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31 March - Leeds sets up grant scheme to restart live performance

Artists, venues and performing arts companies in Leeds will have access to a newly created funding package from the local council, intended to kickstart live culture across the city after lockdown.

Read more here

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31 March - Reading and Leeds Festival: Covid vaccine passport need 'likely'

Music fans at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festivals will “almost certainly” need some sort of vaccine passport, the organiser has said.

Festival boss Melvin Benn said he was confident the events would go ahead after plans to ease lockdown were announced in February.

Read more here

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31 March - Mental well-being of offstage workers to be focus of webinar series

A series of webinars is being launched to support the mental health and well-being of offstage workers.

The series will be hosted by the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, with experts presenting each one. They will be held between April 26 and May 31.

Read more here

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31 March - Over 60 per cent of theatregoers would be happy to use vaccine passports, research shows

WhatsOnStage has been conducting research on attitudes towards “vaccine passports”.

Polling close to 2000 theatregoers, we asked what their opinions are of these passports, also known as “Covid status certification” – which would be in the form of either proof of a negative Covid test or of a vaccination. To make the point explicitly – these passports are not exclusively for those who have been vaccinated.

Read more here

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30 March - Artists’ side-jobs during the pandemic will help them make better theatre

Can we take inspiration from those who stepped out of the sun? Many of us define ourselves by our creative roles, taking side-jobs at the same time to keep afloat. For many of us, the side-job is now our only income. But can we see the positives in this? Can we use this to our advantage? I think so.

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30 March - Why adland should stand with theatre

The theatre industry has been hard hit by the pandemic, and this could have consequences for advertising too.

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30 March - Group bookings will have to provide name and contact details of every person to attend theatre and live music

Theatre goers and sports fans will be faced with providing the contact details of every single member of their group when booking tickets to major events, under new Government guidance. 

Read more here

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29 March - Soho's Windmill to reopen as theatre following council approval

Former Soho strip club the Windmill is to reopen as a theatre with a 250-seat auditorium after Westminster City Council approved a licensing application.

The venue lost its sexual entertainment licence in January 2018, and has since been purchased by Immerse London Ltd.

Read more here

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29 March - Why am I buying tickets for events that won’t happen? Because of hope – and boredom

After multiple cancellations for various shows, my inbox was swimming with virtual gift cards. Thank God for Michael at the box office

Read more here

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29 March - How English National Opera is helping people with long Covid to manage their breathing

Singers know more about breathing than most. So last year, English National Opera contacted the NHS with its idea for supporting people with long Covid suffering from breathlessness and associated anxiety. Singers, doctors and participants tell Rosemary Waugh how ENO Breathe has given patients a new appreciation for music

Read more here

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28 March - Vaccine passports could help reopen society - Dowden

Vaccine passports could be a “tool in the short term” to reopen theatres and sports stadiums, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has said.

The government needs to “look at all options” to “make areas of our national life viable”, he said, but no decisions have yet been made.

Read more here

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27 March - Coping with Covid: ‘All theatre jobs collapsed — luckily, I had an encore’

After working his way up in his dream job, Jack Sterne, 27, feared that it was curtains for his career when the virus emptied theatres.

“Theatre can be quite feudal; it takes a long time to work your way up. When I first earned £25,000 I was over the moon. It seemed like a lot of money. Then they sent us home on March 10 and everything changed.”

Read more here

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26 March - What will theatres look like when they reopen as part of the lockdown roadmap?

The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating the arts, with theatres and arts venues forced to lower their curtains for the best part of a year.

But it is hoped the doors will open as restrictions lift come the spring and theatres are getting ready to welcome visitors again – albeit with social distancing measures in place, at least at first.

Read more here

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26 March - Critics are gatekeepers of women and people of colour’s work, writers argue

Critics act as “gatekeepers” for plays by women and people of colour and have a responsibility to actively push for greater equality, playwrights April De Angelis and Satinder Chohan have argued.

Read more here

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25 March - Let them entertain us... creative industries will lead our recovery

This week it was revealed that UK vinyl spending is set to overtake CDs for the first time in 40 years, a remarkable development which speaks to the yearning of British fans to be closer to the artists they love. It’s a striking reminder of the physicality of culture. People want to be close to art, cinema and music — to experience them with all their senses.

Read more here

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25 March - Could Covid kill off the interval?

