Welcome to Freelancers Make Theatre Work. We are a inclusive, independent community for the 200,000+ self-employed and freelance workers from all areas of theatre, opera and live performance, who make up 70% of the UK theatre workforce.

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The Big Freelancer Survey 2022

The Big Freelancer Survey aims to provide a detailed report of the past 12 months, this data will feed into ongoing lobbying of both industry bodies and government, informing them where support is most needed and what the greatest issues facing freelancers are.

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The Big Freelancer Report

One year on from the beginning of the pandemic, The Big Freelancer Report maps the problems facing the freelance workforce and makes practical recommendations for change.

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Join the #FreelancersMakeTheatreWork campaign

Our campaign has now reached over 16 Million people! Want to add your picture to sit alongside thousands of fellow Arts Freelancers campaigning for a better and more inclusive future? 

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Support us

Although Freelancers Make Theatre Work is run by an amazing group of volunteers, there are costs we have to cover. Find out more and how you can support FMTW here.


of the Theatre workforce are Freelancers

estimated jobs in the Arts sector


of the entire UK workforce is arts and culture

billion contributed to the UK economy by the Art and Culture sector

Who We Are

An inclusive, independent community for the 200,000+ self-employed and freelance workers from all areas of theatre, opera, dance and live performance, who make up 70% of the UK theatre workforce.


We aim to support each other as fellow freelancers in every way we can

We aim to encourage more transparent and inclusive conversations within the performing arts industry by listening to and articulating theatre freelancers’ needs to theatre managements, production companies, industry bodies and government.


Campaign to raise awareness of the vital role of freelancers in the theatre industry.

Provide a platform to collect the opinions and concerns of the freelance theatre workforce with the commitment to express them to decision makers who impact our work.

Offer a central resource of information for the freelance workforce that welcomes contributions from organisations and individuals to share the conversations going on behind closed doors.

Provide a place to share information and projects that nurture our collective wellbeing.

freelancers left the creative industries in 2020


of parents and carers are considering abandoning their career in the arts


of young Theatre Freelancers earn less than £10k/year


of musicians say Brexit has had a negative impact on their careers

Our Values


1. We want to listen to, advocate for and amplify the voices of freelancers.

2. We work to reflect the diverse world we live in through a sustained commitment to inclusion, accessibility and representation.

3. We grow trust by working with honesty and transparency.

4. We recognise and respect that everyone arrives at this work from a different starting point and with a different set of experiences.

5. We aim to work in a collaborative, non-hierarchical way and share responsibility for our actions.

6. We respect devolution and support freelancers working across all four nations of the United Kingdom, recognising the political, legal and cultural differences that arise from the individual contexts of each nation.

7. We endeavour to be solutions-focussed, addressing systemic issues both current and historic through action.

8. We foster empathetic and generous environments where everyone is safe to learn, ask for help, change their mind and make mistakes.

9. We endeavour to free spaces of bullying, coercion and passive aggressive behaviour.

10. We are proudly independent, volunteer and activist-led and we support each other as capacities change.


We are an anti-racism organisation


We are an anti-racist organisation. Everybody in, with or for our industry — people, partnerships or an organisation — needs to do more, MUCH MORE to work on anti-racism. Freelancers Make Theatre Work acknowledges the whiteness in our histories and our spaces, and our complicity in racist structures. We constantly commit to being actively anti-racist in our own organisation and to diversifying our networks. We encourage questions about anti-racism and the questioning of racism, with the acknowledgment that yielding space, recognising fragility, self-reflection and openness are all essential to deconstructing supremacism.

Ways to support Freelancers Make Theatre Work

Although Freelancers Make Theatre Work is run by an amazing group of volunteers, there are costs we have to cover. These include web hosting, zoom accounts, subscriptions and two freelance coordinators who help keep the wheels of Freelancers Make Theatre Work turning.

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Donate directly

We accept donations of any amount and 100% of the money you donate goes to helping FMTW lobby and support fellow Theatre Freelancers across the UK

  • £5 covers the cost of of Zoom for two weeks
  • £10 will cover the cost of our website hosting for a month
A ow of brightly coloured hands are raised on a plain yellow background. The word 'Volunteer' is written in a bold, black font in the top left corner with the black and red Freelancers Make Theatre Work logo on the opposite side.


Freelancers Make Theatre Work is a volunteer led organisation, this a call out for motivated individuals.

We ask that you only offer time within your capacity, and to activities that energise you.

It is about creating ways to change the industry for the better, without burning ourselves out in the process.

Freelancers Make Theatre Work’s core work has been supported by The National Theatre Foundation, the Maria Björnson Memorial Fund, The National Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, The Old Vic, Glyndebourne, The English National Ballet, The Southbank Centre and individual donors.

Sadler's Wells logo
Maria Björnson Fund Logo
National Theatre Logo
glyndebourne logo
English National Ballet Logo
Southbank Centre Logo

Individual Freelancers Make Theatre Work projects have been supported by Arts Council England

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