40 Years On: The Arts Britain Ignores & Diversity in British Theatre



We are excited to announce that we will be hosting a national conference exploring diversity in British theatre and the current landscape for BAME artists, companies and audiences.

Created by Curve in partnership with local BAME – led organisations Serendipity and Inspirate, the conference, entitled 40 Years On: The Arts Britain Ignores and Diversity in British Theatre will take place on Friday 14th October and feature an opening address by Naseem Khan to mark the 40th anniversary of her ground breaking report The Arts Britain Ignores. Khan will look at the impact of the report and will join a host of industry panellists in examining how far UK theatre has progressed since.

40 Years On: The Arts Britain Ignores and Diversity in British Theatre will be made up of structured panel sessions focusing on three topics; Commissioning, Training and Leadership.

Each panel session will cover various key issues facing our industry and include BAME leaders from across UK Theatre.

  • Keynote speaker Roy Williams – Beleive and Trust, Then Do
  • PANEL 1: Whose Voice? – Commissioning
    Whose stories have been told over the past 40 years and how? What stories do we need to tell now? And how can we best achieve this?
    Chair/Moderator: Dr Michael Pearce (University of Exeter)
    Speakers: Vicky Featherstone Artistic Director, Royal Court), Emteaz Hussein (Playwright), Amani Napthali (Playwright), Jatinder Verma (Artistic Director, Tara Arts)
  • PANEL 2: Pathways and Access – Training
    What progress has there been in the past 40 years? What new and improved structures and needed in the next 40 to enable the best flow of talent?
    Chair/Moderator: Claudette Williams (Senior Lecturer, Central School of Speech and Drama).
    Speakers: Nikolai Foster (Artistic Director, Curve), Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway (Managing Director, Artistic Directors of the Future), David Grindrod (Casting Director, for Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation), Cathy Tyson (Actor and Theatremaker).
  • PANEL 3: Who holds the power? – Leadership
    What are the challenges facing leaders of BAME companies, and also the leaders of mainstream organisations/venues seeking to engage diverse talent and audiences?
    Chair/Moderator: Baroness Lola Young,
    Speakers: Cassandra Chadderton (Head of UK Theatre), Chris Stafford (Chief Executive, Curve), Kerry Michael (Artistic Director, Theatre Royal Stratford East), Pawlet Brookes (Director, Serendipity)
  • Concluding notes and reflections
    Suba Das
    (Associate Director, Curve) , Abid Hussein (Director of Diversity, Arts Council England), Roy Williams.



£10* Tickets to see The Importance of Being Earnest on Fri 14 Oct when booking for this conference. To receive this offer, contact our Ticket Office on 0116 242 3595

Click here for the full timetable of the conference

*Discounts are subject to availability and may be removed at any time. Only valid on certain performances - terms and conditions apply.

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