About the project


Welcome to the Poor theatres research – a research project exploring the relationships between theatre, poverty and economic inequality that took place between 2014 and 2016.

This website provides a platform for sharing the research, including documentation on theatre initiatives engaging with issues of social welfare and economic justice, collected during the research period. We would like the website to be a useful port of call for artists, researchers and communities interested in the ways poverty and economic inequality has been engaged with by theatre practitioners. From the database, to the blog, to the resources section, the site offers opportunities to explore how artists contributing to the research understand their practice, to hear from communities engaged in theatre projects in economically deprived sites, to extend awareness of a network of practice, and to gather ideas for new approaches and future research.

Alongside its focus on contemporary theatre practice, the research project had a historical dimension. This involved working with theatre initiatives local to the site of the research to document their histories, as well as examining the histories of theatre’s relationships to the poor, with a particular focus on theatrical entertainments in Victorian workhouses.

Outputs included a database, a performance research output (‘The House‘) and a one-day symposium (‘Making theatre in the midst of austerity‘), alongside academic publications and teaching projects.

The research was supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council Early Career Fellowship, ‘Poor Theatres: a critical exploration of theatre, performance and economic precarity’ [Grant Ref: AH/L004054/1], led by Dr Jenny Hughes (University of Manchester).