What risks are you taking?


Convener(s): Madeleine Bowyer


Participants: Mathilde Lopez, Richard Hayton, Ros Philips, Tamzin Shasha, Alison Andrews, Sarah Entioistte, Mandy Tains, Lian Bell, Leonie Dodd, Annette Mees, Alyn Gwyndaf and a few butterflies.


Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:



  • Look at other people’s
  • Look at your own


  • Falling
  • Failing
  • Being a success
  • A successive success
  • Monied
  • Unmonied
  • Experimenting with not being experimental
  • Going mental
  • Mentalented
  • Untalented
  • Crap    
  • Being crap crisis
  • Too many ideas, too few


Risk –a lightly used word

Pertaining to Danger/ Uncertainty


  • Using ‘unknown’ talent
  • Having total responsibility with self- not working in a group
  • Outside of your known form
  • Creating work we usually reduce the risks by planning whilst trying to maintain the vision
  • Scared that as you talk the vision crumbles-feels like risk



  • Not understanding a project until it’s happening
  • The risk of people loosing their jobs, the personal cost of failure


  • There are risks that you are confident in taking


        Risks that scare you

  • You learn to take risks more comfortably as you go by learning how you manage yourself in the risks
  • And recognising your level of fear of the risk


Instigating a project yourself

Who you work with becomes a risk when it’s people you don’t know, but it makes you grow


Labels of theatre aren’t necessarily linked to danger level

You can still thrill in a Coward Howard


Get a new skill


Go into new territory



A fundamental part of the future of theatre is RISK

Out of rehearsals and into theatre we often loose risk

Where did it go that pesky Scarlet Pimpernel??


Physical risk on stage

Other risk is defined within the moment

Fast driving in a new car feels safe but it’s risky

How do you get a fast car on stage?


So what shall we do, prey, about theatre now?

  • Change what we think of as the show

                     In length? (5 minute,20 minute pieces?)


  • Formal innovation exists in film, novels
  • Let’s get a bit more Tristam Shandy with it
  • People turning up to see that live moment of risk
  • Find the risks within rehearsals, identify them
  • The audience inherently knows when a risk is being taken and respond

RISK is about allowing yourself (artist) to be vulnerable

And playing with what the audience expects and how we engage with them




We all need encouragement to do this

We need some safety to be able to take risk

Expand your comfort zone- how bad is it if you make an unsuccessfull show every once in a while?

Courage to accept other people’s ideas 

Making the commitment to a long period of time feels like a risk as ‘Chunks of your life’, career chances missed etc, but maybe worth it to create material

Monkey about with the structure

Showing a lot more work in progress, is 5 minutes maybe enough stuff? Is the rest fluff?



Identify a place of risk and a place of safety

Write down 5 ‘I could never…….’

Have another look

Take a risk