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7th November 2017 Bea Udeh


ADA 2.0 Fellow, Liz Hebden is the Front of House Manager at Bristol Old Vic Theatre (BOV) and here blogs about planning her first customer-facing agile experiment.

Whilst getting myself involved in being part of the Audience Diversity Academy Fellowship I have been pondering how people currently get involved with Bristol Old Vic.

So, with some wise words from my trusty mentor I have started to ask my colleagues their opinions on how people can and can’t connect with BOV.

To be exact, I have been asking colleagues in person ‘How do people get in/out of Bristol Old Vic?’ and have purposely kept the question vague. This particular question stemmed from me declaring to my mentor that people cannot ‘get into’ BOV – in the broadest sense. This statement seemed to articulate the barrier that I feel exists around our venue currently and so it seems like a good starting point for an experiment.

As well as asking the above question, I have also played around with some seriously unscripted additional questions in a few trial interviews with my peers and my team. I became hooked on asking people how ‘they’ started their journey at BOV. Asking a more personal question was more interesting to me and really showed the different pathways people have taken to end up working in Theatre.

These people are the face of our organisation but their faces are only half of the picture. The audience are the other half. I want to explore how an organisation can reflect its audience and its city.

Why don’t a wider variety of people come to our Theatre? Is it partly because of who our team represent at the moment when compared to the people of Bristol? How do I share with the public who we really are and who Bristol Old Vic is for?

In case you were wondering, WE ARE HERE FOR EVERYONE.  But, why doesn’t everyone know this already?

Time to find out.