Devoted & Disgruntled of Leeds
11 February 2024
Reporter: David Chadderton
Improbable Theatre's annual three-day event Devoted & Disgruntled, posing questions about theatre and the arts, will be at the Warehouse in Leeds 16–18 March.
Now in its eighteenth year—though this is the first in-person event in five years due to COVID-19—D&D is aimed at "anyone who is passionate about the arts, from audiences to artists, CEOs to front of house staff and grassroots groups to seasoned professionals".
Anyone can raise issues at the start of the day to be discussed at breakout sessions. Attendees can sit in on whichever sessions they wish and come and go ass they please. Reports are read out to the whole group on the final day before being discussed in further sessions and actions proposed. Reports can later be accessed by anyone on the D&D web site.
Pst events have resulted in new venues, shows and theatre companies and the start of Fun Palaces, proposed originally by Stella Duffy at D&D in 2013 in honour of theatre director Jon Littlewood.
Matilda Leyser, Associate Director of Improbable, said, “’the question of what are we going to do about Theatre and the Performing Arts feels more important than ever. Many of us are feeling pretty hopeless about everything right now from funding to AI, but I also feel that artists can provide hope.
"What has helped me in similar situations over the years is the company, wisdom and motivation from our D&D events, which strip away all possible distractions and take us back to the connection between people. This is our eighteenth year and we wouldn’t still be doing these events if they didn’t have an impact and we didn’t come away from them feeling like we can make a difference.”