Safety protocols make intervals a logistical nightmare. But as history has shown, both audiences and theatres value these pauses

Read more here

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25 March - Major events set to get green light to return in Scotland this summer

The Scottish Government has revealed that it is working on a plan to help bring back “major events” in the summer months as long as infection rates are kept down.

Read more here

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25 March - Theatre Artists Fund receives a further £500k from Mackintosh Foundation

Cameron Mackintosh today confirmed a further £500,000 in additional support from his Foundation to the Theatre Artists Fund, following an industry-wide campaign on the anniversary of theatre shutdown.

Read more here

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25 March - Government must solve Brexit barriers for creative workers, warn Lords

House of Lords peers have urged the government to negotiate a solution for UK creatives working in Europe, warning that current restrictions are putting the sector’s future at risk.

Read more here

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25 March - Great art is not therapeutic – it’s better than that

The WHO’s new ‘healing art’ campaign is going to do little for a nation reeling from a year of financial hardship and social isolation

Read more here

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25 March - NYC Mayor announces program to vaccinate theater workers

“It’s time to raise the curtain and bring Broadway back,” – Mayor said he expects Broadway comeback in the fall. Said city will set up dedicated vaccination sites for Broadway and mobile sites for Off Broadway workers.

Read more here

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25 March - Trusting the government’s roadmap could be theatre’s biggest ever gamble

Last week marked a palpable flurry of announcements about productions returning to the West End and of major tours resuming from mid-May and June. This was made possible by the government’s roadmap out of lockdown published a few weeks ago, which brought with it much hope and excitement.

Read more here

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25 March - Half the budget and a musical a year: the National Theatre faces the future

Britain’s flagship venue is re-opening in June, but, says artistic director Rufus Norris, Covid has changed what it does forever

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25 March - Simon Callow on Good Morning Britain

‘Most of the people who are most in need have not received anything at all’ – Actor Simon Callow calls for the govt to provide more support within the creative industry.

Watch the video here

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24 March - Welsh arts granted £30m Covid recovery fund boost

A further £30 million has been committed by the Welsh government to help the country’s cultural sector survive the pandemic.

As coronavirus restrictions begin to relax, the government said the newly announced top-up funding would aid the sector’s recovery over the next six months and provide “building blocks for the future”.

Read more here

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24 March - Shakespeare's Globe has confirmed it will live-stream a variety of its productions this year

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced its season of shows will begin on 19 May.

In line with social distancing measures, performances will featured limited audience capacity for an initial period.

Read more here

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24 March - It is time to bring theatre out of the Victorian era – our outdated models do not support freelancers

The Big Freelancer Report, published this week, will make for necessarily uncomfortable reading for pretty much everyone in theatre, but especially for the ageing institutions at the heart of it.

At 142 pages, it lives up to its billing, but it’s worth a thorough read because it grapples with the biggest issue facing theatre as we emerge from the pandemic: how we retain and sustain a freelance workforce that represents a majority of the sector, but has been thoroughly let down over the past 12 months (and more).

Read more here

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24 March - ‘Festival of Brexit': first events for divisive £120m project announced

A celebration of the British weather and the largest grow-your-own food project of modern times will be among the events being staged for a nationwide festival of creativity aimed at bringing the UK together in 2022.

Read more here

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24 March - Diversity in theatre: too much emphasis on emerging artists, West End stars warn

West End performers including Irvine Iqbal, Cedric Neal and Liam Tamne have argued that the existing pool of ethnically diverse talent in theatre is being overlooked, with conversations about representation mainly focused on emerging artists.

Read more here

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23 March - Chichester Festival Theatre: 'The show must go on'

Theatres across the UK have been closed for a year due to lockdown restrictions.

Not only have audiences not been able to access live performances but community work, such as workshops for those with mental health issues, have also had to stop.

Louise Wrigglesford, community and outreach manager of Chichester Festival Theatre, said: “I know we can bring the theatre back and I know we can fill it.”

Read more here

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23 March - The Scottish Government must stop in-fighting and save the Edinburgh Fringe

The world’s largest arts festival is in dire straits, and needs urgent public support to survive the pandemic. Is Nicola Sturgeon listening?

