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A Nation’s Theatre: Nationhood and Devolution

As the dust settles from the most turbulent General Election in a generation, and the UK faces a devolved future, this special event, the first part of A Nations Theatre, a year-long celebration of theatre and creativity presented by Battersea Arts Centre in partnership with the Guardian, looks at the impact this will have on theatre and the arts in the UK.

In Manchester, investment in the arts has been at the heart of the city’s much-lauded regeneration. In bringing the best international arts to the city as well as projecting local voices on the global stage, it has become an important cultural counterbalance to London.

As the city looks ahead to the prospect of devolution, and Wales and Scotland are assured of ever-greater autonomy, we ask what effect these new forces might have on theatre and the arts in the UK. Can a country that is increasingly regionally divided still be brought together by art? Will greater autonomy lead to a greater disparity of funding in the arts? And how do we ensure that the benefits of investment in the arts are felt by everyone?

The panel includes:

  • Walter Meierjohann, Artistic Director: Theatre at HOME
  • Gemma Bodinetz, Artistic Director of the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse
  • Matt Fenton, Artistic Director at Contact Theatre
  • Blanche McIntyre, Associate Director at Nuffield Theatre and director of HOME’s production of The Oresteia
  • Alison Clark Jenkins, Director of Combined Arts and North at Arts Council England
  • Yusra Warsama, Performance poet and actor

Chaired by Lyn Gardner, Guardian Theatre Critic with an introduction from David Jubb, Artistic Director at Battersea Arts Centre.