Amateur Theatre, Place and Place-Making

  • Helen Nicholson
  • Nadine Holdsworth
  • Jane Milling


This chapter analyses how amateur theatre contributes to making places and building communities. Building on ideas about the cultural value of amateur theatre raised in Chap.  2, this chapter traces the historical connection between amateur theatre and the utopian vision of the Garden City Movement, where amateur theatre was seen as a mechanism of social integration in newly constructed towns. The chapter revisits the first two Garden Cities, Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City, to raise questions about how far, and in what ways, this idealism remains in today’s amateur theatre companies. Moving the debate to productions in London’s suburbs and in Norwich, the chapter examines questions of social exclusion and community, arguing that an emotional attachment to amateur theatre-making creates a sense of place and belonging.


Place Community Place-making Garden cities Suburbia Belonging 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Nicholson
    • 1
  • Nadine Holdsworth
    • 2
  • Jane Milling
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Drama, Theatre and DanceRoyal Holloway, University of LondonEghamUK
  2. 2.School of Theatre and Performance StudiesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  3. 3.Department of DramaUniversity of ExeterExeterUK

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