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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

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 [1] was speaking at the UK Theatre Awards [2] in London, where he won best design for The Grinning Man [3] 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.”