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Regional Theatres Programme

The Regional Theatres Programme was established in 2002 to promote geography to the wider public across England and Wales.

From topical issues to people, places and cultures, as well as exploration, fieldwork and adventure there is something for everyone who is keen to discover more about the world in which we live. Not all speakers are well known, but they are all experts in their fields and offer a unique insight into our planet.

The subjects of recent talks include Tim Jarvis describing his authentic re-enactment of part of Shackleton's perilous 1916 Endurance expedition; an eye-opening tour of a hidden world of countries that don’t exist by acclaimed travel writer and TV presenter Nick Middleton; as well as TV presenter and archaeologist Mary-Ann Ochota on a spotter's guide to the hidden histories of the British landscape.

The Regional Theatres Programme continues across England and Wales in summer 2017 with TV presenter and adventurer Benedict Allen on his dramatic return to Papua New Guinea in search of the elusive birds of paradise; and Fredi Devas and Chadden Hunter, producers of BBC Planet Earth II, take us behind the scenes of this ground-breaking documentary series.


Planet Earth II: Cities by Fredi Devas

Image credit BBC NHU/Paul Thompson

Cities are growing at a faster rate than any other habitat on Earth. They may seem an unlikely place for animals to thrive, but they can be a world of surprising opportunity. Leopards prowl the streets of Mumbai, langurs are revered as religious deities in Jodhpur, and locals live in harmony with wild hyenas in Harar. Many animals, however, struggle to cope in the urban jungle. As the architects of this environment, can humans choose to build cities that are homes for both them and wildlife? Fredi Devas, Producer of BBC Planet Earth II: Cities, takes us behind the scenes of this ground-breaking documentary series.

Fredi Devas is a wildlife filmmaker who cares deeply about the natural world and the challenges it faces. After completing a PhD on Chacma baboons in Namibia, Fredi did research on the bushmeat trade in Equatorial Guinea and then spent time living with the San bushmen in Southern Africa. Having worked on Meerkat Manor and Nick Baker’s Weird Creatures, he joined the BBC to work on Frozen Planet and then Wild Arabia. He’s been lucky enough to film polar bears feasting on a whale carcass, camel racing with robotic jockeys, and be surrounded by nearly half a million King penguins.


Adventures in paradise by Benedict Allen

Image credit David Osborne

With his usual good humour and enthusiasm, Benedict Allen reveals the full story of his dramatic return to Papua New Guinea, as featured in an inspiring BBC Two series; Birds of paradise: the ultimate quest. Benedict travelled through the swamps and some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet, with the distinguished BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner, in search of the island’s elusive birds of paradise.

Author, adventurer and film-maker, Benedict Allen is the only person known to have crossed the Amazon Basin at its widest, arguably no one alive has lived so long isolated and alone in so many potentially hostile remote environments. His ventures include the first documented journey of the length of the Namib Desert, and likewise he is the only person known to have crossed the full width of the Gobi with camels alone. His journeys are depicted in six BBC television series, and other ground-breaking series for National Geographic TV, The History Channel and Channel Five.


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