Total Theatre Archive: HLF Grant Success!

Total Theatre Magazine’s Archive Project Heritage Lottery Fund grant success: the full 25 years of Total Theatre Magazine in print to be preserved, digitised, and made available for free online

Total Theatre Magazine is delighted to announce that we have been awarded a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund through their Our Heritage funding programme which will be used to create a valuable new online resource.

Every single print issue of the magazine – which was published for 25 years between 1988 to 2012 – will be digitised and made available online on a brand new website.

For over 30 years, Total Theatre Magazine (now online) has been at the forefront of the advocacy, celebration and documentation of contemporary theatre and performance – including the support of forms such as circus, street theatre, site-responsive performance, puppetry, and visual theatre, which have often been ignored, or not treated with the seriousness they merit, by other publications. The print magazine encompassed 100 issues over 25 years. Thanks to National Lottery players, this archive will be preserved for everyone to engage with, all content provided free to view. The new Total Theatre Archive website is to be launched early in 2019.

Editor Dorothy Max Prior and Web Editor John Ellingsworth will be working with members of the magazine’s editorial team and volunteers to scan, upload and tag content, creating a fully searchable website that will be a valuable resource for scholars, journalists, artists, students, and anybody interested in Britain’s alternative theatre and performance history. Once the website is built, Total Theatre Magazine will be working with writers, editors, and leading arts professionals to create new content that will reflect upon and interact with the archive; and collaborating with our partners to create a programme of activities and learning opportunities using the new archive.

Total Theatre Magazine has also received financial support from a number of leading institutions and organisations, including Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance, Royal Conservatoire Scotland, and The Attenborough Centre of Creative Arts at University of Sussex.

The theatre and arts industry of Britain (and across the world) has been galvanised into expressing support for the digitising of the Total Theatre Magazine archive: artists, directors, producers, festival directors, critics, and professors and lecturers from leading drama schools across the country have all endorsed the need for Total Theatre Magazine to be digitised and made accessible.

Lyn Gardner (lead theatre critic, The Guardian / contributing editor The Stage) says:

‘Total Theatre Magazine has been a pioneer in terms of documenting theatre which has often been neglected by mainstream criticism. It has been a significant player in changing the culture of British theatre.’

Editor Dorothy Max Prior, who has worked for Total Theatre Magazine for more than two decades, says:

‘I’m grateful to Heritage Lottery Fund and our supporters for this opportunity, and delighted to be starting work on the Total Theatre Archive. I’m particularly excited at the prospect of re-engaging with all the wonderful material that we’ve published over the years, and finding interesting new ways to interact with the archive content.’

Editor’s Notes:

About Total Theatre Magazine:

Total Theatre Magazine is unique as an artist-led practice-based publication and resource that celebrates, supports and documents innovative work by artists and companies creating ‘total theatre’ – a term we resist defining too tightly, but which includes: physical, visual and ensemble devised theatre; dance-theatre; mime and clown; contemporary circus; cabaret and new variety; puppetry and animation; street arts, outdoor performance, and site-specific theatre; live art performance and hybrid arts.

Total Theatre Magazine is currently in a process of redevelopment which will result in an exciting new phase of life, building on our strong heritage and finding new ways to critique, document and support contemporary physical and visual theatre and performance.

Total Theatre Magazine is now, since 2017, managed and published by Aurelius Productions CIC. The core editorial team (Dorothy Max Prior, John Ellingsworth, Beccy Smith and Thomas Wilson) is working to progress plans for the next phase of Total Theatre Magazine.

About Total Theatre Network:

Total Theatre Magazine operates in collaboration with, but financially independent of, the Total Theatre Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which are produced by the organisation Total Theatre Network. See

About the Heritage Lottery Fund:

Thanks to National Lottery players, Heritage Lottery Fund invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love; from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. See

Download the PDF of the news release here:

Total Theatre Magazine News Release HLF grant success March 2018


HLF english_compact_black

This entry was posted in News on by .
Dorothy Max Prior

About Dorothy Max Prior

Dorothy Max Prior is the editor of Total Theatre Magazine, and is also a performer, writer, dramaturg and choreographer/director working in theatre, dance, installation and outdoor arts. Much of her work is sited in public spaces or in venues other than regular theatres. She also writes essays and stories, some of which are published and some of which languish in bottom drawers – and she teaches drama, dance and creative non-fiction writing.