Sell A Door: Theatre sector must contribute to Brexit debate

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As new Prime Minister Theresa May forms her Brexit government, Sell a Door founders David Hutchinson and Phillip Rowntree have outlined their concerns about how Brexit impacts them as theatre producers of national and international tours including Little Shop of Horrors, Footloose, James and the Giant Peach and Green Day’s American Idiot, now returned to London’s Arts Theatre for its second West End run. 

Given the inevitable atmosphere of uncertainty that has followed Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, we have taken time as a company to evaluate our position, not only as an independent business, but also as a representative of British theatre internationally.

With a primary company objective to introduce Dynamic, Diverse and Daring theatre to new audiences, Sell A Door has always prided itself on its expansive vision. Isolationism, or implied inclusivity, in any respect reflects on this ethos, directly impacting our operations and is a concern to be addressed with gravity. Our decided approach to the continuously shifting climate is constant and determined: to continue to further our audience engagement, whilst assuredly strengthening close relationships with venues across the globe.

“We believe that the UK maintaining strong cultural links with Europe is vital, and we encourage other companies within the industry to engage with this topic and vocalise their opinions.”

Sell A Door is a proud exporter of theatre, our work travelling to Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore in the last year alone. We have a New York office, work with Vienna’s English Theatre and have China, wider Asia and Australia very much set in our sights for 2017. Partnerships within Europe are a crucial part of our development strategy, with approaching projects to be announced in Luxembourg, Italy and Belgium and whilst we don’t yet know the magnitude of this vote, we have certainly been presented with a moving target to be negotiated carefully.

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American Idiot has returned to the Arts Theatre after extensive touring

Similarly the impact of ‘Brexit’ is not limited in its influence to our international landscape. With a Scottish tour of The Broons beginning in September, any potential division or debate within the United Kingdom internally, is also likely to have some bearing on how we are perceived as a London-centred enterprise.

“As a sector, we can help shape the future of the cultural scene in Britain and we see it as our responsibility to contribute.”

Our measured response to this indeterminate political atmosphere is a process of continued integration, both in the immediate and long-term aftermath of this result. Theatre will always evolve as a means of expressing changing historical, political and cultural landscapes, and we are resolved as a company to reflect this in the manner in which we conduct our business.

We believe that the UK maintaining strong cultural links with Europe is vital, and we encourage other companies within the industry to engage with this topic and vocalise their opinions. As a sector, we can help shape the future of the cultural scene in Britain and we see it as our responsibility to contribute.

We are excited and determined to continue to strengthen relationships with artistic venues and organisations on the continent and will be actively advocating good access and the provision of cross border cultural exchanges. Moving forward, we intend to shout very loudly and protest against measures that will make it more difficult to share work made in the UK with audiences outside of the UK.

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Guest Bloggers on Twitter
Guest Bloggers
MyTheatreMates welcomes submissions from guest bloggers and other occasional contributors, including theatremakers commenting on aspects of their shows. Please email your suggestions to Mates co-founder Terri Paddock or submit them via our Contact Us page.