Transitioning to Sustainable Production across the UK Theatre Sector

23 May 2023

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Prof Dr Roberta Mock

Prof Dr Roberta Mock

Professor of Performance Studies & Director of the Doctoral College, University of Plymouth

Transitioning to Sustainable Production across the UK Theatre Sector

This discussion paper examines transitional pathways to sustainable theatre production in the UK. By presenting and evaluating the application of circular economy principles within a variety of theatre-making contexts, it provides evidence related to the time, cost, training, support, professional development and resources required to decarbonise theatre production, reduce waste, and eliminate environmentally harmful industry practices.

The report includes detailed case studies of three productions:

  • All’s Well That Ends Well by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) – a “large-scale production”
  • River Land by Theatre Alibi – a “small-scale production
  • Exodus by National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) – a “touring production”.

The report concludes by identifying the key issues, challenges and opportunities associated with low carbon/low waste theatre production, and offers observations and recommendations to enable the sector to reduce its environmental impacts and contribute to the meeting of net-zero emission targets.

This research was co-commissioned with Arts Council England.

Image credit: Hulki Okan Tabak, Unsplash