David Thacker warns against decline in producing theatres

David Thacker, artistic director of the Octagon Theatre Bolton. Photo: Ray Jefferson
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Octagon Theatre Bolton artistic director David Thacker has warned that the number of producing theatres in Britain will be “seriously reduced” in 10 year’s time.

He said it was “vital” that companies in Britain that focus solely on producing were protected to stop this “terrible” situation from happening.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the National Theatre on regional theatre, he said: “If we were here in 10 years’ time I think the number of producing theatres will have been seriously reduced and that’s terrible. I think we could address that if we wanted to as a nation.”

The artistic director said that he had already detected a reduction in the number of in-house produced shows at companies where he used to work.

“I think it is vital that there are some theatres are protected in the ecostructure of British theatre that are fundamentally producing theatres,” he said.

Giles Croft, artistic director at Nottingham Playhouse, said that while his venue had retained its production levels, the “big change” was that more shows were now being co-produced with other theatres.

“The hidden bit of this is there are far fewer productions out there but it appears there are the same number,” said Croft.