September 2021

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21 Sept - BECTU’s freelancers initiative is a step towards gender-pay equity

At times, I feel like a broken record. I have been talking about low pay, exploitative terms and conditions, the gendered nature of costume work, the impact of Covid on costume workers and so on for so long, I worry that, to people who do not actually know me, I come off as a joyless curmudgeon.

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21 Sept - Theatre workers face 'immense hardship' due to Universal Credit changes – Equity

Half of performing arts workers who are receiving Universal Credit will be thrust into further financial hardship if the government removes the £20-a-week uplift, according to a new survey.

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20 Sept - To make change we have to recognise our power and question how we use it

If we want theatre to change, says Lyn Gardner, we have to acknowledge our power and seek to draw on the widest range of perspectives and ideas

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20 Sept - Finally! Get ready for a new season of culture

Over the past year and a half, with big releases held back and live performances disappearing completely, many of us have had a sneaking feeling that we’ve run out of new culture – and the Guardian’s critics are no exception

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20 Sept - Is the call for tough criticism out of step with audiences and reviewers?

We have suffered a collective trauma as a result of the pandemic and that continues to impact theatregoing experiences. We could use more honesty about the emotions affecting everyone, including critics, says Kate Maltby

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19 Sept - Save the midweek matinee. It is a crucial part of our theatre industry

The Wednesday afternoon performance could become a thing of the past. Theatre bosses must avoid this at all costs

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17 Sept - Clinically vulnerable excluded in ‘two-tier’ theatre reopening – campaigners

Theatre is currently undergoing a “two-tier” reopening in which disabled and clinically vulnerable artists and audience members are being left behind, activists have warned.

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17 Sept - West End theatres cancel weekday performances in favour of Sunday matinees

Shake-up of traditional show scheduling to win back audiences who disappeared during the pandemic

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16 Sept - ACE to focus on 54 ‘priority places’ in bid to rebalance arts investment

Stoke-on-Trent, Blackpool, Portsmouth, Durham, Great Yarmouth and Croydon are among more than 50 locations where Arts Council England will prioritise investment and opportunities, as part of its 10-year strategy.

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15 Sept - Nadine Dorries joins cabinet as Culture Secretary as Boris Johnson carries out reshuffle

Outspoken Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has been promoted to the cabinet for the first time, nine years after she was suspended by the party for abandoning Parliament for a fortnight to appear on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.

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15 Sept - Offies event relocates to new venue after disabled access row

A row has broken out over disabled access to an event hosted by theatre awards the Offies, which led to the initial occasion being cancelled hours before it was due to take place and then subsequently reinstated at a new venue.

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15 Sept - Nadine Dorries appointed culture secretary in reshuffle

Boris Johnson has appointed Nadine Dorries as culture secretary, giving a first Cabinet post to an outspoken MP who has previously accused the BBC of being biased and claimed comedy is being killed by “leftwing snowflakes”.

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15 Sept - £5m fund to support individual arts workers in Northern Ireland

Individual arts workers in Northern Ireland are to benefit from a new £5 million recovery fund, aimed at helping recipients to continue working in the creative sectors following a turbulent 18 months.

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14 Sept - ‘It’s the balm we need right now’: how Broadway fought its way back

The long theatre shutdown in New York has taken its toll on the industry but a renewed and reinvigorated outlook towards diversity could have a major impact

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13 Sept - Returning to work is a tonic, but the new normal is dampening the spark

This month I’ve mainly been thinking about what to write about. Should I talk about how much I love design, objects and work? Should I not name but lightly shame some questionable comments? Or should I talk about my new cutting machine?

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13 Sept - Sold-out theatres ‘turbo-charging’ London’s West End shows after lockdown, say directors

West End directors have welcomed the return of full audiences to London’s theatres saying it has “turbo-charged” performances.

Theatres closed their doors last March and stayed shut largely for more than a year in the pandemic with gradual reopening beginning in May

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13 Sept - Creative diversity at risk without urgent change – parliamentary report

Creative workforces are at risk of becoming less diverse after the pandemic without urgent efforts to turn around equality and inclusion, according to a parliamentary report that sets out a blueprint for how the sector can address the problem.

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13 Sept - West End theatres bank on staging a revival with big-budget productions

Britain’s biggest theatre owners are banking on new big-budget productions including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Disney’s Frozen and Back to the Future to stage a post-pandemic comeback but a change in theatregoing habits could spell the end of the midweek matinee.

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10 Sept - Theatres not affected by Scottish Covid passport scheme, government confirms

Theatres will not be affected by the Scottish government’s Covid vaccine certification scheme agreed at Holyrood on Thursday, it has been confirmed.

