Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TN
Box Office: 020 7223 2223. www.bac.org.uk
Article: Mark Courtice
Everyone is invited, everyone is welcome. You are invited, you are welcome!
Each year the team from the contemporary theatre company Improbable facilitate an unmissable forum called Devoted and Disgruntled to discuss the future of theatre and the performing arts. Set up by director Phelim McDermott fifteen years ago when he realised that at the same time he was disgruntled about the state of theatre, while still being devoted to its excitement and fun, D&D is now an essential place for up to 400 0f the most sparky and creative of the theatre world to meet up, talk about the state of theatre, suggest new collaborations and enterprises, and to wrestle with the difficult issues we all face.
The agenda is entirely created by those attending, using a fabulous American system called Open Space Technology, and it’s run by some of the nicest people in UK theatre, so you feel really welcome and that your ideas matter. It’s completely accessible, so genuinely everyone can contribute.
D&D is remarkable for its openness. Actors, directors, students and audience members all join the same coffee queue, and passionately discuss issues that range from how theatre deals with the climate emergency to “Making a Production about Hair”. As they say : “…..nothing is off the table. As long as you’re passionate about it, we’re here to help make space and time for it.”
This year it’s being held at Battersea Arts Centre, from 8th to 10th February, and everyone is welcome. You don’t have to be there all day every day, you don’t have to work in the theatre, you don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to; you just have to be Devoted and Disgruntled (or at least one of the two) about the performing arts.
For 2020 it’s pay what you can. There’s no age limit, everyone is welcome. The invitation from Battersea Arts Centre is here and as a frequent attender over the years I can only urge you to give it a try – you’ll be listened to, intrigued, challenged and helping to define the future of the theatre we love – what better way to spend the weekend?