What are we going to do about keeping European theatre alive on British stages?
As an Anglo-Polish playwright, I’ve grown up in two different theatre cultures and European work has always been influential on my artistic practice. I’ve also had the opportunity to see work across Europe at international theatre festivals and to have had my own work produced in different countries. The European work we currently see in the UK is only a small selection of the work that is happening across Europe. I’m particularly aware that we produce very few European plays in Britain (less than 1% of work produced on UK stage). I’m concerned that post-Brexit, there will be even fewer opportunities to see European plays and other forms of European work on UK stages.
It is important for UK artists and audiences to have access to work from Europe. Engaging with European work challenges me to rethink my own practice and enables me to explore new theatrical forms. European work helps me to better understand the things that we share as human beings across cultures and the exciting ways in which different cultures offer different perspectives on the world. In the face of the rise of the far right, it is absolutely vital that international work - which promotes tolerance of and empathy with people from different backgrounds - continues to be produced on British stages.
Perhaps you have other questions, or even some answers? Perhaps you feel that British theatre is superior to European theatre and we don’t need it? Perhaps you’re an avid theatre-goer who finds European theatre deeply pretentious, or deeply inspiring? Perhaps you’re a theatre artist who feels that having more European theatre on UK stages would mean even fewer opportunities for UK artists to have their work staged? Perhaps you’re a European artist living in Britain worried about your future for your work here post-Brexit? Maybe you’re involved with a Europe-facing company or network and have some knowledge to share about this issue?
Whatever your background, come to this event and help us thrash out some of the questions we need to address in relation to our theatrical relationship with Europe, post-Brexit. We may not be able to stop Brexit, but together we can find some solutions to help keep European work on British stages.
Wednesday 9 January 2019