suggest set possibilities for improving sound.
  • 3 key people  - Director, producer & events manager – someone who can focus on the audience experience
  • Access – Clear pathways, how to lead people round, speed of promenade, ensure good communication with the audience and performers. Ask experts like Graeae, Extant or Shape
  • Length of time of show – how long should it be? Should we ensure that people are moving all the time?
  • Should the audience be able to see everything?
  • Ensure you communicate with the audience – be clear – it is going to rain, it is going to snow. BE PREPARED.
  • You can’t guess the weather, prepare for every eventuality.
  • Lighting – torches, hurricane lanterns, flares, floating candles, glow sticks, fire
  • Offer  a hot drink at some point during the show.
  • Are the good audience of Britain willing to come to outdoor theatre in the winter? As long as you are honest and communicate the ‘risks’ involved, they will come.
  • The general consensus was that the show must go on.
  • All who contributed go very inspired by the possibilities and not too bogged down in the inevitable health and safety conundrums – that’s probably for a different sessions.