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A network for the East and West Midlands’ independent theatre sector.

“We are all unique in our offer to audiences, but together we are stronger.”

Debbie Kermode
Artistic Director of Midlands Arts Centre
speaking at the 2017 Symposium


East Meets West encourages collaboration between and within the East and West Midlands’ independent theatre communities.

Mobilising everyone* working in the sector no matter what their role, we’re creating a more proactive, democratic and supportive community.

The network is funded by Arts Council England, supported by venues throughout the Midlands, and curated by Birmingham-based theatre company Little Earthquake (aka Team Quake).

For 2019/20 we’ve developed a fun-packed programme of events, activities and initiatives designed to tackle challenges identified by members of the network at our last symposium. Expect picnics, workshops, theatre trips, buddy schemes, artist and programmer meet-ups, another symposium, and much, much more!

(* Psss! Yes we support artists, but it’s about time others working in the sector got a bit of love too, right?)

East Meets West is for everyone working in the professional independent theatre sector within the Midlands.

By theatre we mean the whole gamut of live performance from dance to circus, spoken word to live art, immersive to more traditional, plus all of those indefinable bits in between. If you describe what you do as theatre in some way, East Meets West is for you.

By everyone we mean Administrators, Composers and Musicians, Designers, Directors, Dramaturgs, Evaluators, Facilitators, Funders and Fundraisers, General Managers, Marketers, Performers, Producers, Production and Stage Managers, Programmers, Technicians, Theatre-Makers, Writers… and anyone else who helps to get independent theatre in front of audiences. We support Artists, but we also know that others working in the sector need a support network too.

Whilst we recognise the enormous contribution amateur artists, organisations and societies bring to the cultural landscape of the Midlands, East Meets West is intended for those working within the industry in a professional capacity.

Most members will live and work in the East or West Midlands. For our purposes, an Eastie is based and making work in: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire or Rutland — and a Westie is based and making work in: Birmingham, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton or Worcestershire.

If you don’t live in the Midlands you can be an Honorary Member. All we ask is that you have a vested interest in work being created in (and not just touring to) the Midlands.

You need to be aged 16 or over to join the network.

To ensure membership of the network maintains its integrity, all requests to join need to be approved by our Moderators. Once members have been approved, the information they post isn’t moderated before being published but is subject to regular monitoring.

There are two main membership areas of the network: the exciting new East Meets West Hub and a busy Facebook Group.

Yes! Thanks to support from Arts Council England and our venue partners, the network is free to join.

East Meets West and its curators are committed to protecting your personal information. It’s your information, it’s personal, and we respect that. It is very important for us that we can maintain the trust and confidence of those who interact with us.

Before singing up you should read our Privacy & Data Usage Policy, along with our Terms, Conditions & Community Guidelines.


Wanted: Members of the Midlands’ independent theatre community who are committed to collaborating rather than competing, and giving before they get.

At the very heart of the East Meets West network is your new community hub. It’s an online space (away from the distractions of other social media platforms) where you can meet and share knowledge with others working in the Midlands’ independent theatre sector.

It’s free to join, and entirely private. Only other members of the network can see your profile and posts. You can access the hub on the web, and there’s also an App for iOS and Android.



The hub harnesses the power of Mighty Networks to create a fun and easy-to-use experience that responds dynamically to how you’re interacting with other members, posts and topics. That means you’ll always see the most relevant information first. Gone are our boring old discussion forums. It’s time to take working out of networking!

Your hub profile is beautiful and sleek, and you’ll instantly be connected to sector soulmates who are nearby, share your primary job role or follow the same topics. It’s an exciting way to meet new people, expand your support network and share knowledge.

On top of all that, you can keep the sector social through direct one-to-one messaging and group chats, and by sharing your upcoming events.

The hub mainly relies on content posted and shared by our members. There’s a shed-load of tools that will help you spark debate, share your biggest lessons and ask for help.

Bash out a quick post (don’t forget to include photos, videos, files and links), craft a longer article (they’re a bit like blog posts) or create a poll for the rest of the community.


“East Meets West was a fantastic opportunity for me as an Artistic Director of a venue to get to hear the key issues for companies in our region.”

Sarah Brigham
Artistic Director of Derby Theatre
on the 2017 Symposium


Our 2018/19 programme wouldn’t be happening without support from all kinds of directions.

Arts Council England has made a huge contribution to this phase of East Meets West’s development, not just in terms of a substantial funding award but also through working with us to strengthen the reach, impact and future life of the network.

We’ve got two amazing Core Partners this year whose generosity, enthusiasm and commitment are indispensable. Very appropriately, there’s a wonderful Westie — Debbie Kermode at mac birmingham — and an exquisite Eastie — John Kirby at Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester.

Alongside them, we have a growing number of Supporting Partners — venues, organisations and individuals who are joining forces with us to pull the regional independent theatre community together ever more tightly.

More than anything, East Meets West is kept alive by you — the members of the network who use it, contribute to it and invite their colleagues to be part of it. Thank you!

East Meets West Funder Logo
East Meets West Core Partner Logos
East Meets West Supporting Partner Logos
Little Earthquake's Logo


The East Meets West network is curated by Little Earthquake (aka Team Quake) as part of our wider activities.

Founded in 2005, we’re a Birmingham-based theatre company led by Co-Directors Gareth Nicholls and Philip Holyman, and produced by Zoë Roberts.

“Thou Shalt Not Bore” is our only commandment.