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...

A year of Freelancers Make Theatre Work

Almost a year ago to the day, twelve theatre freelancers met for the first time over Zoom. From different disciplines, backgrounds and experiences, the pandemic and the subsequent shutdown of our industry brought them together.

What could we do? What could any of us do? 

There was no support, no collective union. No voice for Freelancers. Freelancers who were receiving no support, no information.

Freelancers, it seemed, were alone.

Freelancers make up over 70% of the industry but there was no furlough for us. No sick pay, no HR department.

Key words that kept coming up in the meeting were transparency, advocacy, fairness, connectivity. By the end of the meeting Freelancers Make Theatre Work was born. 

Within a week, a website sprung to life. A central source for information, guidance, support. A digital space for a vast community unheard and unsupported.

A social media campaign followed where thousands of Theatre Freelancers posted pictures of themselves holding up signs declaring their job and proclaiming that yes, Freelancers DO make theatre work. Even now, a year on, theatre Freelancers are still posting their pictures and we share them every day on our instagram channel.

Freelancers were not alone. There are over 200,000 of us!

A year on and the FMTW team has grown with over 80 different Freelancers feeding in and supporting the collective.

We've achieved a lot. But there is more. Much more we can do.

For now, thank you. Thank you to our amazing community. For shouting, for sending your pictures, for writing to your MPs. Thank you to the Theatres, buildings, organisations and individuals who have looked after their freelancers and for those who have listened, learned and grown.

And thank you to the amazing team who have contributed time, energy, love and advice to FMTW over the last 12 months...

Adele Thomas, Alisa Kalyanova, Alistair Cope, Andy Whyment, Anna Fleischle, Anne McNultyAnoushka Warden, Arran Pallan, Athena Stevens, Ben Arkell, Beth Sitek, Beth Steel, Bill Bankes-Jones, Chino Odimba, Claire Williamson, Davina Shah, Deelee Dube, Ella Taylor, Ellie Manners, Emily Burns, Emma Cameron, Emma Jayne Park, Esi Acquaah-Harrison, Fi Fraser, Freddie Crossley, Gurkiran Kaur, Gweneth Rand, Hazel Holder, Heidi Thornton, Jack Hudson, Jake Orr, James Ifan, Jess Murrain, Joel Trill, John McCann, John Schwab, Josie Underwood, Kat Rose-Martin, Kate Waters, Keith Arrowsmith, Kelsie Acton, Laura Meaton, Leigh Toney, Leo Wan, Lynne Page, Matt Humphrey, Michael Henry, Mimi Doulton, Nafeesah Butt, Natalie Abrahami, Neil Austin, Nikki Edwards, Ola Ince, Paul Carey Jones, Paul Connolly, Paule Constable, Peter Braithwaite, Peter McKintosh, Polly Bennett, Prema Mehta, Rachel Bagshaw, Richard Eyre, Sally Beck Wippman, Shankho Chaudhuri, Sita Thomas, Steffan Donnelly, Steven Hoggett, Sunita Hinduja, Susan Kempster, Tamara Stein, Tamykha Patterson, Titas Holder, Tom Piper, Tracey Lindsay, Vicki Mortimer

Donate to FMTW
Donate to FMTW
You can now donate directly to FMTW to help us continue lobbying and supporting the Theatre Freelance Community.
UK Backstage Mental Health Evaluation

AAPTLE (The Alliance of Associations & Professionals in Theatre & Live Events) is conducting the largest ever survey of wellbeing and mental health in our backstage communities and would like to hear from as many Freelancers as possible.

The results will help the industry gain a better appreciation of mental health issues and prevalence within the workforce, whilst supporting AAPTLE to put together a series of recommendations for organisations to better support their staff and freelancers. The survey is open until 21 June.

Take the survey
Theatre Stories

What is the biggest impact that theatre has made on your life? Theatre Stories is a brand new national campaign, amplifying unheard voices and celebrating the ways in which theatre benefits local communities. Follow on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to meet the people who have lent their unique voices and experiences to this remarkable project. With support from Arts Council England and The Space, and presented in partnership with theatres up and down the UK. 

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Zipcar offer

We have partnered with Zipcar for Business to help support Theatre Freelancers get back up and running by offering you a year’s free business membership (worth £99). With over 3000 cars and vans available to use 24/7, all bookable via their free app, Zipcar for Business can help you save time and money on your travel. Business members get up to 30% off standard driving rates, and you’ll receive £50 driving credit to help you get going.  

Here is a link to find out more about the offer and how to sign up:

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Two hand drawn blue ballons sit on a yellow background. The words 'Support FMTW' are written in a bold, black font with the red and black Freelancers Make Theatre Work logo in the lower left corner.
Support FMTW
You can now donate direct to FMTW to support our continued lobbying and advocacy.
We work alongside and are proud to advocate for, support and receive support from fellow organisations.
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