We think theatre is something anyone can talk about, as easily as we talk about a pop video or last night’s TV. That’s why we host a pop-up theatre club, an informal post-show discussion based on the book group, in which people are invited to share what they think about the show without the people who made it present.
You can find out more about our Theatre Club here, and also about clubs in Margate, Colchester and Poole by clicking the links.
We think people could know more about how theatre is made. That’s why we’re interested in the idea of “embedded” criticism: in which critics work alongside theatre-makers to tell stories about how their work comes together.
You can find out more by reading about Maddy’s work with Chris Goode & Company, and in these blog posts by Andrew Haydon and Daniel Bye.
We think theatre isn’t something you need ‘expertise’ to ‘understand’ or write about. That’s why we run writing workshops to encourage people to blog, support initiatives such as Theatre Bristol’s Writer-in-Residence scheme, and run a workshop with the Independent Theatre Council encouraging new approaches to the relationship between theatre companies and the press.
You can find out more about our ITC course here, and (when we get it going) see a selection of writing we admire in the Views tab.
We think it’s time for a culture shift. Let’s stop thinking about theatre as a product, and instead as a part of everyday life. Let’s stop thinking about theatre as exclusive, and instead as a place for communities to meet and see themselves. Let’s open up as many spaces as we can for conversation between people who already make, watch and write about theatre, and people who don’t do any of these things yet.
Our thinking is inspired by the following brilliant people:
Everyone who comes to our Theatre Clubs: these people come from all kinds of places, are all different ages, do all kinds of jobs, have all kinds of experiences, and the thoughts they share in these discussions are always illuminating.
Lily Einhorn, who came up with the idea for Theatre Club as part of her work with the Young Vic’s participatory project, Two Boroughs
Andy Horwitz, who shaped a new vision for relationships between theatre-makers, writers and audiences on his website Culturebot
Mary Paterson, who helped paved the way for rethinking the relationship between live art and criticism with Open Dialogues
Alan Lane, artistic director of Slung Low, especially in this post on revolution
Chris Goode, especially in this post on theatre as an Open House
Stella Duffy, especially in this post equating artistic excellence with access excellence.