Bunker Theatre artistic director Chris Sonnex has called for a greater diversity of accents to be heard in theatre.
The comments were made at The Stage Awards 2020, where the Bunker won the fringe theatre of the year category.
Sonnex told The Stage: “[Accents tell us] so many things about socio-economic backgrounds and the north/south divide, which is a real thing and is why we’re in [the current political situation], because we weren’t listening to those accents and it’s important.
“From the boy from the council estate in Brixton who talks slightly different to the south-east Londoner, they’re all different and that diversity is really brilliant and we should see it much more in the industry.”
Sonnex added that mainstream theatre has far to go in terms of diversity of accents on stage.
Head of production at the Bunker, Hannah Roza Fisher, added: “Something that’s interesting in theatre is the idea of a neutral accent. A neutral accent doesn’t exist, there are people from all walks of life and all areas of the country and they all have a story to tell and none of them are normal, every one is valid and every one should be heard.
“I think it’s crazy when people think of an English accent and you think of standard RP. That’s such a small percentage, and it’s about hearing all those voices and hearing them as loud as each other.”