Let's change the arts

working with communities to change the arts

All our work is created with the communities it will touch in mind. From magnificent community choirs onstage as part of a production, to small bespoke creative projects that pack a punch, community work is never an afterthought.

Let's work together!


We believe in investing time and energy in the communities to which we tour. We want to shine a light on what communities offer the arts, as well as what they need from the arts. 

Connecting Communities is our three year programme of work with diverse communities local to the venues we are touring our artistic programme to. Our creative teams have connected with and are supporting community groups to develop their own creative responses to the work we’re touring. As we return to the same venues over several years with a variety of shows as part of our Touring Diverse Led Circus programme, we build ever stronger relationships with the communities in those locations.

Central to this work, is our Unexpected Leaders programme, through which we identify potential in individuals, coach them to expand their skillset, help them achieve their creative goals, and connect them with opportunities to lead in their local area. The Unexpected Leaders already onboard are providing vital leadership in the design and delivery of the evaluation for Extraordinary Bodies’ shows. 

Our current cohort of leaders are also well underway with work on their own creative projects, and we hope to provide a platform for them to showcase their work over the next couple of years. We aim to leave behind a network of diverse leaders to advocate for their communities and work alongside their local theatres.

Between 2021-2024, we’re partnering with communities in the following theatres around the UK:

The Fire Station, Sunderland

The Civic, Barnsley 

Plymouth Theatre Royal

Brighton Dome

The LowrySalford

Lighthouse, Poole

and Brixton House.

Across the years our Unexpected Leaders have and will continue to meet face to face at our shows, and work together speaking to audiences and evaluating Extraordinary Bodies shows. We’ll also be finding every opportunity to connect our broader community groups digitally whenever we can, creating a national network.

Community engagement frequently happens on the periphery of public debate and away from public stages. Connecting Communities  works to shift thinking by raising the status of marginalised people and shining a light on what they offer, rather than solely on what they need.
We are focussed on who’s making decisions and how decisions are being made. Sign up to our newsletter and consider making a donation to join the movement. 
This work has been funded through the National Lottery Community Fund, to whom we are very grateful.

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Our friends include:

Bristol Old Vic

2016 - Present

2016 marked the beginning of our long-term relationship with Bristol Old Vic. We delivered a series of cross departmental workshops to provoke and inspire thinking and action around diversity in the venue. Sessions included work around casting diversification, welcoming D/deaf and visually impaired visitors for Front of House staff, integrated practice for the outreach department and discussions around accessibility issues with the building which informed its refurbishment in 2019. Diverse City’s connection with Bristol Old Vic remains strong as we are one of the venue’s Associate Companies.



Our friendship with Lighthouse Poole is very long lived, as it provides the home for our young company: Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists, as well as forming part of our partnership of touring venues.

Ramps On The Moon


We delivered 15 training sessions over the course of a year for Ramps On The Moon, a collaborative network led by New Wolsey Theatre, bringing together The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, New Wolsey Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Sheffield Theatres, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Graeae Theatre. The training led by Diverse City training focused on best practice to work inclusively with D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled young people.

Theatre Royal Plymouth

2016 - 2017

In 2016-2017, Diverse City worked with Theatre Royal Plymouth as Agents For Change. We provided practical steps and advice around diversifying recruitment and community engagement. We delivered sessions for Senior Management, Board members and staff throughout the organisation to provoke new thinking around how under-represented communities might be engaged and recruited. We created meaningful connections between Theatre Royal Plymouth with our networks of organisations who were on the same journey to increase diversity.

Photo credits from top to bottom of page: © Joe Clarke / Left © Paul Blakemore, Right © Paul Blakemore
/ Left © Christopher Cardwell, Right © Billy Alwen / Left © Chelsey Cliff, Right © Dom Moore

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