Read more here

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22 March - Theatremakers have moved mountains during the pandemic, and their efforts must be remembered

Some producers have moved mountains, often at great expense and in the midst of major uncertainty

Read more here

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22 March - 'I got a job on a fishing trawler' – Covid: one year on, stars of music and theatre look back

In the second of our two-parter, rock stars, roadies, actors, dancers, composers and comics describe how their lives have been transformed without live shows – and imagine what now lies ahead

Read more here

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22 March - Lyn Gardner: Honesty is the best policy for critics to help theatre revive and flourish

The announcements are flooding in as theatres valiantly attempt to reopen in difficult, uncertain times. Live performance is a risky business, and currently the stakes are upped for any theatre brave enough to throw open its doors and invite an audience – and the critics – inside.

Read more here

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21 March - 'We needed to rescue the nation from despair': culture's year of Covid

Comedians went virtual, Ai Weiwei went to Portugal – and Bake Off pledged the show would go on. In the first of a two-part series, cultural figures look back on a year that shook their industry.

Read more here

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21 March - Only the arts can help us understand our lives in lockdown

The Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-1919 was never memorialised in art. We must not let history repeat itself

Read more here

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21 March - Outdoor shows and decoy audiences herald return of live theatre this summer

Live entertainment is coming back in two halves, much like a traditional night at the theatre. First, a new breed of open-air shows, solo performances and inventive productions for smaller audiences will lead the way this spring, then in late summer and early autumn many of Britain’s grander theatres will follow, once audiences can safely be admitted again in capacity crowds.

Read more here

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20 March - Plea for Covid vaccine passport to reopen arts

Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, has said that it will be “very, very difficult” for theatres to reopen with social distancing in place, as he piled pressure on Michael Gove to approve Covid certificates.

Read more here

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19 March - Freelancers' Voices Have Been 'Marginalised' During The Pandemic, Says Deputy Mayor Justine Simons OBE

The Deputy Mayor of Culture and the Creative Industries in London writes about the fragility of life as a freelancer and the importance of supporting creatives during and after the pandemic.

Read more here

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19 March - Boris Johnson's youngest brother Max hits out at PM's failure to reopen theatres

Max Johnson, the youngest of Stanley Johnson’s six children says he fears ‘for the future of theatre’

Read more here

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19 March - Theatre worker committed to funerals job after pandemic forced career switch

A stage manager who swapped the theatre for funeral work says has “really surprised myself with how passionate I have become about it all”.e.

Read more here

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19 March - Number of creative freelancers in work fell by 38,000 in 2020, research claims

The number of freelancers working in creative occupations has fallen by 38,000 since the start of 2020, according to new research that will add to growing concerns about the effects of the pandemic on theatre’s workforce.

Read more here

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19 March - Livid John Barrowman slams MP Oliver Dowden for focusing on sports over struggling theatre industry: ‘I’m sick and tired of it'

John Barrowman has slammed culture secretary MP Oliver Dowden for ignoring the struggling theatre industry while planning to reopen sports stadiums. 

The 54-year-old Dancing On Ice star appeared on Good Morning Britain this morning to promote new show All Star Musicals, but spoke out after realising he appeared immediately after Mr Dowden spoke to Kate Garraway and Charlotte Hawkins. 

 

Read more here

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19 March - Minister Is Challenged Over Support for Theatres & the Entertainment Industry

Minister Is Challenged Over Support for Theatres & the Entertainment Industry

Watch here

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18 March - Ghost Shows podcast to explore pandemic’s cancelled productions

A new podcast series is to explore the untold stories of theatremakers whose shows were interrupted by the pandemic.

Called Ghost Shows, it is produced by Freelancers Make Theatre Work and Curtain Call, and hosted by opera director Adele Thomas.

Read more here

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18 March - Diversity in theatre starts with funding, so stop preaching and chip in

For 30 years I have been diverting the modest fees I would otherwise receive from playing the organ into funding small choral scholarships for young musicians. I do it for three reasons.

Read more here

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18 March - Michael Ball '100% backs' vaccine passports to bring audiences back to the West End

Michael Ball said he would ‘100% back’ the idea of vaccine passports if it meant theatres desperate to reopen their doors could perform to full capacity.

Read more here

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18 March - Collaborating across borders makes the world a bigger place

Between Brexit and the pandemic, collaborating internationally has become harder than ever. Director Maria Aberg explains how she rose to the challenge by creating her own company, buoyed by the solidarity shown by Europe’s theatremakers

Read more here

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18 March - Raising the curtain again: London theatres prepare to re-open a year on

LONDON (Reuters) – In an empty London theatre, producer Nica Burns sits among the once buzzing stalls hoping audiences will soon be back for good to watch live performances.

