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...

Bumper Edition! NT Workshops - Big Freelancer Report - Ghost Shows
National Theatre Workshops

Beth Steel

This week FMTW are excited to announce the National Theatre’s New Work Department will be hosting FMTW for a week from the 12th until the 16th of April. 

During that week there will be a program of 10 in-person workshops for freelancers across working practises: dramaturgy, acting, playwriting, digital creating, light, set, and sound design, as well as workshops for directors. The sessions are free and all the participants will be drawn from a lucky dip which will close on Tuesday 30th March at 9am.

The workshops are open to all levels of experience, they are about being inspired, giving yourself some creative joy; an opportunity to switch some lights back on inside yourself in places that may have been left dark. The places will be very limited, to find out how to clinch one and for more details, please click here. 

We would like to thank the National Theatre’s New Work Department for their support and generosity in facilitating this program. We also want to offer huge thanks to the freelancers who are delivering the workshops. They are:

Ben and Max Ringham

Alastair Coomer

Simon Stephens

Anne McNulty and Charlie Westenra

Indhu Rubasingham and Tom Piper

Rachel Bagshaw, Andy Whyment and Toby Coffey 

Ola Animashawun

Lyndsey Turner

Athena Stevens and Robin Norton-Hale

Prema Mehta and James Perkins

NT Workshops
New Podcast - Ghost Shows

Adele Thomas

Last week we launched a new podcast series called Ghost Shows. It was an idea that I’d had simmering away since the start of lockdown last year. In March 2020, I had been in tech for a show that was closed down due to the pandemic, and I became really interested in examining the phenomena not just of the shows that were closed down, but the perilous state of making an art form that is essentially temporal.

As 2021 rolled around and we approached the anniversary in March of the theatre’s closing down, I knew I had to make it. I was prompted by a conversation I had with a cast member of my closed show. They told me that they’d never really been able to speak about how heart breaking it had been to lose the show because, of course everyone was concerned only for the terrible tragedy of the virus. I realised there were lots of people still carrying the strangeness and trauma of losing their professional identities. The podcast felt like a way of exercising the ghosts of that moment. It was around this vacuum that FMTW formed in the first place, around the multifarious voices of the freelance theatre workers who found themselves out in the cold. I feel that the voices of the people we have interviewed go some way to articulating the collective voice in this moment of crisis.

I was hugely lucky for it to be co-produced by Curtain Call and Freelancers Make Theatre Work. One of the few upsides of lockdown has been discovering this as a new medium to play with and creating distinct language of the series with the amazing John Schwab and the glorious music of Freddie Crossley has been a thrilling creative outlet. 

We have two episodes up now and two more to come. Just search for the Curtain Call podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoy it, please give it a rating and a review to help us spread the word! And follow Curtain Call on all social media platforms to keep informed about future episodes. 

Go to the Podcast
The Big Freelancer Report

The Big Freelancer Report has landed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the workforce of freelance artists, technicians, and craftspeople on whose health and resilience the recovery of the performing arts sector depends.

However, the scale of the crisis for freelancers is rooted in a wider story of inequity which predates the pandemic.

The relationship between producers, venues, organisations, and the workforce is one of mutual dependence. But over the past 50 years, permanent employment for artists has largely disappeared. 94% of the work created for the nation’s stages is entirely reliant on the freelance workforce.

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.

This report was created by an independent group of performing arts freelancers, supported by Freelancers Make Theatre Work and funded by Arts Council England

Read the report
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