Category Archives: Bath Theatre Matters 2013

Programme From The Conference Is Now Available To Read Online

“Bath Shows Their Theatre Matters” – 5 Star Review From RemoteGoat

Whilst it is unusual to review a conference, this event felt a little different. After all when it is an inaugural conference about theatre,full of passionate, vibrant people, it transcends into an engaging and challenging discussion about how exactly in crippling financial times can theatre continue and more disturbing is the notion that if it did “go” how would anyone be able to revive it?

Luke John Emmett and the Theatre Bath team without question excelled through the organisation of the event to the quality of the keynote speakers and the access across social media and live streaming for those unable to be in the grand surroundings of The Guildhall in Bath.

Keynote speakers were taken from the very best of Bath’s creative minds compered by Jon Monie, who kept even the most confrontational moments under great control.

Highlights of the speakers came from the energetic and engaging Andy Burden, a freelance director and development director at The Natural Theatre Company who discussed The Artist, The Organisation and The Industry – sharing the worse news that sometimes the good intentions do get crowded out in order to please the funders.

Ian Mcglynn currently Artistic Director of the south west trail blazing Rondo Theatre, rapidly becoming the regions home of new writing. Ian simply explained how and what to do if you are trying to get your show booked into a high quality small scale touring venue; a great moment for anyone embarking on such a venture.

Alongside these local prominent figures was Greg Ingham the founder of Creative Bath and Equity representatives Martin Brown and Phoebe Kemp. Whilst Steve Henwood and Wendy Matthews discussed the humble beginnings of the now much respected Bath Fringe Festival, offering opportunities of getting involved to curate new work in different venues across the city.

Many had attended to see the twitter phenomenon WestEndProducer who dutifully appeared in his latex persona to deliver an impassioned speech from a fun warm up to a jazz hands finale which raised at it’s heart the profound message as to what does happen if the arts disappear? how will they be revived. In his highly respected opinion the key to this is collaboration and continued with a very persuasive argument into making the National Theatre truly national, encouraging collaboration with other venues and producers.

The issues considered reached far beyond the confines of Bath. These are issues facing every city from their local council funding through to what is programmed and why in their local venues. Highly relevant, challenging and without question a vital opportunity for like minded people to meet, network and truly explore answers to the crises currently facing all creative people, regardless of genre.

All keynote speeches are online

This was a highly thought provoking day, rounded off with a big debate about what really makes theatre matter followed by performances from local amateur companies to share their passion and talent.

It is already suggested that this will become an annual event – and so it should be. If an inaugural conference captures the attention of so many then there is definitely a home for future discussions of this nature.

Without question a rewarding day for Theatre Bath; according to the visitors comments and subsequent twitter feeds recorded, social media excelled and found a home in its support of such a vital and essential occasion, reaching miles beyond the boundaries of the Georgian buildings watching over everyone.

By Petra Schofield

Thank you for an amazing day!

WOW! What a day. I can’t even begin to put into words how I’m feeling right now. A massive thank you to EVERYONE who was involved, attended, tweeted or posted messages about the event.

I’m welling up (again) just thinking about what we have achieved and some of the amazing conversations that have been started.

You seriously have no idea what it feels like to see an idea which you have dreamt about surpassing every possible expectation and becoming something that was so much more than I could have ever hoped for.

Thank you all for all your kind messages, texts, tweets and emails. If I don’t have the chance to reply to you personally I do apologise the response has been overwhelming.

To everyone who gave up their time – the amazing students from Bath College who were fantastic all day. Our keynote speakers. Amazing performers at the end (yes Zenith you got me and made my eyes water) and to all the volunteers who helped in any way! From the bottom of my heart thank you, thank you, thank you.

And to my amazing Theatre Bath team – for trusting in my crazy ideas and putting up with me (not an easy job I can assure you). Much love to all of you.

And let this be a reminder – if you have a dream or something that you want to achieve YOU CAN and DO have the power to make it happen, to make it a reality. I feel so inspired by everything and still a little dazed by exactly what we’ve achieved today.

Footage will be posted online soon as will copies of the keynote speeches.

Thank you all so much.

Here’s to next year!

Luke x

We Think Theatre In Bath Matters – Do You?

The Bath Theatre Matters Conference Tuesday 29 October 2013

We Think Theatre Matters? Do You?

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, come and share your opinion as these are just some of many questions being posed by Theatre Bath at their exciting conference being staged at the Guildhall in Bath on Tuesday 29 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 says,

“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 says, “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 says, “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.

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

For more information please email:

More information can be found on the Theatre Bath website:, Facebook –, Twitter @theatrebath or using the hashtag #BathTheatreMatters