Read more here

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17 March - UK venues lit red to mark anniversary of closures

Venues across the UK including Trafalgar Theatre in London, Salisbury Playhouse and the Royal Shakespeare Company have lit their buildings red to mark the anniversary of when theatres closed due to Covid-19.

Read more here

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17 March - Over £12,000 raised in one day for the Theatre Artists Fund on the anniversary of UK theatre closures

This week marked one year since theatre closures across the UK due to the pandemic.

To mark the day, we called on the theatre community and industry professionals to support us in highlighting the plight of freelancers and raising awareness for the Theatre Artists Fund, using the social media hashtags #16March, #TheatreArtistsFund and #FirstInLastOut – referencing the fact that theatre workers were first into lockdown and will be among the last to return to work.

Read more here

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17 March - Equity calls for basic income guarantee for creative workers

The government is being urged to introduce a basic income guarantee for creative workers as part of a new campaign launched by Equity.

This would see creative workers offered a payment each month – whether or not they are working – during and after the pandemic.

Read more here

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17 March - 50 East Anglia arts companies team up to offer jobs to young unemployed

More than 50 arts organisations from across East Anglia have joined forces to provide jobs to unemployed young people, in a bid to widen career accessibility post-Covid and restart the cultural sector.

Read more here

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17 March - After a year is it time to reopen theatres and live venues in Wales?

Test events should be held to help the arts sector reopen, says a campaign group exactly a year after all theatres and performance venues were closed by Covid.

Read more here

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17 March - Scottish theatres eye possible June reopenings under roadmap

The Scottish government has provided limited information about its plans for allowing theatres to reopen as the country comes out of lockdown.

However, the predicted movement in the tier system of restrictions has been enough for Eden Court in Inverness to confirm plans for events to be held outdoors this summer.

Read more here

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17 March - 40% of theatre workers laid off during pandemic – BECTU survey

Nearly 40% of UK-based theatre workers have been made redundant over the past year, with one in five receiving no money from the government’s support scheme, according to new figures.

Read more here

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16 March - Theatre one year on - what now?

On the day a year ago that theatres went dark, Front Row explores what impact that has had on the industry with guests including Sonia Friedman, Emma Rice and Amy Ng.

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16 March - A year since the West End went dark, this is what the last twelve months have meant for theatre

This time last year, the PM told theatres to close their doors. Nick Curtis charts a choppy year for the capital’s stages.

Read more here

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16 March - Devastating impact of Covid on London theatre and arts as 40% made redundant

Nearly 40 per cent of theatre and arts workers in London have been made redundant since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, ITV News can reveal.

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16 March - U.K. Theaters Mark One Year of Shutdown, With 95% Worse Off Due to Pandemic

Exactly one year since U.K. theaters shuttered their doors, 95% report being worse off due to the COVID-19 crisis.

A new survey by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and nationwide org UK Theatre paints a worrying picture of an industry that has been crippled by the pandemic and faces huge financial strain, but remains resilient.

Read more here

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16 March - A year on: survey reveals theatre losses of £200m and a quarter of freelancers have ceased trading

Theatres have collectively reported losses of nearly £200 million following a year of closure, according to a survey which also reveals that a quarter of freelancers have gone out of business or ceased trading because of the pandemic.

Read more here

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16 March - 'The last year for theatre has been hell'

“We were walking innocently into the future with no idea what was coming,” says Nica Burns, chief executive of Nimax Theatres.

Read more here

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16 March - Harriet Harman proposes plan for UK musicians to tour EU post-Brexit

Government ignorance of the arts is putting British musicians’ livelihoods at risk, Harriet Harman has argued, in a call for an end to the post-Brexit bureaucracy for musicians looking to tour in the EU.

Read more here

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15 March - YouTube launches £80,000 scheme to support digital theatre

YouTube has launched a scheme worth up to £80,000 that will support theatremakers to create digital work.

The Digital Theatre Initiative is designed to “help participants continue innovation in digital theatre, break down boundaries, make the arts accessible to more people and ultimately encourage more people to engage with live theatre”, said a statement from YouTube.

Read more here

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15 March - When stages are dark, theatre lives on in your memories

Theatre is an artform of the memory. A night at the theatre is a fugitive experience. The players may come back the next evening and perform the same show, but no one will ever see it again exactly the same way as you did

Read more here

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15 March - Amid the joy at theatre’s return, let’s not forget its role in healing grief

Very roughly, the number of people who have died so far during the pandemic would fill the Olivier auditorium at the National Theatre 83 times. That’s quite a thought. It’s also one that I suspect I won’t be able to get out of my head next time I am sitting watching a show in that packed auditorium.

