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Theatre ‘needs more working-class designers’ – Jon Bausor

Jon Bausor won best design UK Theatre Awards in London, where he won best design for The Grinning Man at Bristol’s Old Vic. Photo: Pamela Raith
Jon Bausor won best design UK Theatre Awards in London, where he won best design for The Grinning Man at Bristol’s Old Vic. Photo: Pamela Raith
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Designer Jon Bausor has said the “white, middle-class” theatre design sector needs to be more inviting to people from different backgrounds.

The set and costume designer was speaking at the UK Theatre Awards in London, where he won best design for The Grinning Man at Bristol’s Old Vic.

He told The Stage: “[We need] more and more people who are not so privileged to come and join us in this world, we’re very white, we’re very middle-class.

“I think [the industry] needs to invite them in. I wasn’t born into it, but I was essentially educated in a white, middle-class place. I didn’t know theatre existed, and I was in that world where I could see it. It was only by sheer fluke that I was asked to audition for the Royal Shakespeare Company and I discovered this amazing place that was bewildering.”

Bausor added that he would like to see more collaboration between the design sector and schools.

He said: “We need, for instance, young kids from Hackney to come and see what we do, because it’s not all about what happens at the front [of the stage].

“We’re really privileged to be here, so it would be nice to share it more with other people.”

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