Chapter Arts Centre in the 1970s: a radical shift for theatre

Reading, K (2024) 'Chapter Arts Centre in the 1970s: a radical shift for theatre.' In: Hindson, C, Cochrane, C, Reid, T and Goddard, L, eds. The Routledge companion to twentieth century British theatre. Routledge, Abingdon. (Forthcoming)


This chapter is a case study of Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff which opened its doors in 1971, a crucial turning point in theatre history that its founders were at the forefront of. The chapter focuses on the early years of Chapter and how the approach to making and programming theatre engaged its community – both locally and afar. The chapter draws on interviews conducted with both Mik Flood and Christine Kinsey (two of the founders), engage with original archival material pertaining to the history of the arts centre and examine alternative theatre history (Ansorage 1975, Itzen 1980, Barker 1979, Craig 1980). From the mid-to late seventies chapter arts centre began a residency programme that invited artists to come and make work, using the entire building as their stage. Arguably this could be seen as one of the first places in the UK to pioneer what we have now come to call “Immersive Theatre”. This model was adopted from the Mickery Theatre in Holland, a place Mik Flood visited as part of his research for rethinking how theatre should be made and seen within the walls of (and beyond) Chapter. Flood was keen to build a relationship between the arts centre, the audience and the theatre makers and allow the building to be place of making rather than only viewing theatre. The chapter explores the efficacy of these residences and investigates how the relationship between the building and its community were developed.

Item Type: Book Chapter or Section
Divisions: Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2022 09:14
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2024 21:29
URI / Page ID:
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)