Read more here

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15 March - 'Solidarity in Europe': Maria Aberg's international theatre company looks ahead

The acclaimed Swedish director’s Projekt Europa will have a UK residency in Kent and collaborate with migrant theatre-makers

Read more here

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14 March - 'It has been a sort of nightmare': how major theatres abroad fared in the pandemic

Leading artistic directors including Ivo van Hove, Shanta Thake and Thomas Ostermeier reflect on their nations’ treatment of the arts during Covid. Introduction by Susannah Clapp

Read more here

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14 March - UK government announces list of pilot events without social distancing

The UK government has revealed more details around how it intends to test the return of live events without social distancing.

In reports issued this morning, it was revealed that the World Snooker Championship, running from 17 April to 3 May, will be used to “test a theatre setting” at the Crucible in Sheffield.

Read more here

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12 March - Mayor of London announces £250,000 programme to improve freelancer conditions

London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced a £250,000 programme to improve working conditions for freelancers in the performing arts.

Up to 50 freelancers will be paired with leaders of cultural institutions, funders and councils to develop plans to improve working conditions, and job and training support.

Read more here

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12 March - Arts bodies ‘could go to the wall if government doesn’t pay out Culture Recovery fund cash’

Arts organisations could go to the wall because more than half of a £1bn government fund created to rescue struggling bodies during the pandemic has yet to be paid out, MPs warned.

Read more here

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12 March - Theatre Artists Fund and Help Musicians share £1m donation

Sam Mendes’ Theatre Artists Fund is to share a £1 million donation, aimed at providing continued support to freelancers in the arts, who are facing financial difficulty due to the impact of Covid-19.

Read more here

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12 March - What’s next for theatre: bawdy comedies and a surge in Sunday shows

In the last of the series our theatre critic predicts a flourishing of creativity, but warns against censorious group think

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12 March - Fraud discovered among Culture Recovery Fund applications

A case of fraud has been identified among the recipients of the Culture Recovery Fund during investigations that led to a number of award offers being withdrawn, a report by the National Audit Office has claimed.

Read more here

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12 March - UK arts rescue fund has paid out just over half of money allocated

A government fund established to prop up the arts and heritage sectors during the coronavirus pandemic has handed over little more than half of the money it has allocated, Whitehall’s spending watchdog has discovered.

Read more here

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11 March - BBC Arts to broadcast West End shows and RSC productions as part of "Lights Up" initiative

The BBC has unveiled shows that will be part of its “Lights Up” plans in March and April.

Featuring a total of 18 broadcasts on television, radio and iPlayer, the series of productions will support companies and artists affected by the pandemic.

Read more here

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11 March - 40 theatre companies receive grants to help with reopening costs

Hampstead Theatre in London, Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre and touring company Paines Plough are among organisations that have been awarded grants totalling £155,265 by the Theatres Trust to help with the costs of Covid-secure reopening.

Read more here

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11 March - British theatre urged to 'completely rebuild' to improve diversity

British theatre needs to be “completely rebuilt” in the wake of Covid-19 to make it more accessible to people from diverse backgrounds, according to the director of a web series about the challenges facing people of colour in the industry.

Read more here

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11 March - New documentary to highlight efforts to stage musicals across the world during the pandemic

The documentary is created by director and filmmaker Sammi Cannold as well as Broadway producer Dori Berinstein

Read more here

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11 March - Covid-19 a year on: How have theatres fared in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

While all venues across the UK started closing on March 16, the devolved nations took a markedly different approach to reopening from England. Alongside a Long Read charting the inside story of UK theatre during the pandemic, key figures from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland tell Alistair Smith how their varying public health responses to the pandemic had a knock-on effect on the way cultural institutions were able to operate

Read more here

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11 March - Theatre producer Sonia Friedman: ‘I was making shows happen. Then I had to tear them apart’

The West End producer tells Richard Morrison about the agony of closing shows and losing staff. The bail-out cash has gone to the wrong places, she says

Read more here

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11 March - 365 days later: The inside story of theatre’s darkest year

A year on from the mass shutdown of the UK’s theatres, The Stage editor Alistair Smith looks back on the events of a tumultuous 12 months and talks to key figures at the heart of the sector’s attempts to survive and bounce back. Meanwhile, he also talks to leading figures from the devolved nations about how their approach has differed

Read more here

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10 March - Samuel West on rebooting regional theatre

Listen on BBC Front Front Row – The longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction is announced today; Kohinoor Sahota reviews Netflix’s new drama ‘The One’; Samuel West on rebooting regional theatre; Kieran Hodgson.

