Daniel Bridgewater sets up Fourth Wall theatre company.

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Fourth Wall Theatre Network

The Fourth Wall Theatre Network is a socially driven theatre and arts hub based in Birmingham, focusing on creating, managing and developing the arts and artistic enterprise within the West Midlands.

It focuses on five strands of the arts, all of which fulfil founder Daniel Bridgewater’s aims to create top quality theatre, to provide opportunities in the arts and to develop future artistic leaders and practitioners.

Step Up To Serve launch by HRH Prince of Wales  at Buckingham Palace, London, UK.

Daniel’s success landed him an invite to meet HRH Prince Charles..

Fourth Wall Theatre Network:

  1. Sets up and manages its own socially driven theatre companies
  2. Franchises out its brand and supports up-and-coming theatre company managers in the setting up and running of their own companies
  3. Completes commissions
  4. Provides training and consultancy
  5. Runs and manages events

Entrepreneurship and Innovation asked Daniel Bridgewater to tell us more about his experiences on the UnLtd programme:

What were the best parts of the UnLtd programme?

The funding has been invaluable in allowing me to develop the company. Through this, I have been able to establish the Fourth Wall Theatre Network as a leading voice in youth theatre, which has provided the foundations for us to take the next steps towards achieving our goals.

How has the training helped you?

The training has built on the experiences and knowledge that I had, and has further helped me define my vision and understanding of my company. When you’re in a situation where you must ‘justify’ where you’re taking the company (to appease funders), it forces you to truly consider the implications of your actions, and thus make them better in the long run.

What advice would you give to other students applying for an UnLtd Award?

The UnLtd programme is one I am extremely familiar with and could not recommend highly enough. But to be successful on the programme, I would advise two things:

  • Firstly, make sure that the effect you have on the community is genuine and tangible. It’s often hard to describe how you will help people (sometimes just giving them a place to go is enough, for example), however you must strive to verbalise it in a way that is easy to understand and measurable to an extent. Fourth Wall Theatre Network has social impact throughout, and – through experience – I could tell you how every aspect of what we do creates this social impact.
  • Secondly, be realistic. Have a goal, and make sure you have a realistic plan for achieving it. If it doesn’t sound plausible, or the ‘business’ model doesn’t make sense, then it will be hard to convince any funder to give you the money. Just take a step back, think about it logically, and always be prepared to complete a second/third/fourth draft of your proposal.

What are your future plans?

In the near future I hope to:

  • Raise over £100,000 worth of grant funding through organisations such as Birmingham City Council, Arts Council and Arts Connect
  • Employ two full-time members of staff
  • Have a theatre company (self-managed or franchised) to be set up in at least 6 constituencies in Birmingham, representing 24 wards across the city
  • Complete at least 3 more large performances
  • Expand our operations into two more cities within the West Midlands

Testimonial

Richard Burden MP, Northfield constituency  “Fourth Wall brought young people from my constituency together to use performance arts to talk about the things that matter to them. The hopes and fears they expressed during their performance were certainly challenging, but all the more powerful for that. Daniel Bridgewater and his team deserve great credit for bringing it all together. It was today’s young generation inspiring an even younger generation to gain confidence and speak out!”

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