Philip Prowse, the distinguished designer and director and member of the triumvirate that runs the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre, once quipped that he only went to the theatre in London to keep ‘au courant with what is deja vue’ (Prowse). Until recently this could have been dismissed as bravado; certainly not an accurate reflection of the state of British Theatre, as London had always been, indisputably, the centre of British Theatre. Anyone wishing to sample a whole range of new theatre work, or to experience fresh approaches to staging would have needed to stir no further north than London’s Round House or further south than the Oval House. While it is true that some theatre companies like Impact or Welfare State chose to create highly-acclaimed work outside London, in Leeds and in the Lake District respectively, even they needed to show their work in the capital in order to secure funding and critical recognition. Very occasionally a company like the Royal Exchange in Manchester or the Glasgow Citizens’ would forge a distinctive style which set it apart from the amorphous mass of ‘provincial’ theatres.
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