Read more here

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10 March - 7 Questions, 75 Artists, 1 Very Bad Year

Great art will be made from this time, about this time, inspired by this time. While we wait for that to emerge, we asked 75 artists to open up about their creative travails and triumphs a year into the pandemic.

Read more here

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10 March - Show Must Go On! merchandise raises £800,000 for struggling theatre workers

A fund set up to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic has raised £800,000 through the sale of specially created The Show Must Go On! merchandise.

Read more here

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10 March - How the lights went out on theatre industry: Aberdeen lighting designer tells of Covid and Brexit impact on performing arts

A north-east lighting designer has told of the impact the Covid crisis has had on the theatre and entertainment sectors.

Going from working on spectacular shows in both the UK and the US to having to move back to Aberdeen has been a challenge for lighting designer Stevie Mackie.

Read more here

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10 March - For theatremakers, a year is a long time not to do the thing you love

The philosophical question: ‘If a tree falls in a wood and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?’ has been on my mind recently.

When I left my role as head of costume at London’s Young Vic, it was partly to have more time to do costume design work. I loved my experience as costume designer for The Jungle so much, I knew that I wanted more.

Read more here

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10 March - Eden Court among winners of new award celebrating civic role of the arts

Eden Court Highlands is among the winners of a new award totalling £150,000 that was launched to celebrate the civic role of arts organisations during the pandemic.

Read more here

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10 March - Dominic Dromgoole: My post-Brexit fight to work in Spain

Have you heard of the Hague Apostille? I hadn’t either. In five decades I had not encountered the institution. I little imagined that one day my immediate future would depend on it. Nor that such a European-sounding entity would find its home in Coventry..

Read more here

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10 March - Change won’t be easy, but are we finally ready to address the industry’s issues?

A few months into the pandemic, I remember regularly talking to people in the theatre industry – and beyond – about how this experience was going to completely transform how we worked and lived our lives. Remote-working would become normalised, high streets would be transformed as people moved out of city centres, and theatre would radically reimagine itself.

Read more here

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09 March - What’s next for opera and classical music: digital concerts and intergenerational war

Continuing our series on the future of culture post-Covid, our classical critic looks at a new drive for localism amid the effects of Brexit

Read more here

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09 March - 'It's mentally really tough': Arlene Phillips says it's 'beyond devastating' to see theatres struggle

Arlene Phillips has admitted that it is ‘beyond devastating’ and ‘mentally really tough’ to see the theatre industry struggle during the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking in a new exclusive interview with MailOnline, the choreographer, 77, praised composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has been ‘brilliant’ and a ‘real force’, in trying to get shows back on stage amid the crisis.

Read more here

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09 March - Theatre Artists Fund highlighted the generosity of the industry in its greatest time of need

When everything shut down last year and the entire national theatre ecology was faced with choked-off box office income and imploding reserves, mobilisation across the industry was impressively collegiate. By May 28, 2020, the Society of London Theatre had collated intelligence and data from a storm of industry-wide surveys to present a coherent and compelling submission to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in support of an emergency relief fund. By the end of the year, 70% of theatres would have run out of cash.

Read more here

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09 March - I Miss Being Part of an Audience

Crowds can be mindless, even dangerous. But that feeling of losing yourself as you experience art together hasn’t been replicated since live entertainment went online.

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09 March - From operas to film festivals, Madrid is showing how the arts can flourish despite Covid

The Spanish capital is currently thriving as a centre of cultural activity. So how has it managed to carry on in the face of a pandemic?

Read more here

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08 March - Talent agents form partnership to push for diversity progress

Leading British talent agents have formed a group dedicated to addressing issues faced by actors of colour, as they pledge to hold the industry to account for its progress on diversity and inclusion.

Read more here

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08 March - How the National Theatre tackled the COVID-19 challenge

As part of the British High Commission Cyprus’ webinar series, senior producer Flo Buckeridge discusses how the National Theatre (NT) managed to keep in touch with their audience.

