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Donmar Warehouse's Michael Longhurst and Henny Finch Join Latest Episode of FIGUREHEADS Podcast

Michael and Henny talk to Warwick about the impact of the pandemic on theatre, their visions for a post-pandemic future, and more.

The Artistic Director and Executive Director of Donmar Warehouse, Michael Longhurst and Henny Finch, are guests on today's episode of Figureheads. Hosted by Warwick Davis, Figureheads is a new business and culture podcast which interviews leaders from the UK's top sporting and entertainment institutions.

Michael and Henny talk to Warwick about the impact of the pandemic on theatre, their visions for a post-pandemic future, their moves to increase diversity in the theatre space, not making decisions just to tick boxes, and how to handle kickback from audiences.

Listen to the episode below!

On their vision for the future of theatre:

Warwick Davis: And in an ideal world, Michael, how do you see theatre in the future?

Michael Longhurst: Oh, I mean, open? I think the pandemic has made us collectively as an industry really look at ourselves and it has exposed things that were hard in the structures of the industry. You know, public subsidy means that we should be reflecting the needs of all the public, not some of the public. And who has access to culture, who gets to enjoy it, who gets to consume it, who gets to make it? Which stories are we telling? And we're asking these questions, really - really interrogating ourselves and trying to change that.

Warwick Davis: And what sort of stories do you think that theatre should be telling?

Michael Longhurst: For me, theatre has to ... theatre artists and theatre need to be at the centre of the conversations we're having now. So it's about our society and it's about who we are as humans. I mean, almost all stories come down to 'who am I?' And letting different artists ask that question enriches us, because I think theatre is an amazing medium for empathy. 'I go in, I understand that I am more like people I didn't know I was like, and that encourages my empathy across time and space'. And that's what theatre can do.


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