Too many ‘Oxbridge tossers’ in theatre industry, says Bradwell

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Director Mike Bradwell has criticised the “predominance of Oxbridge tossers” running venues in the theatre industry, claiming the sector has been “annexed entirely by the middle class”.

Bradwell, who founded Hull Truck in 1972, claimed theatre is dominated by “half a dozen floppy haired men” who have no real understanding of acting.

Speaking to The Stage, Bradwell said: “I do think there is a predominance of Oxbridge tossers – although I know some very good directors and actors who went to Oxbridge. But there is always going to be half a dozen floppy haired men, who come out in their early 20s, and end up going for the RSC and the National, and sometimes the Royal Court. They are very ambitious and want to do Titus Andronicus before they are 28, but they don’t really know what acting is about.”

He added: “They know what theatre is, as they have read about it. But they have not been in a play or been in a theatre or seen a panto, or been in a working men’s club, or a variety club, and got their hands dirty. They don’t know what actors do.”

Bradwell also bemoaned the number of people working in administrative roles in theatre today, claiming “you get paid more these days for putting up a poster about a play than you do for writing it. The problem with Oxbridge tossers is they see nothing wrong in that.”

For the full interview with Bradwell, see this week's print edition of The Stage