Theatre in Wales - A one night stand?

richard huw morgan, 16 September 2012

Due to a rotating make up of participants i'd rather not give an incomplete list - please add your name if you were in the group - and please add comments as i know this is an incomplete description and would prefer collective ownership rather than trust my faulty memory alone - Richard Huw Morgan

A deliberately open question to elicit as wide a range of views as possible. In the spirit of the conversation, much of this will be written as questions raised, rather than conclusions reached - we realise that we are not in a position to know all relevant facts/opinions

- Theatre produced in Wales, touring to Wales? In English of Welsh?, literally one night only, in one venue only or only one presentation of it?
- A positive or negative?
- Why is this the situation?

A combination of lack of ‘suitable’ venues, willingness of venues to take a risk on either untested works, or work they deem not suitable for their audience. How well do venues know their actual or potential audience/s? How much audience development work do they undertake? (have they got the resources/interest?)

Word of mouth being the most important marketing tool - can this work if shows only have a v limited run? Can venues risk otherwise?

The main concern is about work produced in Wales (though venue finances / perceptions of audience needs / etc may mean this also the case with touring work - which may feedback into how they deal with Welsh work)

How much should producers take presenters perceptions of their audience/s needs into account?

Learning to trust individual production companies - needs continuity in order to build a reputation. The disappearance of ensemble companies - and there spin-offs.

Does knowing that work is only likely to have a limited run affect the quality of the work produced? (yes)

Can the uniqueness of a short / limited run be used to marketing advantage?

Problems associated with the available of funding for export / cross border touring.

'One off's" not necessarily a problem - long term (several months) engagement with a local community for genuinely site-specific work.

One night stands not necessarily a bad thing - if consensual / young, but peoples needs/desires for relationships to develop.
Is their a developing dynamic / heirarchy of available venues?

Mention of shows going from Wales to Edinburgh and then been welcomed home (prodigal returns?)

Word of mouth in relationship to an active and interested media - do we have sufficient / adequate media interest in Wales (both internal and external) to support longer runs? (might be worth an analysis of media coverage in relation to ticket sales for the first two seasons of NTW?)


Audience, Touring, Venues, audience, touring, venues, NTW, ensembles