An upcoming conference in Bath is set to discuss the key issues being faced in the theatre world, and whether it still matters locally.
With continual cuts to funding, constant revivals of plays, productions being done in the same ‘different’ ways, does theatre matter anymore? Has it become too safe? Is it outdated or just seen as elitist entertainment? What can we do about it? How can we keep theatre alive?
Agree or disagree, you can share your opinion as these are just some of many questions being posed by Theatre Bath at the conference being staged at the Guildhall in Bath on 29th October.
Hosted by Bath’s favourite comedian Jon Monie; The Bath Theatre Matters Conference, organised by Luke John Emmett, has been designed to tie in with the national My Theatre Matters Campaign which is being run by The Stage Newspaper, Equity and the Theatrical Management Association.
Delegates and keynote speakers will be coming from all over the country to attend this exciting event, share their expertise and why they think Theatre Matters.
Keynote speakers include the highly mysterious twitter legend WestEndProducer who shot to fame over the last few years on Twitter, with over 36,000 fans, and has organised two large profile talent searches in the West End.
WestEndProducer said: “I am thrilled to be speaking at the Bath Theatre Matters Conference; indeed I love nothing more than talking about theatre. Although I’m not a fan of people talking during my theatre shows, unless of course they are the actors, in which case it should be expected that they talk when delivering their lines. Unless they are particularly bad. In which case they should just be quiet and jump up and down for a bit.”
WestEndProducer will be will be discussing, amongst other things, West End musicals, the state of the West End in general, producing shows in today’s climate, and how collaboration could be a key factor in the future of theatre.
For now his identity remains a closely guarded secret; Luke said: “I was so thrilled that WEP accepted my invitation to come along and talk at this conference. And no, before you ask I have no idea who he is. He has been very elusive so far – I’m not even allowed to know how he is travelling down or which hotel he will be staying at. It’s all very theatrical and adds to the sense of mystery surrounding him.”
Other keynote speakers include local freelance director Andy Burden. Andy has emerged as one of the most exciting directors working in Britain today, and has an outstanding track record- over the past three years all of Andy’s shows have received 5 or 4 star reviews. No stranger to Theatre in Bath Andy was Artistic Director for the Rondo Theatre in Bath for six years and is currently Development Manager for Bath’s Natural Theatre Company.
To represent the national My Theatre Matters campaign, Martin Brown, Assistant General Secretary Communications and Membership Support, from Equity will be taking to the stage and discussing the importance of the My Theatre Matters campaign, why it was started and why theatres and audience members should sign up and support the campaign.
Luke John Emmett added: “I’m truly excited about the high calibre and profile of the organisations and individuals that are supporting this conference both locally and nationally, the support has been quite overwhelming. Although the conference is based in Bath we will be discussing issues that affect theatre nationally and the conference will hopefully spur on other regions to host similar events.
“The only way to make people realise the importance of theatre both artistically and economically is for us to join forces and shout about it. There are many challenges facing theatre companies at all levels and the next few years are going to be tough for many of them. Hopefully this conference will act as a catalyst to begin looking at some of the issues and finding potential solutions by working together.”
Following the main keynotes there will be discussion panels from experts in the business on items such as tour booking, fundraising and marketing, followed by a large scale debate using questions submitted by attendees of the conference. The day will end with a showcase of locally produced work which will celebrate everything that is great about theatre in Bath. This event will offer an opportunity for anyone with an interest in theatre at all levels to come together, network, debate, learn new skills and celebrate theatre.
The Bath Theatre Matters conference is on Tuesday 29 October at the Guildhall Bath from 2pm until 9pm. Tickets are £5 for adults and £2.50 for students and are available to book from baththeatrematters.eventbrite.co.uk
For more information email: [email protected]
More information can be found on the Theatre Bath website: www.theatrebath.co.uk, Facebook – facebook.com/theatrebath, Twitter @theatrebath or using the hashtag #BathTheatreMatters