What We Did
“It’s a question I get asked quite a lot: what’s it like being a woman in theatre? I’ve never really been able to answer it, or know how I’d answer it on behalf of anyone else I work with. Advance seemed like a really fascinating way of actually trying to hone down where we are as an industry. ”
Rachel Tackley, Director, English Touring Theatre
Tonic conducted research with a group of actors who had toured with ETT and gathered together the information, then shared it with us.
What We Learned
We learnt that most of our assumptions about why touring is hard are correct, and that the hardest aspect is accommodation and staying in digs which you can’t control and often have little information about. The main gender specific element is personal safety – we realised that actresses and female stage managers may not know when bookings their digs whether the route home is (or feels) unsafe. However the most important element overall (and which is less gender specific) is information regarding digs – not always knowing what facilities there would be and what condition they would be in.
What We’re Doing in Response to What We Learned
We are upgrading and improving our digs list to include photos of rooms, volunteered by hosts, and asking them questions regarding the route from the theatre to the digs. We will also start asking acting companies who review digs to comment on how safe they felt the area in which the digs are situated were.
Is This Work a Step Towards a Bigger Goal?
Yes in that we are always trying to improve the experience of acting companies being on tour, and we naturally value the safety of our touring companies very highly. However this upgrade work is also an end in itself which we hope will make a great difference to the touring experience for our companies.