Read more here

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08 March - One year on, let’s vow to return with greater support for emerging artists

This time last year my diary was stuffed full of theatre. Before Boris Johnson’s bungled announcement on March 16 that audiences should avoid the theatre, the last show I saw was a matinee the Saturday before..

Read more here

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08 March - Lessons From Oz: How Australian Theater Gives Broadway Hope

Check in with “Frozen,” “Come From Away,” “Moulin Rouge!” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” in Offstage, our digital series about theater during the pandemic.

Read more here

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07 March - A year ago, the show did not go on. What happened next?

Last March, Liverpool’s Everyman theatre opened its new play, Our Lady of Blundellsands, starring Josie Lawrence and written by Jonathan Harvey.

After a week, it closed again.

Read more here

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06 March - The Bolshoi performs on through politics and pandemic

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05 March - V&A risks breaking its promise to protect theatre collections, ex-archivist claims

A former archivist at the V&A has claimed that a promise by the museum to keep its Theatre and Performance collections accessible is at risk of being broken, and has called for a wider consultation on their future.

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05 March - Luvvies may not save lives, but the arts deserve more creative backing

As they take turns to complain about having been abandoned to face the brutal consequences of Brexit, the music, performing arts and fashion industries have a common complaint: that while they have had little assistance, our government flirted with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit to protect the fishing industry, although it is a fraction of their size, contributing only £1.4 billion to the economy, or 0.12 per cent of GDP.

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05 March - When Europe’s Theaters Reopen, Will Fans Return?

With most European countries lurching between lockdowns and reopenings over the last year, it has been a disruptive time for the continent’s many theater fans.

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05 March - 525,600 minutes later, US theatre still waits to reopen

How do you measure a year in the pandemic? For musical theatre fans, as of next week, it will have been 525,600 minutes since theatre across the US shut down.

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04 March - Long-running West End shows start scheduling Sunday performances for post-Covid return

It seems as though a variety of West End productions are set to move further towards Sunday performances for the short-term.

From an examination of booking schedules, the likes of The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Hamilton, and more have all filled up both weekend days. For the likes of Phantom or Hamilton, this is a departure to pre-Covid schedules.

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04 March - Pub theatres in the pandemic: ‘We can’t wait. We have to fight’

Pubs and theatres have been two of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic, and pub theatres have taken a double blow. Managers and owners across the UK tell Fergus Morgan how they have coped through various lockdowns, curfews and scotch-egg regulations that have proved almost impossible to navigate

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04 March - When will cinemas, theatres and art galleries reopen after lockdown?

The Prime Minister has announced that lockdown will gradually begin to lift from March 8, as some degree of normality begins to return over the spring and summer. There will be four phases to the easing of restrictions, but where do the arts fit in?

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04 March - Broadway venues to reopen for socially distanced pop-up performances

Broadway’s Music Box Theatre, La MaMa, Park Avenue Armory, St Ann’s Warehouse, and the Apollo Theatre are among what are being described as “Flex Venues” that will reopen from 2 April to host performances as part of the NY PopsUp series

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04 March - The challenge for fringe festivals post-Covid will be not to sacrifice creativity

To fringe or not to fringe: that is the question. Last week, the government revealed its roadmap out of lockdown with all eyes focused on June 21, the day restrictions could supposedly end and audiences can pack out theatres again (though no doubt there will be a lot of small print).

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04 March - We need to reshape the industry. Here are some ideas for how to start

Amid many radical ideas put forward to reshape theatre post-Covid, artistic director Tarek Iskander argues now is a time for pragmatism. Here he puts forward steps for funders, venues, companies and freelancers to create a more inclusive sector

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03 March - Budget 2021: How does it affect entertainment and arts?

Entertainment and arts bodies have broadly welcomed Wednesday’s Budget announcement, while also demanding greater support and clarity.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Government will give £390m to help arts venues in England, including theatres, museums and galleries, reopen.

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03 March - “Dammit man, what are we fighting for?”: a paltry £400m ascribed to Arts regeneration in The Budget

During the Covid-19 crisis the Arts, Culture and Sport have suffered more than most. As lockdowns stripped us to the bare-minimum of activities, it seemed that all those small joys of life were closed off – gigs, festivals, theatre, concerts and galleries. I assumed would be truly re-valued after it was all over, if not least because they are a very human way of making life more bearable.

