Three very diverse UK Theatre events

It’s been a busy week of UK Theatre events. Finding out what our industry is up to in three distinct areas. We attended the Frontline and Off stage conferences and went to an info session on preparing your organisation for Brexit. 

Busy days in the UK

UK theatre organised a number of events this week that we didn't want to miss. We'd like to share with you the things we learned during these days.  We attended the following three, very diverse conferences: 

  • Frontline covers all those subjects dear to the staff working in the Front of house areas
  • Off Stage is where the technical minds focus on health and safety and other such exercising issues
  • Preparing for a No-Deal Brexit - we all want to know what the possible outcomes are from this no matter what your viewpoint. 

Frontline and Off Stage were held at their regular venue - Birmingham Hippodrome. The staff of the Hippodrome exemplify some of the best practise in the industry and it’s wonderful to see a great team at the top of their game.  

Frontline 

Frontline kicked off with a fascinating panel presentation on sustainability. It was fab to see how far venues like National Theatre, HOME and Old Vic are pushing it. They’re all on a long journey and none of them are complacent. There are no simple solutions but painstaking research and pressure on suppliers to change has been shown to reap rewards. 

The big take-away here was that there was actually financial benefit from sustainability. So it makes doubly good sense to get your house in order. 

Off Stage 

Off Stage provided a platform for a new digital system for logging accidents and incidents from company Blue Lemon. There was a lot of interest in this as it really simplifies the structure of what to do and how to do it. A partnership with ABTT is making this really accessible and frankly a bit of a no brainer. So that sounds like a win for everyone in our industry. 

There was a fascinating but harrowing presentation by IOSH promoting the No Time To Lose campaign about the dangers of asbestos in the workplace. They’ve got some really great resources for you to get your hands on and raise awareness.

Preparing for Brexit

Preparing for a No-Deal Brexit sounded like it was going to be pretty challenging. One of a series of presentations around the country looking at the specific challenges for the theatre and arts industry, the one I attended was at the Bristol Old Vic. It was my first chance to see the recently reimagined events space - Cooper’s Hall - and it is stunning! 


The three areas covered were: 

  1. Movement of staff and artists from the EU to the UK and vice versa 
  2. IP and data issues 
  3. Movement of equipment between EU countries and the UK 

To summarise, the movement of people and equipment could be very challenging, time-consuming and potentially extremely costly. Let’s hope we don’t have to go down this route! On the upside, there’s very little change to IP and data.