Greater Expectations

Hosted by Aisha Ali, Artist Associate Theatre Bristol and Artistic Director, Kiota Bristol.

Monday 6th March 12.30 – 2.30pm

Greater Expectations is a space to talk about what we as marginalised creative freelancers should expect in terms of our inclusion.

True Inclusion in the Arts is still a difficult task as we face those who box-tick, those who don’t have a clear understanding of the politics behind it and those who simply have not had to think about it. We grow tired of the word “diversity” and the tokenistic attempts the industry makes to tackle the homogeneity of the creative workforce. As with the social model of disability, the onus should be on the industry and society as a whole to tackle these inequalities and make extra efforts to include rather than the Creatives themselves.


In the previous Greater Expectations, we looked at Chronic Illness, Neurodivergence and Visual Impairment. This time we’re focussing on Class. It’s a tricky thing to unpack with many people being unclear on their class identity, coming from a mixed-class background or moving from one class into another. In any case, it hugely affects how we see ourselves and our value in the workplace and the world.

According to the Class Calculator, there are currently 7 Classes based on social capital, cultural capital and financial capital – if you’re interested where you sit, take the test here.

A partially white washed brick wall

Dave Lovatt

(image 1)

Dave is a working-class artist from Stoke who makes work that includes and is relevant to multicultural working-class people. His power is bringing people together to create comedy-drama, always using non-theatre spaces to get my work to new audiences.

Dave has devised, written and directed 14 full-length plays and nine short films. He has taught over 1000 actors over 20 years, and his online course ‘Acting Made Easy’ has 302 global students.


Gill Simmons

(image 2)

Gill is a working class solo parent Bristolian in her mid-forties. She has an MA in Drama and Theatre (gained through a full bursary) and worked as a teacher leading secondary drama departments in several counties across the UK for 13 years. In 2013 she left formal teaching and set up the award-winning theatre and community arts company Brave Bold Drama. Brave Bold Drama is fully committed to providing high quality, accessible arts opportunities for the working class communities of south Bristol. How the company operates is fully informed by Gill’s lived experiences from growing up in this area and still living there now.


Danielle Rose

(image 3)

Danielle Rose is Pervasive Media Studio’s Network Producer at Watershed. Over 20 years ago, Danielle began her career in the ticket office of her local arts centre, Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts, having dropped out of sixth form. She has since gone onto be the first person in her family to go to university, gaining a First Class Honours in Arts & Events Management.  Organisations she’s worked for include Southbank Centre, Pavilion Dance South West and The Dartington Hall Trust.  Danielle has previously blogged on her experience of being from a working-class background, with experience of homelessness, and working in the arts. She’s passionate about working with others to address how the creative industries can develop to ensure that people from working class / benefits class backgrounds are not excluded by structural barriers and are better enabled to access, participate in and work in the arts. Danielle thinks class inclusion in the arts has a long way to go.


We are offering 4 x £50 freelancer bursaries for this event. Please email if you would like one. These will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis.


Access information:

  • If you have access requirements please get in touch at (or phone 07549 412900)
  • There will be a quiet room available
  • There will be fidget toys
  • There are 4 x freelancer bursaries available

This event is open to anyone who works in the live performance industry – salaried or freelance.

Use these links to find out more about:


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