Chair: Josie Underwood / Peter McKintosh

Minutes: Freddie Crossley

Present: Alistair Cope, Paul Carey Jones, Mimi Doulton, Bill Bankes-Jones, Nikki Edmonds, Paule Constable, Vicki Mortimer, Josie Underwood, Peter McKintosh (& Bill’s dog)

Apologies: Jake Orr, Kelsie Acton, Leigh Toney, Beth Steel

  1. Welcome & introductions

FMTW Values & Anti-racism statement

(2 values to be randomly generated and read out and anti-racism commitment to be read out)

  1. Updates & reports

Projects on the go: (JU)

  • Big Freelancer Survey: 

JU: 3 more surveys to go!

Launch on March 1st open for 4-5weeks

Closing end of march/ beginning of pril – release results mid May

FMTW members onboarded for BFS will be remunerated

What did we miss in 2022? – new topical questions good for pushing a narrative

People Leaving the industry – how to gather this information

Whether they knew any colleagues who had left the industry and why – more responses, deteriorating quality of data?

PC: Asking DCMS what data is useful without letting them hijack it

Funding: ACE vs independence – funding us to do a piece of work not

Patrick Gracey – A foot in whitehall to loop in 

Push from employers as well as freelancers

Question: How different does the industry feel to you? – Something to express fragility in data

AC:  No necessity to look to ACE for funding this year

Approach ABBT/Theatre Craft to present findings over launch events – physical presence

Rates of Pay questions – a separate project.

PC-J: Importance of survey and data belonging to us with regards to funding and contract of trust with respondents

Structure this year allows us to offer analysis done by us.

MD: Any particular groups we didn’t hear from?

If we’re going to take it to groups before it’s closed are there specific groups?

  • Big 12 Project

JU, AC, Jake Orr – looking to get together in person to discuss project (To link theatres and create specific freelance charters with theatres and their local freelance workforce. This is a response to the Big 12’s request for collaboration) – Pilot

Following this meeting the team will reach out to Big 12

  • Rates of Pay (Meeting penciled: Monday 16th 10-11am)

JU: First Session looking to discuss rates of pay and rates of pay guidelines and what this piece of work looks like. 

VM: to invite Max Jones who has done a lot of this work before with Scene Change

PC: Invitation to FMTW group via a specific ask

Rates of pay: unions would have us believe it is their job but they can’t step back and take an overview.

It is necessary to open up the conversation of what people are actually paid 

AC: Approach groups that have gone quiet to ask if they would like to continue their work in FMTW

PM: Scene change data was empowering for many disciplines. To highlight the issue.

  • Open Houses (Meeting penciled: Monday 16th 1-2pm)

JU and Susan Kempster discussing the possibility of making this happen

Opportunity for volunteer recruitment

  • Unions

JU: how we can engage/ encourage engagement with unions (If anybody wants to get involved)

  • DCMS meetings (+ shadow cabinet)

JU: Meeting Next Wednesday with DCMS – skills gap

Response from Shadow Cabinet, Lucy Powell (Shadow Arts Minister), to ask us to keep them updated. Maybe we can get to a more discursive point with them.

JU: Has signed up to Labour Creatives on behalf of FMTW to know what’s going on here.

NE: Bectu Kevin Carson (freelance branch official)  &  Paul Evans – (freelance and research officer) are happy to join a meeting as and when

PC: DCMS want to talk to us about skills, but also about funding, people moving around.

Suggest that we send Shadow Cabinet a package around what we do

A provocation that we meet with DCMS every 6 weeks and therefore we should be doing the same with them

Link up with Deborah Anetts from ISM to share data

PC-J: Previous meeting about Brexit felt positive. Not the standard “it’s all fine” line. The response was the opposite, abreast with and ahead of our information. They were realistic but informed us that there was administerial pressure behind the scenes

Trade cooperation agreement up for renewal in 2024 – window for opportunity

Ask for feedback on the latest issues people experienced working in the EU

Responses highlight problems especially in Denmark and Germany

In the absence of federal mechanism, individual states (and theatres) can affirm their own system. Causing problems for British artists.

PC-J feeding back to DCMS on Monday – submit further responses/thoughts before then

BB-J: Already tackling Labour in a more powerful way than with Lucy Powell through civil service.

What is the equivalent of ISM for theatre?

PC: Independence is important – Unions can’t be so responsive or light footed

ISM made up of professional musicians – whose lives are dependent on it

Deborah Annetts has sent information to shadow government and these have gone into the Labour manifesto, our discussions have informed DCMS decisions

  • FMTW Social (AC)

AC: suggests informal in-person FMTW Meet Up

  1. Agenda points
  • Recruiting!!! Bat signal / social media

JU: Inviting the people on our spreadsheet including our values etc. – friendly/conversational interviews

Possibly Freelancers, possibly representatives of groups – all people interested in aiding our cause

AC: Shout out on social media to help with capacity (being aware of offers of payments)

BB-J: Is there capacity to deal with responses?


JU:  Is there anything we feel we are not doing but we should be doing? What would we like to get from 2023

PC-J: Coming up with a clearer definition of who we are and what we do (and what we do do well)

An Annual Cycle – what happens where and when to help us define where we’re heading

AC: JU and AC to meet in person on Monday to look at 2023 and beyond – work out a way FMTW can function without anyone feeling too stretched. What we do every year, what do we want to do and how we finance this.

Board Meeting W/C 16th

AC: Tax Q/A on the 12th January – John Harris, Accounting for Actors

Fundraising Meeting – do we need one?

BB-J: Report from Meetings with Public Campaign for Arts – government’s Fuel assistance to businesses is running out in March – what might happen after this. A powerful cross-sector alliance here.

PC-J: Waiting for updates on extension. Nobody knows what “Vulnerable Sectors” are.


  • VM: to invite Max Jones to Rates of Pay meeting (16th January) and group
  • VM: to write a round up of things we’re doing and wanting to do
  • AC to look into other groups who have gone quiet to ask if FMTW can help them continue their work
  • Link up with Deborah Annetts from ISM
  • PC-J feeding back to DCMS after post-Brexit responses on Monday – submit further responses/thoughts before then
  • JU/AC to propose date for FMTW Social
  • JU to inform Bat Signal about new invitations, then to invite, then to add.



Monday 9th

10am – DCMS Pre-meet

12.30 – Al & Josie In Person Catch up!

Wednesday 11th

2pm – DCMS Meeting

Thursday 12th

7pm – Tax Q&A for Theatre Freelancers

Friday 13th

3pm – BFS 2023 Catch-up