WHAT WE DO
COMMON is a nationwide arts organisation which exists to support the UK theatre industry in achieving greater socio-economic diversity, and to help MAKE THEATRE MORE ACCESSIBLE TO THE working-class; whether they be artists, audiences or communities.
We work as expert consultants in socio-economic diversity with theatres and arts organisations across the UK, collaborating with them to increase the accessibility of their artistic programmes; outreach and community engagement work; schools and education programmes; artist development programmes and audience development initiatives.
COMMON specifically focus on supporting ‘off-stage creatives’, including theatre directors, producers, movement directors, stage management, costume supervisors, composers and lighting designers, to ensure that artists from working-class backgrounds have equal ability to gain the skills, experience and opportunities needed to build a sustainable career in theatre.
We work with theatres and arts organisations to develop practical solutions and interventions to eradicate the barriers faced by working-class artists and audiences, supporting the career development of working-class artists and the accessibility of theatre to working-class communities.
Our approach is fundamentally research-driven, and with support from COMMON's Board of Researchers, we continually work to better understand the complexities and intersectionality of socio-economic diversity within the UK theatre industry.
"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."