Spaces + Places + Funding in The East Midlands and the North

Convener(s): Chris Rowland

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

  • Using Twitter to keep updated dated with local performances and events + getting connected to other practioneers.
  • How to engage with University Students? Many disinterested in the subject of their degrees – do we need to engage this collective? Why do they leave the town they do their degree in? Treating uni students as viable artists. Should we be cultivating a ‘younger’ theatre - a space for these students or is it already there and not known widely enough.
  • Companies that help develop new artists,writers etc: Theatre Writing partnership, Royal derngate (Northampton), Invisible Flock, The skeleton Project (Leeds) West Yorkshire theatre Network.
  • The Theatre Trust – protecting and establishing theatre venues
  • The problem of Established theatres not giving spaces to new/emerging artists. You need to ask venues as it is part of their policy to provide the spaces. So don’t complain unless you have tried.
  • The need for a Scratch culture. The difficulty of an audience for this sort of event Examples being Birmingham’s Pilot night
  • The need for spaces: these can be from established venues, disused buildings, local artist collectives (i.e. Stan’s café’s @Aeharris/ Leed’s Hub)
  • The problem of having a London centric view of theatre. There being a lack of confidence in the ability of regional theatre - its audiences and artists. We need to talk to regional theatres and have the confidence to see the postives of what’s already established, hardly there, the possibilities and potential.
  • What would persuade people to stay in the region? Community, easy to access cheap spaces, ‘better’ programmes in local theatres.
  • Festivals that showcase new artists : Fierce Festival (Birmingham), Birmingham European festival (End of June- contact Mike Tweedle),Be Festival (July - Birmingham ), Emerge Festival, Freshly picked (Leeds) Hatch (Nottingham)
  • The trend of local rather than regional theatre (i.e. community/ TIE)
  • New work Network’s activators scheme – encouraging new artists.
  • Questions that need to be asked: What works for the region? What is needed?
  • To create something it needs sustainability, needs to be persistent, putting in place an infrastructure that can network and have malleable qualities for a variety of artists to be included (from new to established ones).
  • We need a network that is accessible for everyone, and make sure its sustainable. It isn’t about creating new ones by seeing what is already there and seeing how these can be further connected. – Sustained Theatre Network was cited as a key network throughout Britain that has a network of development spaces, international projects and leadership

- D + D events up North every month (please write on more  information if you know anything about this`)

COMMENT WRITTEN ON BY HAND: First Wednesday of every month in venues in the north east- 6pm every time for about 3 hours. To find out more information-  Also one large, two day event in March/April each year



Theatre shuttle buses!