17 July 2012

D&D Roadshow Plymouth

TR2, 12 Neptune Park, Plymouth, PL4 0SJ

Partner: Theatre Royal Plymouth

David Prescott's invitation:


An invitation.

I am delighted the Theatre Royal Plymouth is able to bring you the South-West leg of Improbable Theatre’s Devoted & Disgruntled Roadshow, as part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the four year Cultural Olympiad. I found this day long event encourages some of the most exciting, surprising and thought provoking conversations about something that is so central to the cultural well-being of this nation. Theatre. 

In a time when we are all experiencing a tightening of our belts and a reduction of funding for the arts, are you satisfied with what’s on offer in Dorset, Devon, Cornwall & Somerset? As I go around this varied and wide-spread region, I see work that often has a regional identity and spirit which, whether deliberately or subconsciously, connects to other people’s stories and experiences in the South West. 

Is theatre in the South-West thriving ?

Is there more that binds us than separates us ?

What would you like to see in say Truro, Barnstaple, Exeter, Taunton, Torquay and Plymouth ?

Do you feel cut off from the national scene ?

Is there enough opportunity to join in ?

Should there be more local performance and site-specific based work ?

Do the bigger theatre venues get too much focus and resource ?

In what will be a herculean task, Improbable will be visiting twenty locations around the UK, to give everyone a chance to voice their thoughts and feelings, hopes and passions about theatre in today’s ever changing landscape.

Whether you’re a theatre-goer or theatre-maker, educator or student, we’d like to hear what you have to say. Professional and amateur, we want you all in the same room.

This, I hope, is just the proverbial dipping of the toe before a really enjoyable swim in theatrical waters. You are warmly invited to come along and join us. 

David Prescott

Artistic Associate

Theatre Royal Plymouth

Phelim McDermott's invitation:

Do you love theatre?

Do you find it frustrating?

Do you feel audiences don't get a voice?

Do you feel like an outsider in your own profession?

Have you just started out and need support?

Been in the profession for years and feel jaded?

Is your region always left out of the discussions?

Do you usually dread discussions and meetings?

Are you looking to change things?

In 2012 for the first time ever, you have the opportunity to take part in a unique nationwide conversation. 

In 2006 I wrote a heartfelt invitation and the first ”Devoted & Disgruntled: What are we going to do about theatre?” took place. This was an open and collaborative conference, a chance to check in with the theatre community, share the news about what we were doing well, talk about what we could be doing better and take action on how to improve things.  

Devoted & Disgruntled has subsequently become an inspiring annual three day event and since then there have been over 100 offshoot D&D events. Some have been monthly themed satellites, some have been regionally based like D&D Scotland and D&D North East, some have been international events like D&D New York and Vancouver. These conferences have kept the important conversations alive and have lead to companies being formed, venues being opened, festivals started, shows created, and many other projects and initiatives. 

The Devoted and Disgruntled Roadshow has come about in response to numerous requests for these conversations to reach beyond London, and engage with all parts of the UK.  So as part of the Cultural Olympiad we are going on the road, holding D&Ds in twenty different locations round the country, and we are going online, launching a new interactive D&D website, which will record and connect all the D&D events. 

In theatre, as in so many things, it can feel like the agenda is set, and the decisions are made by a faceless, unreachable "them". We wait for "them" to talk about what we think needs talking about and for "them" to solve our problems. Guess what? "They" aren't going to do it. But you can, and D&D is the place to start - so if there are questions that you think should be asked, projects you want support on, things you want changed, join Improbable this summer on the Devoted & Disgruntled 2012 Roadshow in a conversation that could reshape the theatre landscape. This is a unique chance for your voice to be heard and for us to listen to each other, face to face and online, locally and nationally. Join us and let’s work together towards making theatre better and making better theatre.

Phelim McDermott and Improbable

Booking for this event has now closed.