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Devoted & Disgruntled 12: What Shall We Do About Theatre and the Performing Arts Now?

how do we collaborate better to bring exciting theatre to bristol?

tom morris - 14 January 2017

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Very constructive session attended at various points by representatives of Tobacco Factory, Arnolfini, Bristol Old Vic, Mayk, independent producers and touring artists and companies (please add)

there is already a cross-venue programming meeting which happens annually after the Edinburgh Festival. We agreed to make this quarterly. Bristol Old Vic will host it. Mayk will help organise it. it will be open to venues and independent producers alike.

We didn't have any marketeers in the chat, and wanted to widen the conversation to include the possibilities of cross-marketing amazing work that visits Bristol. We didn't know whether that would work better through the same meeting or a different one. Marketeers please add advice.

Tom Spenser introduced us to the concept of Intra-city touring, having constructed a tour to over 30 venues within 45 minutes of the centre of Bristol. We agreed that he should be celebrated as a global expert in this area of arts presentation.

We also talked about the pressures on technical resource in this kind of micro-touring, and the importance of a joined up marketing and audience development narrative between all who were doing this kind of work, so that new and growing audiences could easily pursue an ongoing sequence of opportunities, no matter who was presenting them.

We also talked about sharing kit, expertise and other kinds of resource to help this area of work.

Finally we had a bit of brainstorm about bringing wildly ambitious and enormous work to Bristol - and indeed creating it - and the fact that a joined up conversation of the kind that was already evolving in D&D could be sustained to provide a strong platform for consortium-based funding for work of this kind.

At the same time, we thought there might be ways we could work together to convince local authorities and the population at large of the economic and place-making benefits of major art works of this kind. At this point some members of the group started slapping their foreheads in a Homer Simpsonish manner because they'd had a go at this before and got nowhere - but others were encouraging about renewing our efforts.

Housekeeping notes:

Rosalie of @Bristol says hello to everyone. She is newly arrived and very up for collaboration with other organisations.

Helen of Bristol Old Vic said there was a meeting about regional touring opportunties to be held at Bristol Old Vic on 2nd Feb at 5.30pm and all were welcome.

Please add notes if anything is missing or awry.

And thanks to all for a brilliant conversation

Tom

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