Theatre 2016 Hopes and Fears Survey Report

Theatre 2016 Hopes and Fears Survey Report

By Bon Culture


Discover the results of the Theatre 2016 ‘Hopes and Fears’ Survey in this report analysed by BON Culture.


This Hopes and Fears Survey was commissioned for the Theatre 2016 Conference by thirteen partner organisations and analysed by BON Culture. It is considered a snapshot of how respondents feel about what is happening in theatre in 2016, what theatre may be like in the future, and what they think the key issues may be. The Hopes and Fears findings were presented as a keynote speech by Dan Rebellato at the Theatre 2016 Conference.

The survey was publicised and people were invited to take part through the partner organisations and The Stage newspaper. Therefore the survey was self-selecting and cannot be considered to be wholly representative in a rigorous manner. There was also a very small percentage of respondents who identified as Asian or Asian British or Black or Black British.


The Hopes and Fears survey comprised three main sections:

Section One:
From your perspective, on a scale of 1 to 6, how would you describe the state of the UK Theatre industry today?

  • The average response was 3.56/6, with the most popular response being 4/6. Men were, on average, more positive about the state of the theatre industry. Women were generally below average.
  • There was a clear north/south divide, with respondents from more northern regions generally feeling less positive.
  • Respondents who identified as mixed race were, on average, very positive. Those who identified as Black or Black British were well below average, with the lowest levels of optimism being among those who identified as Asian or Asian British. However it should be noted that respondents who identified as non-white comprised only a small percentage of the sample.
  • Within job roles, those in creative positions were less optimistic than service suppliers, and those from commercial organisations were more positive than those in the public sector. The lowest levels of optimism were seen among respondents from charitable or non-profit organisations.

There was an overall correlation between the size and type of organisation respondents worked for, gender, geography and ethnicity. On average, respondents who identified as female, being from Northern regions, work for small scale organisations and creatives were less positive about British Theatre and in their outlook for the future.

Download the report to read more

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Resource type: Research | Published: 2016