Why is work being made in Devon so under - represented in a National context?

Emily Williams, 17 July 2012

There were mixed responses to this question. Some people questioned whether it was under represented and others were unsure whether the question was talking about ‘Devon’ or individuals or theatre companies etc.

I wanted this to be a positive conversation, but it did become negative pretty quickly with acknowledging that perhaps Devon isn't recognised as a place to make work or to show it from the rest of the country, and we felt that apart from the co productions from Theatre Royal and Theatre Alibi there was very little recognition on a National level.

Is this because…

the work isn't good enough?

there aren't enough artists making tourable work? 

they are doing it, we just don't know? 

lots of people don't acknowledge they are from Devon but continue to work outside the county? 

the geography means we don't have an identity?

This question surrounding identity was also linked to pride and whether artists are proud to be making work here?

We discussed whether companies and artists suffer from Theatre Royal engulfing the county.

Geography was also a big part of this conversation:

- Devon's location geographically means that people are often travelling through

Devon to get somewhere, and when they do come, they come for holidays rather than for something specific.

- It was suggested that moving to Devon is not seen as a career move.

- There is also the issue of the urban/rural divide.

It was stated that there is a particular lack of (regular) production money in the Devon, particularly Exeter and that this may be a major contributing factor to the lack of representation nationwide.