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Register here to enable you to watch and contribute to any of the live debates hosted at the Argument Room. You will also be able to access archived debates

The Argument Room is a monthly interactive debating forum streamed live on the internet. Its primary concerns are the arts and social justice. It has a focus on some important questions, such as:

  • 'Does the artist have any responsibility to the public? If so, what is it?'
  • 'Does contemporary art practice make any contribution to social justice or is that just a pleasing illusion?'
  • 'If it does, what are those positive effects and are they scaleable?'
  • 'To what extent can we identify causative factors that lead artists into their chosen career?'
  • 'Who or what should be funded: the artist, the building, the process or the outcome?'

Discussions prompted by these questions will take place on a monthly basis with a different guest each month. Each time the host interviewer will be Chris Johnston, previously Fellow in Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Warwick, Co-Director of Rideout and author of several books on performance practice. The discussion in every case will be streamed live, and you the audience will be able to send responses and questions in real time which will feed in to the discussion.

Forthcoming Argument Room debates:

We are currently in the process of planning debates for 2014. Please subscribe to receive news of the next event by email.

Previous sessions of the Argument Room are available for viewing in the archive. To view these discussions, log in and follow the thumbnail links beneath the main viewer window. You will need to be a registered user to do this so if you have not previously done so, please use the registration form to create a password. If you have forgotten your registration details, please email admin@rideout.org.uk and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Archive sessions:

Contemporary theatre requires an audience that co-authors the event. With David Edgar (playwright), Annette Mees (Coney), and Jake Orr (A Younger Theatre). Presented live from the ICA as part of Lifting the Curtain: On Audience and Authorship, a weekend event exploring a new trend in theatre where the audience's input is indispensable to the inner structure of the artwork. Co-facilitated by Pablo Pakula (Accidental Collective), and Duška Radosavljević (University of Kent), Lifting the Curtain: On Audience and Authorship was supported by the University of Kent's KIASH, CKP, ETRN, and the ICA.

Staging the lives of the dead; remembrance or reinvention? with Simon Callow.

Can the experience of art change behaviour? If so, should this be viewed as a primary or as an incidental function? Can any behavioural impact be measured; should it? With John Bergman (Geese USA), Stephen Clift (Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health), Philip Cowell (English PEN), Tim Joss (Rayne Foundation), Sara Lee (Music in Prisons), Annie KcKean (University of Winchester) and Richmond Trew.

What's Radical About Impro? With Phelim McDermott (Improbable), Katy Schutte (The Maydays), Dylan Emery (The Showstoppers), and Jonathan Kay.

The alternative and experimental theatre of the 60s, 70s and 80s; a profound influence on our culture today - or youthful exuberance in vain? A special series of three sessions presented in association with Unfinished Histories

The women's theatre movement, with Clair Chapwell of Spare Tyre, Didi Hopkins & Claudia Boulton of Beril and the Perils, Professor Anna Furse of Goldsmiths College, and Jane Boston & Tash Fairbanks of Siren Theatre.

Alternative, visual and experimental companies with Claire MacDonald of Impact Theatre, Lois Keidan of Live Art Development Agency, Geraldine Pilgrim of Hesitate and Demonstrate, and David Gale of Lumiere and Son.

Political and community theatre with Roland Muldoon of CAST, Chris Rawlence of Red Ladder, Kathleen McCreery of Red Ladder and Broadside Mobile Workers Theatre, Nabil Shaban of Graeae and Dr Susan Croft of Unfinished Histories.

BUSTED! Commercial and professional imperatives profoundly inhibit the evolution of ensemble theatre practice within the UK. With Tim Etchells, John Britton, Richard Katz, Gillian Hannah and Dr Duska Radosavljevic.

BARDIST! As long as we continue to obsess over Shakespeare, our theatre can never move on. With Tim Crouch, Stephen Unwin, Rae McKen, Jeremy Hardingham and Kathryn Chin.

BROKE! It's time for the economics of necessity: voluntary participation in large-scale theatre events offers new opportunities for artists to create visionary, ground-breaking, experimental performance. With Professor Ed Berman, Bill Aitchison, Frances Rifkin, David Micklem, John Kieffer, Martin Brown, and Kelda Holmes.

Riots and Rumours of Riots – Where is the Arts Response to Social Unrest? With Baroness Lola Young, Barby Asante, Topher Campbell, Zoe Ingenhaag and Irfan Patel.

There is widespread cultural and institutional resistance towards the achievement of gender equality. With Bea Campbell, and chaired by Sarah Smyth.

A New Vision of Theatre with Chris Goode.

Prison Reform with Juliet Lyon.