PRINT EDITION: Equal Stages: Standing Up for Identity and Integrity in the Performing Arts, Vol 1




by Nick Awde

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Part of the NEW SERIES: What Now? Beyond Diversity and Inclusion
Series editors: Nick Awde & Isabel Appio

This is how diverse theatre is made in the UK and Ireland.

These are the experiences of gender, race, disability, class, poverty, age and region. African-Caribbean, British South Asian, British East Asian, Traveller/Romany, racism in theatre, racism in comedy, Islam, Welsh language, deaf/British Sign Language, gay, transgender, class through the prism of the council estates and poverty, women in the criminal justice system, rural, older people, the North, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland, playwriting, criticism, theatre in education writing, education, funding, fringe, community, grassroots international theatre in the UK, alternative venues, Black Ticket Project, working men’s clubs, theatres serving the community of all backgrounds and ages, marketing, academic, agents, representation and the language of respect.

Published in association with the Other National Theatre and the International Theatre Institute, EQUAL STAGES takes a look at diversity, representation, visibility and inclusion in the live performing arts, particularly theatre. It’s an interlocking snapshot of the industry provided by 40 interviews with a diverse range of 42 people who work in everything from performance to running venues, from writing to marketing, fringe theatre to international festivals. What they share is the vision and drive to break new ground for culture to make a difference in society.

The insights of these voices from around the British Isles – England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland & Ireland – have a resonance far beyond the performing arts, in what has turned out to be a #LastNormalPhoto collection (most of the interviews took place between October 2019 and February 2020) tackling the issues we faced before the Coronavirus Crisis – and which we’ll still be facing post-Coronavirus.

Interviews are:
Dan Allum (writer, director, composer & artistic director of Romany Theatre Company)
Gavin Barlow (director of the Albany, Deptford)
Luke Barnes (writer & actor)
Julia Barry (executive director of the Sherman Theatre)
Yvonne Brewster (director, teacher, writer & co-founder of Talawa Theatre Company)
John Byrne (writer, broadcaster & careers advisor/columnist for The Stage newspaper)
Sanjit Chudha (marketing & communications manager of Talawa Theatre Company)
Jo Clifford (writer, performer & transgender activist)
Stephen Davidson (improviser, writer, performer, transgender activist & director)
Sharlit Deyzac (co-artistic director of Voila! Europe Festival)
Susan Elkin (theatre in education writer & critic)
Paula Garfield (director, actor & artistic director of Deafinitely Theatre)
Christopher Green (writer, theatre-maker & performer)
Jackie Hagan (poet, comedian, theatre-maker & disability activist)
John-David Henshaw (director, writer & artistic director of Sweet Venues)
Anna Herrmann (joint artistic director of Clean Break)
Lucy Hopkins (clown, director, workshop leader & co-director with Bob Slayer of Heroes of Fringe)
Sophia A Jackson (editor of Afridiziak Theatre News, the UK’s only website dedicated to African-Caribbean theatre)
Rosemary Jenkinson (playwright, poet & short fiction writer)
Lora Krasteva (cultural producer & artistic director of Global Voices Theatre)
Tobi Kyeremateng (cultural producer & founder of the Black Ticket Project)
Alan Lane (artistic director of Slung Low & The Holbeck working men’s club)
Betsan Llwyd (artistic director of Theatr Bara Caws)
Brian Merriman (founder & artistic director of International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival)
Guleraana Mir (writer, theatremaker & executive director of The Thelmas)
Will Nelson (fringe director & lecturer at the Arden School of Theatre)
Gbolahan Obisesan (writer, director & artistic director of  Brixton House Theatre, formerly Ovalhouse)
Miguel Oyarzun (co-director with Isla Aguilar of BE Festival)
Francesca Peschier (dramaturg, writer, lecturer & head of new works at the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse theatres)
Tim Renkow (comedian & writer)
Paul Ricketts (comedian, writer & musician)
Barrie Rutter (actor, director, producer & founder of Northern Broadsides)
Faz Shah (musician, actor & composer)
David Slater (director of Entelechy Arts)
Bob Slayer (comedian, producer & co-director with Lucy Hopkins of Heroes of Fringe)
Chris Sonnex (director & former artistic director of the Bunker Theatre)
Cleo Sylvestre (actor, writer & musician)
Amy Clare Tasker (co-artistic director of Voila! Europe Festival)
David K S Tse (actor, writer, director; former artistic director of Yellow Earth Theatre & ex-creative director of Chinese Arts Space)
Lola Williams (agent & director of New Wonder Management Talent Agency)
Kate Wood (executive director of Activate & co-artistic director with Bill Gee of Inside Out Dorset)
Kat Woods (writer & director)

CONTACT: Orders/press inquiries: Nick Awde – / +44 (0)7961154590

NICK AWDE is founder of the Other National Theatre at Morecambe’s Alhambra Theatre, where he created the Morecambe Goth Passion Play, and co-director of the UK Centre of the International Theatre Institute (Unesco). He is also international editor (non-staff) for The Stage newspaper, was head critic of The Stage’s Edinburgh reviewing & awards team for many years, co-founder of the UK’s first professional theatre review site Theatre Guide London, and he also worked for many years for The Voice Newspaper Group. He has written, illustrated or edited more than 50 books including: Women in Islam, Chechen Phrasebook, Hausa Dictionary, Mellotron: The Machine and the Musicians That Revolutionised Rock, Singer-Songwriters Volume 1, and the forthcoming Avant-Hard in the UK, Finnish Rock, and Electric Guitarists & Bassists: Electrification of the Nation. As a playwright/ composer, dramatic works include Pete and Dud Come Again (with Chris Bartlett), Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Musical (book, lyrics & music), Noddy Holder’s Christmas Carol Unplugged, and The Europeans (Parts 1-3: Bruges, Antwerp, Tervuren). As Nick Awde & Desert Hearts, music includes the albums Blues for Blighty (Vols 1-3), Swimming in a Fish Bowl, Mellotronic Belgium Blues, avant-garde opera Belgium-737, and the EPs Selling England by the Pound, Close to the Edge b/w Meryl Streep/Rocket Man, and the single ‘European Man (I Do What I Can)’.

ISABEL APPIO is an established journalist and publisher with a focus on social inclusion in education, the workplace and arts & culture — primarily for under-represented and unheard young people, women and those with diverse abilities. Isabel worked as a leading journalist and publisher during the 1980s & 90s campaigning heydays of the Black British press. Isabel is the founder of Thrive 4.0 (Where Talent Meets Opportunity) which promotes inclusion and self-empowerment of marginalised groups in the new economy. She has worked on promoting diversity and inclusion with an extensive range of organisations including top corporates, self enterprises, local & central government departments, universities & colleges and leading charities & public bodies.

594pp | paperback | £24.99| ISBN: 9781908755384 | published by Desert Hearts, June 17th 2020