Act For Change announces Theatre diversity debate at National Theatre

The acclaimed campaign group, The Act For Change Project, today announces a rare one-off event to be hosted at the National Theatre, focusing on the need for greater diversity in UK Theatre.

Following last year’s internationally celebrated launch at the Young Vic Theatre, which raised a call to arms when ITV aired a trailer for UK Drama featuring not a single BAME or disabled artist, Act For Change have campaigned by raising awareness of the need for greater inclusivity of race, class, disability, gender, age and sexuality within UK live and recorded arts. This has led to several of the major broadcasters and production companies reviewing and changing their policies.

With an overwhelming list of supporters including Stephen Fry, David Harewood, Meera Syal and Mark Rylance, Act For Change now addresses the lack of diversity in UK theatre by inviting some of the industry’s leading practitioners to join them on stage on the morning of June 2nd for a live debate exploring how UK theatre can celebrate the diversely rich landscape in which we live.

Act For Change founder, Danny Lee Wynter said “I am delighted the National theatre have given us this vital platform and hope the industry and public will seize the opportunity by using the morning to its fullest, most positive potential. I watched my first play here as a young gay mixed race working class kid from Essex. The experience was both thrilling and frightening. I was dubious whether theatre held a place for someone like me. Would I get work and be allowed to play in the classics, for a start? I saw nobody on stage or in the audience who looked like me. Sometimes, all these years later, that is still true.”

“We hope this event will challenge the perceptions of what diversity might be, not only on stage, but also off. What is, perhaps, most thrilling for us is that, thanks to the generosity of the National, this will be free to everyone who would like to come along and have their voice heard.”


Highlights include:

An on-stage interview with new National Theatre Director, Rufus Norris.

• A live public debate chaired by Shami ChakrabarL, Head of civil rights group, Liberty

• Panelists Mamma Mia & The Iron Lady director, Phyllida Lloyd, award winning playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah MBE, co-director of the 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony, Jenny Sealey MBE, arts critic, Mark Lawson, and Labour MP, Chris Bryant, with further special guest speakers to be announced over the coming weeks

• Unveiling of new diversity data

• Live testimonials read by some of the UK’s leading actors


The debate will take place 10am – 12pm on June 2nd 2015 in the National’s Olivier Theatre. To book a ticket for the morning event, go to the National’s website or call The National Theatre Box Office on: 020 7452 3000

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