Freelancers Make Theatre Work is run by a small voluntary group of freelancers. The group is not fixed but fluid and welcomes participants who are willing to give time. Each week, a different member of the team writes the newsletter...

What we're up to...

By Kelsie Acton

I’m Kelsie, a freelance access consultant. A year ago, I moved from Edmonton (Canada) to London. I’d spent a better part of a decade doing freelance accessibility consulting and teaching inclusive dance in Canada, and was excited to immerse myself in a very different disability arts scene. It was also the fulfillment of a dream I’d had when I was twelve and first fallen in love with theatre - to live in London and work in theatre. (As I was twelve, I’d imagined myself as an actor, treading the Globe stage, but don’t most of us have that dream at twelve?). I picked up my first freelance gig in London in January, seven weeks before the start of lockdown. Not an auspicious start to the beginning of a career here. 


I’ve only been with Freelancers Make Theatre Work (FMTW) for a few weeks. In that time I’ve learned that we do a lot. It’s sometimes a little overwhelming just how many things are on the go. So I thought I’d update you on a few of the things we’re working on right now.

Hand drawn rocket on a yellow background

Future Labs is a series of conversations between freelancers, representatives of organizations and experts. The goal is to find solutions to the problems facing us right now and to find ways to support and engage freelancers. Do you want to be in one of those conversations? Head over to our website and apply.

Website and Social Media

Speaking of our website - it has pages on wellbeing, advice and resources. We also stay active on social media, sharing the latest news and what we’re up to. 

We had one picnic day earlier in September. We’re currently trying to think about what was successful about the picnics and if that can be translated onto zoom to abide by current safety requirements. We’d love to know if a freelance coffee drop-in (either online or in person) is something we should be hosting. Let us know on Twitter (@freelancersmake) or by email (


Each week the lobbying group meets to update the letter template for people to write their MPS, keep abreast of the latest political developments and strategise how to respond to them.


Connections and Collaborations

People from FMTW regularly attend meetings with other groups. Sometimes this is to combine forces lobbying for freelancers and the arts and sometimes this is to ensure freelancers’ voices are represented. This includes #WeMakeEvents, Excluded UK, Cultural Industries Federation, IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), Scene Change, SOLT (Society of London Theatre and UK Theatres), BECTU, Equity, AAPTLE (Alliance of Associations and Professionals for Theatre and Live Events) and political lobbyists.


FMTW is currently exploring creating a podcast! We’ll record in empty theatres, reminding ourselves of the places and people we miss. 

As someone who arrived in London just a year ago FMTW has been a bit of a crash course in politics (since I grew up in Canada, I haven’t studied British politics since I was 13, but now I know about the red wall) and a wonderful introduction to people and parts of the industry that I wouldn’t have had a chance to encounter otherwise. Like everyone else, I’m scared. It's hard to contemplate losing a dream so soon after realising it. Working with people to imagine a better future makes everything a little less scary and hard.


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