Participants: Michael Addison, Graeme, Peter, Vanessa, Gareth, Olivia, Amanda, Sofia, John Morley, Jane Packman, Nick
Notes: Only 2 companies applied in 2010 for BE FESTIVAL. Lack of knowledge of festival and a need for longer lead in time for UK companies? Also the Festival need time to estsablish. Year 2 for both platforms.
Is there also a problem that UK companies don’t feel European?
Identifying a need to broker relations with International contacts and a need to know what’s out with there. Few models for UK companies working abroad.
Also a suggestion for a list or directory of companies’ experience of working internationally. Venues, festivals, practicalities, models of practice.
Knowledge sharing. Midpoint as mediator?
Also, importantly, other links
Twin city opportunities (eg. Cov/Cork; Brum/Leipzig) – seeking opportunities to link companies from diff. companies, e.g. Foursight / TDSM (Portugal)
BE Fest will bring international promoters into the West Mids and place UK work alongside Euro work in a showcase/platform. More opportunities sought, especially for taking UK work abroad.
Hippodrome also running ‘6 Summer Saturdays’ – programme of International outside work.
Int. touring seen as too big a leap perhaps, esp. when UK companies struggling to find gigs in UK. Therefore a mythbusting session required to demonstrate the possibilities.
Midpoint: On Call session? Opportunity for promoters to informally introduce themselves to practitioners. Session to be convened as part of the BE Festival on Friday 8th (5 – 6.30pm, tbc.)
Perception of different models of funding touring. Venues in UK having less budgets for bringing international companies to UK (need for venues to co-ordinate to enable this) whereas European venues seen as having more money available (France, Spain). And more programming power.
Is language an issue? Not necessarily. Depends on the context of the work. Traditions of Visual theatre abroad, but also Brit new writing is very successful. It’s about finding the right market.
Birmingham has a greart reputation abroad – but why is there an inherent complex within the West Mids. Which deflates this sense of value? (Miguel)
Also perception abroad of UK work being of high quality – based on long tradition of theatre. There is also a hunger for Brit work so why not more going abroad?
Are we reliant on specific platforms like British Council Showcase?
int. promoters coming to BE festival and from UK. Good enthusiasm from both sides. Great opportunity to make links. Suggestion of increasing value for money for those promoters by linking to other festival and enabling a tour, just like the circus tour of UK which will bring value to visiting programmers.
Importance of LEP’s (Local Enterprise Partnerships) to encourage and devolve funds for International collaboration. Growth Funds, previously administered as the Regional Development Agencies. These have a job-creation agenda, but arts representation does exist.
NPO venues are key to this at moment. Eg. Nottingham Playhouse Festival.
The call for artist for BE will be longer to allow West Midlands companies to apply
Attempt to link to BE and others to link-minded festivals to create a network which would be more attractive to promoters from abroad.
BE FESTIVAL will create a directory of International Festivals with guidelines for West Midlands companies.
Suggestion of inviting festivals or promoters to input and share in this process by contributing to the ‘directory’.
Get in touch with Mid Point to create a directory of West Midlands Companies in the Website so promoters can contact them.
During BE FESTIVAL have an on call session for promoters and companies to meet. Perhaps on Friday 8th at AE Harris (5-6:30) This is tbc.
Try to set up a meeting with different organisations to set up a platform for international promoters in West Midlands (following Circus models)
Gareth will write another session for DAY 2 of Open Space on: The infrastructure of the International Renowned RSC, being able to support independent West Midlands companies.