WHAT WE DO

 

COMMON is an arts organisation which exists to support the UK theatre industry in achieving greater socio-economic diversity, and help MAKE THEATRE MORE ACCESSIBLE TO THOSE FROM working-class BACKGROUNDS; whether they be artists, audiences or communities.

We work as expert consultants in socio-economic diversity with theatres and arts organisations across the UK, to increase the accessibility of their artistic programming, outreach and engagement work, and artist development programmes.

Our aim is to increase the accessibility of the UK theatre industry for those from working-class backgrounds, and to ensure that working-class artists have equal ability to gain the skills, experience and opportunities needed to build a sustainable career in theatre. 

Our approach is fundamentally research-driven, and with support from COMMON's Board of Humanities Researchers, we continually work to better understand the complexities and intersectionality of socio-economic diversity in the UK theatre industry.

We also lead our own research, collaborating with other arts organisations, union bodies and businesses to find practical solutions to issues of accessibility in the theatre industry.

This includes partnering with established arts organisations in regions across the UK to identify the complex barriers that artists from working-class backgrounds face in regional communities when trying to build careers in theatre. This is facilitated through our 'COMMON: GROUND' initiative.

We then work with these arts organisations to create and implement practical opportunities to support the career development of working-class artists, and accessibility of working-class audiences and communities, in specific regions across the country.

 

"Socio-economic diversity in the arts is a tough fight to fight. It has and continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing theatre in the UK, and our industry is all the poorer for its lack of accessibility and inclusivity of working-class artists. 

There were problems, challenges, and impossible hurdles when I was starting out from this kind of background, from a deprived community, but it's only getting harder for the next generation of ferociously talented artists. 

I have been so impressed and inspired by the work of David Loumgair and of COMMON, and wish an organisation like this had existed when I was in my early career.

I admire its mission, its punchiness and its ideas. I admire its desire to work with existing companies and venues in fuelling this conversation, and collaborating with them to come up with solutions. I admire its national focus and its commitment to regions outside the capital, working with communities across the UK who have limited access to the arts. 

As an artist from a working-class background, I am thrilled to join COMMON as a Patron to support this cause, and can't wait to see what ideas are generated and the progress we can all make together."

- James Graham, OLIVIER AWARD-winning Playwright and Patron of COMMON