Monday, 22 October 2012, 1:00PM
Museum of London

The Future of London Theatre

Professor Anthony Field

John Maynard Keynes was asked how he saw the future and replied “The future is not seen, it is made”. However, you cannot make the future when dealing with something conceived out of passion. Thus, the future of London Theatre - whether buildings or productions – cannot be planned because they represent the substance of faith.

So let us examine why drama has never been destroyed and, since early Greek and Roman times, has outlived the very civilisations that produced it...

This is the fourth in a series of four 'Mondays at One' lectures on The Theatre in London. Other lectures in this series are as follows:
    London Theatre: Past Glories, Today’s Success and Tomorrow’s Opportunities
    Is Theatre History? The Alternative Explosion
    West End Theatre in China

Anthony Field’s career in the theatre started after having qualified and gained experience as a Chartered Accountant, when in 1957 he ran London’s Comedy Theatre as the New Watergate Theatre Club so that productions then banned by the Lord Chamberlain (such as Tea and SympathyCat on a Hot Tin Roof and A View From the Bridge) could be presented to English audiences. This was a pioneering move in securing the abolition of stage censorship which occurred within a few years of launching the Club.

After nearly thirty years as Finance Director of the Arts Council of Great Britain (during which time his budget responsibility rose from under £1 million to over £300 million), Anthony became Vice-President of Theatre Projects Consultants when, together with Richard Pilbrow, he launched the first London productions of shows including CompanyA Little Night MusicA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and I’m Not Rappaport.

Anthony pioneered the very first University-level training courses for Arts Administrators and Managers (at the City University in London) in the late 1960s, and also lectured at Harvard University Business School for over a decade. Whilst at the Arts Council he established the Theatre Investment Fund (now called Stage One) and launched the West End half-price ticket booth in Leicester Square, which the Society of London Theatre now run as TKTS.

He is a Trustee of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) , of which he was Chair from its inception, and is currently Chair of the Theatre Projects Trust. He has also been Chair of the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith and launched the European extension of Henry Kissinger’s International Rescue Committee charity. He has served as a Trustee of the Mander and Mitchenson Theatre Collection, and served on the Boards of many theatres including the Royal Opera House and the National Theatre, and on the boards of many performing arts schools including Drama Centre London . He is a long-standing member of the International Society of the Performing Arts (ISPA) and was a founding member, director and Chair of Arts Interlink. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours including the ISPA International Citation of Merit Award in 2011 and the CBE in 1984.

Much in demand as a consultant, he also heads Anthony Field Associates, a London based group which consults, produces and invests in the arts and entertainment industry across the globe. He is a regular contributor to “The Stage” and other newspapers: a compilation of his articles and lectures has recently been published under the title “Pages From Stages”. He is a member of the Garrick Club.

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22 October 2012

The Future of London Theatre
Professor Anthony Field

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