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03 March - Theatre and live event bosses call for Government insurance option to reopen

The arts is to get an extra £300m of funding to support the reopening of theatres, museums and galleries, many of which have been closed for all of the last year.

The Culture Recovery Fund, which was announced last year to the value of £1.57bn, has so far supported 3,000 organisations in England and, according to Treasury figures, benefited 75,000 people.

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03 March - Culture sector cautiously welcomes budget but say further support needed

The chancellor’s budget was cautiously welcomed by the culture sector but industry figures said it lacks detail in key areas and does not do enough to support those who have missed out on government support, such as freelancers.

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03 March - Budget 2021: Industry responds as freelancers lose out and insurance scheme ignored

Measures outlined in the Budget have drawn mixed reactions from the industry, with an extension of the furlough scheme welcomed but warnings issued that freelancers have once again been overlooked and will face many more months of hardship.

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03 March - Government unveils Community Ownership Fund to help local people take over and save theatres

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a Community Ownership Fund – which will hypothetically allow local people to “take over” and save endangered theatres.

As part of the plans, launched today, sports clubs, theatres, music venues and post office buildings can be aided by community groups – who will be given up to £250,000 to support spaces in their area through matched funding.

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03 March - Budget 2021: Extensions confirmed for worker support schemes and VAT reduction

The government has announced an extension to cuts on business rates and VAT, which can benefit theatres, as its 2021 Budget confirms that Covid-19 support schemes for salaried and self-employed workers will continue until September this year.

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03 March - Government budget 2021

We’re updating this article as news comes in.

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03 March - Stars back fundraising campaign for struggling theatre freelancers

Denise Gough, Michaela Coel and Maxine Peake are among performers backing a campaign to raise money for the Theatre Artists Fund as the industry approaches the year anniversary of venues going dark.

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03 March - Furlough extended until end of September and self-employment grant eligibility to be broadened

Today’s budget has unveiled a raft of new plans for 2021 spending as the theatre community looks towards reopening later this year.

The furlough scheme is set to be extended until the end of September, which will be a welcome relief for venues that aren’t able to return to full capacity or operations even after theatres have been given the green light to reopen.

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02 March - Brighton Festival announces return in May with live performance

Brighton Festival plans to return with a month-long celebration of arts and culture from May.

The 2020 event was cancelled for the first time since the festival was founded in 1967 due to the pandemic.

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02 March - Vaccine passports could save British theatres – why won’t they embrace them?

The Government is conducting a review of testing certification. Would it speed reopening – or promote risky behaviour and discrimination?

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02 March - Nica Burns states Six and Everybody's Talking About Jamie will open from 17 May

Nica Burns has spoken to Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 about her plans to reopen her venues in May.

As it stands, 17 May is the date when the government’s reopening roadmap hits “Step Three”, when indoor shows can be mounted with social distancing and risk mitigation measures in place.

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02 March - 'It has been difficult': classical musicians on their Covid delivery jobs

Venue closures hit freelance performers hard. Here, three musicians tell us about the work they turned to in order to survive

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02 March - Dozens of arts freelancers lose out on Covid support over tax 'error'

During more than a decade as an actress, Kya Garwood has had parts in films like Paddington 2 and Mamma Mia Here We Go Again, as well as being a stand-in and double for leading ladies like Meryl Streep, Michelle Pfeiffer and Lily James.

When the pandemic hit, she should have been eligible for the government’s self-employment grants.

But there was a problem. She was self-employed, but many of the production companies she had worked for had not classed her as such when paying her. So when she came to apply for coronavirus support for the self-employed, she was turned down.

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02 March - Arts sector set to receive £400m aid in 2021 Budget

According to reports via the BBC, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to announce an additional new package of £408m for theatres, museums and galleries.

This will involve a further £300m in the Culture Recovery Fund, as well as £90m to help museums and cultural bodies remain afloat until they can reopen. £18.8 million will be provided for community cultural projects.

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02 March - Chancellor set to announce £400m for arts sector

The chancellor is set to announce more than £400m of additional support for the badly-hit culture sector in Wednesday’s Budget.

Rishi Sunak is preparing to hand out £408m to help museums, theatres and galleries in England reopen once Covid restrictions start to ease.

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01 March - Producers make final plea for government-backed insurance as Budget looms

Leading producers have warned that insurance has become the “final stumbling block” preventing theatre’s post-lockdown return, claiming a government-backed scheme is needed to ensure West End and touring productions can open when restrictions ease.

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