Dialogue/ Discussions

Our discussions aim to be non-hierarchical and to include people who work at every level of the theatre industry, from administrative staff to artistic directors, alongside artists, critics and interested audience members. We do this by not using panel formats, but more inclusive discussion frameworks, such as:

- round-circle conversations, in which everyone shares the same space
– variants of the Long Table discussion format pioneered by Lois Weaver: we seat invited speakers at a table with plenty of additional chairs, so that anyone can take a seat at any point and contribute to the conversation
– round-circle conversations that divide into break-out groups, reducing further the pressure around public speaking.

We are happy to work with festivals, theatres and companies on shaping and hosting discussion events; to find out more, please contact us.

We are also experienced public speakers on all aspects of the theatre-critic-audience relationship; to book us, please use the details on the contact page.

Dialogue discussion events to date include:

Jan 15: Who Are Our Audiences and How Can We Engage with Them Better?
A collaboration with Amber Massie-Blomfield (Head of Communications at the Albany and Executive Director of Camden People’s Theatre), bringing together people who market theatre and people who write about it to think about how we can forge stronger relationships with audiences, and with each other.

Nov 14: Talking/Making/Taking Part
We built discussion into the fabric of the Dialogue festival, beginning each day with a long-table discussion and inviting speakers to host Afternoon Ideas sessions in the cafe.

Sept 14: How to Get the Best from the Press
These discussions sessions at the Independent Theatre Council‘s 40th Anniversary conference, Spirit of Independence, focused on relationships within the theatre industry with mainstream critics and bloggers, best practice in social media, and new ideas for audience engagement.

May 13: Critical Communities
A discussion at the heart of Mayfest, Bristol, on the need for localised critical communities working alongside artist communities.

May 13: For the Love of Scratch
A discussion focusing on Scratch and issues around work-in-progress at Battersea Arts Centre, London.

April 13: How can theatre transform communities?
A discussion directly related to the concerns and aspirations of the Transform festival at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.

Sept 12: For the Love of Theatre
A three-week residency at Battersea Arts Centre, London, ended with this conversation about reading criticism, press nights and the strange parent-child relationship that exists in traditional critical practice. You can read more about this event under the Projects tab: Dialogue at BAC.

Aug 12: Dialogue at Northern Stage
A gathering at the heart of the Edinburgh festival to discuss closer relationships between critics and theatre-makers.

Key public speaking engagements include:

July 14: In Battalions, London.

Feb 14: The Changing Face of Theatre Criticism in the Digital Age, Brock University, Canada.

Nov 12: Is Critical Discourse Keeping Pace with Contemporary Theatre? Part of the Radar Season at the Bush Theatre, London.

Sept 12: Risking Together, Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham.

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