Thursday, 10 July 2008

Autumn Guests

It's my last week before starting summer leave - so the focus is really to sort out my desk, ensuring I can hit the ground running in September. It's fun, though, dreaming up projects for next semester and trying to get a sense of the shape of the year ahead.

Some money was spent doing up the foyer in the Spring and over the next year we're looking to turn it into a receiving house from time to time, encouraging professional companies to tour out to us.

This part of London has a very high percentage of theatre goers - in fact the National Theatre estimate that a third of their audience is made up of people who live on the railway lines running from Waterloo past us and out to Reading, Windsor and Woking - and we hope eventually to create our own constituency audiences from beyond the University community for our work; as with everything it's about finding the niche. The starting place seems to be to keep building a positive reputation locally through outreach and carefully organised events, masterclasses and workshops, hosted on campus.
To kick start in the Autumn I've booked in the wonderful Cardboard Citizens who will bring their forum theatre hostels tour to us prior to it going out on the road and Kasia has booked in My Life With The Dogs by NIE, (see above) who use clowning and visual theatre to tell epic European stories that cross language and culture. They're a lot of fun!
In different ways the two companies really reflect the kind of politically aware, non elitist kind of theatre and storytelling that we as a department are interested in exploring.

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