New theatre commissions to explore Britain’s changing relationship with Europe

A partnership of leading theatres in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are set to embark on an epic cycle of new play commissions which will explore Britain’s changing relationship with Europe.

Royal & Derngate is collaborating with producing partners Lyric Theatre Belfast, Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre and Edinburgh’s The Lyceum to produce the shows, along with its theatre complex in Northampton.

The venues will be partnering with The RSA on talks and debates.

James Dacre, Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate, explains: “Northampton is the geographical centre of England and our town’s history captures the polarising perspectives from the urban and rural, the liberal and conservative, the passionately local and proudly international.

“Royal & Derngate, here in the middle of England, has now invited all of the nations of the United Kingdom to embark on a theatrical exploration of their place in the world.

“Our three partner theatres will join us in initiating a cycle of plays that respond both to Brexit but also to the political and ideological divisions that recent events have exposed across the country.

“By bringing together a diverse group of emerging and established artists, thinkers and practitioners from across Europe, we aim to create a cycle of work that offers a unique insight into our nation’s past and present while imagining the possibilities for its future.”

The symposium will run from 6.30pm to 7.45pm with a live audience of 180, and will be filmed for broadcast and podcast. Beginning with short statements from a panel comprised of Kwame Kwei-Armah, April De Angelis, Roy Williams, Tanika Gupta, James Graham and Brad Birch, a “Question Time” style debate will follow, chaired by journalist and broadcaster Mark Lawson.

The evening will be introduced by Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, and will conclude with the launch of this epic new cycle of play commissions by James Dacre, Artistic Director of Northampton’s Royal & Derngate and David Greig, Artistic Director of The Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, on behalf of the four partner theatres. Further information on the commissioning and producing process will be announced in due course.

The symposium is open to the public.

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