Heritage Talk: The Changing Role of Regional Theatre

Heritage Talk: The Changing Role of Regional Theatre

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To coincide with Exeter Fringe Festival, our Artist Development Producer Helen Bovey will chair a conversation about the Changing Role of Regional Theatre.

The Northcott historically had a very wide remit geographically with core funding from Plymouth, Cornwall and Somerset with the expectation that its work have a presence in these places – what does the regional expectation look like now for venues such as the Northcott and what are some of the ways it is (or should be) fulfilling these?

How has NT’s changing role in Devon impacted on theatre makers and organisations working with communities?

What are the mission statements of theatres like the Northcott? Has there been a shift in the stated missions of major venues?  What is the impact of this shift?

Joining us for the first half of the conversation is Erin Walcon, Co-Director of Doorstep Arts with Alix Harris, Artistic Director of Beyond Face and Indra Congress Director.

The second half of the conversation will be with Mair George from Villages in Action and Ben Lyon-Ross, Talent Development Producer at Theatre Royal Plymouth. There will be a live chat function so do join us for what will be a lively and insightful discussion!

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Helen Bovey

Helen Bovey


Helen Bovey is an established Devon-based Theatre-Maker and Producer, who graduated from East 15 Acting School in 2013 before relocating back to Devon to create her own work. Founder and Artistic Director of Above Bounds Theatre, her specialism as a theatre-maker is in making work with and for children and young people, and notable projects include A-Tissue! A-Tissue! a show co-created with a group of 2-4 year olds and their families in Southway Library, Above & Beyond Children’s Theatre Festival, a children’s festival taking place in libraries across Plymouth and The Elves & The Shoemaker, a show for 4-7 year olds which toured across the UK between 2018-2019. As well as running Above Bounds, Helen works as the Executive Producer for Beyond Face CIC, as Producer (Artist Development) for the Exeter Northcott. Previous producing credits include for the Theatre Royal Plymouth and The Narwhal Ensemble, and as a Theatre Practitioner for companies including the Barbican Theatre Plymouth and Theatre Royal Plymouth.


Erin Walcon


Erin is Co-Director of Doorstep Arts in Torbay: a grassroots organisation providing sustainable long-term participatory arts engagement opportunities for children and young people. Doorstep Arts serves as part of the Collaborative Touring Network (2013-2024), building connections between outstanding touring performance and ongoing participatory work in 8 key regions across the UK. Erin is a Lecturer in Applied & Educational Theatre at the University of Exeter. She also serves as the convenor of the MA Applied Theatre pathway in the Drama Department and as the drama advisor for the MA in Creative Arts in Education, within the Graduate School of Education. She serves on the Advisory Board for Theatre Alibi and the Cultural Learning Alliance.

Image of Alix Harris

Alix Harris


Alix Harris is a Director and Theatre Practitioner based in Devon. In 2015 Alix founded and became Artistic Director of Beyond Face CIC. Beyond Face’s mission is to raise the profile and visibility of artists, young people and communities who are from African and Caribbean diasporas, people who are South Asian, East Asian or South-East Asian, North African, Middle Eastern or from ethnically mixed heritages. She has directed for Contact Theatre, Manchester & assistant directed for the Barbican Theatre Plymouth. In 2019/20 Alix was a Headlong Origins Director. Alix is a Director of Indra Congress, through this role she has worked internationally in South Africa and Palestine. She is also a part-time Drama lecturer at Exeter University .

Headshot of Mair George

Mair George


Originally hailing from Wales, Mair has a background in theatre production and employability in Higher Education, and has been working in Devon since 2014. At Villages in Action, she programmes and produces work for everyday spaces, working with a brilliant team of collaborators who love their communities and want to make brilliant things happen in Devon. Mair is also a Project Manager with Doorstep Arts, an arts education organisation based in Torbay, where she programmes live performances and supports emerging talent in the region.

Ben Lyon-Ross

Ben Lyon-Ross


Ben is the Talent Development Producer at the Theatre Royal Plymouth where he works to collaborate with artists in the region. The programme of artist support he oversees includes the Lab Company, Lab Associates and other commissioning programmes which take place across the Drum and Lab theatres. Alongside his work at TRP, Ben is a writer for stage and screen.

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