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10 Sept - Why London’s West End will always win

The West End was hit hard by the pandemic, but it’s returning as the vibrant cultural and commercial centre of the world’s greatest city, writes Jace Tyrrell

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09 Sept - Producers’ ‘worst fears confirmed’ after government publishes insurance details

Further guidance about the government’s recently announced insurance scheme for live events has been released, which experts have warned “confirms all the worst fears producers had”.

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09 Sept - Arts and minds: how theatre is addressing mental well-being

Even before Covid, the industry’s culture of long hours, low pay and freelance employment led to mental health problems across the workforce. Workers, therapists and counsellors tell Tim Bano how the sector is finally tackling the issue with positive moves towards lasting change

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08 Sept - ‘The laughs hit me in the heart’: a view from the stage at Shakespeare’s Globe

After months of uncertainty and being told to retrain, I got my chance to act at a beautiful and iconic theatre. Fair bit of pressure not to be rubbish …

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08 Sept - Climate chaos is theatre’s next big challenge

As in practically every other walk of life, climate change is having an increasingly significant effect on theatre.

Already, we are seeing it impact theatremakers in myriad ways. From funding (protests against energy companies such as BP sponsoring arts institutions) to weather events shutting down shows (London’s Royal Court this summer).

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07 Sept - ATG’s Summer Party raises £90,000 for Theatre Artists Fund

Yesterday evening, Mark Cornell and Sienna Miller presented the Ambassador Theatre Group’s (ATG) Summer Party at Kensington Palace Gardens in support of Sam Mendes and the Theatre Artists Fund with an auction hosted by Lord Harry Dalmeny, Chairman of Sotheby’s.

The proceeds from the auction contribute towards the next round of grants, which will open on Wednesday 8th September enabling the fund to reach more freelance theatre professionals during this early phase of the industry’s recovery from the pandemic.

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07 Sept - Disabled and clinically vulnerable shut out from return of live music and theatre

Performers and audiences who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) are being shut out of the arts due to a lack of ongoing safety provisions, according to a number of people within the sector who cite a “two-tier” cultural reopening.

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06 Sept - Arts organisations cut emissions by 12% but need green recovery plan – report

Subsidised arts organisations in England reduced their carbon footprints by 12% in the year before the pandemic, setting “trailblazing” progress that must be maintained as the sector recovers, a new report has argued.

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06 Sept - Change doesn’t need to be drastic – it can also be slow, kind and careful

As we emerge back into the world, seeing friends, seeing shows, if we’re lucky, starting to make work again, it’s impossible to quantify how much the world has changed. The extent to which theatre has transformed is terrifying. I say that as someone who has been campaigning for change for some years.

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05 Sept - Vaccine passports for theatres will be ‘nail in coffin’

Adults could have to prove vaccine status to enter bigger theatres under government plans

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05 Sept - Vaccine passports for large venues to be introduced to avoid another Covid lockdown, Nadhim Zahawi says

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi says Covid checks will be introduced for large venues ‘to make sure the whole economy remains open’

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05 Sept - The arts have had it tough, but critics need to take off the kid gloves

Mediocre productions have been rewarded with glowing reviews during the pandemic. It’s time to be a little less gentle

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03 Sept - Creative economy grew fastest in London before pandemic – government data

The UK’s creative sector grew faster in London than anywhere else in the country in the year prior to the pandemic, newly released government data has revealed.

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03 Sept - The Tories should stop fretting: leftie culture bosses have lost their power

Scottish Chambers of Commerce tells First Minister that organisers are already drawing up contingency plans

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03 Sept - ‘I felt completely lost’: the actors navigating an arts crisis and long Covid

Three performers – among the one million people suffering from long Covid – explain the painful process of getting back on stage

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02 Sept - From the economy to the theatre, why it’s vital to get London bustling again

During the pandemic, the Government has rightly spent hundreds of billions of pounds — much of it borrowed — to keep our economy afloat and support our vital public services.

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01 Sept - Open-air theatre is thriving in the US – but will climate change make it unfeasible?

Whatever the more precise dates, Americans tend to mark summer as the period between two of our public holidays: Memorial Day in late May and Labor Day, which falls this weekend. Under those parameters, I saw a dozen shows this summer.

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01 Sept - Edinburgh Fringe claims ‘resounding success’ as it reports 2021 ticket sales

Edinburgh Festival Fringe and International Festival have reported solid ticket sales for in-person productions, albeit with the 2021 event operating with reduced capacities and fewer shows.

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01 Sept - If the West End is to thrive, it needs a slice of the Big Apple’s razzmatazz

Broadway has a razor-sharp plan to lure punters back, and the discipline to match. What can London’s theatres learn – before it’s too late?

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