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31 May - Sixties permissiveness created a culture open to abuse at drama schools

The Telegraph’s investigation into student ‘mistreatment’ at some UK drama schools suggests the problem has deep roots

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31 May - How do we prepare students for an industry that will exploit them?

When I look at my diary for any given week, it is stuffed to the gills and yet only about 60% of it is paid work. The remaining 40% falls under the category ‘activism’ and, so far, nobody has shown any interest in paying me for that.

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30 May - Stage fright is the new epidemic facing theatres

With actors returning to the stage for the first time in more than a year, they’re facing a fresh struggle — stage fright, that rush of adrenaline that wipes the mind clean and paralyses the body with terror.

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28 May - France is giving teenagers €300 to spend on the arts to give the sector a boost, couldn’t the UK do the same?

Under the scheme, every 18-year-old in France will be given €300 – about £260 – to spend on music, film, books, instruments or even video games, within two years. No questions asked, and no strings attached (except that the providers have to be French. Netflix? Non! Canal Plus? Bien sur). 

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28 May - Plans for whistleblowing hotline for theatre aimed at stamping out abuse

A whistleblowing hotline aimed at allowing people to report abuse – including sexual harassment and racism – is being developed for the sector.

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28 May - Festivals face 'another lost summer' without government safety net, MPs say

UK music festivals face “another lost summer” due to the government’s refusal to back insurance for events at risk, a committee of MPs has found.

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28 May - Hundreds of arts companies facing cashflow issues after delay to CRF funding

Hundreds of arts organisations that received grants in the Culture Recovery Fund’s second round are still waiting for money to be paid out, causing damaging cashflow problems and delaying projects.

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28 May - Germany agrees €2.5bn package to help revive Covid-hit culture sector

A €2.5bn (£2.15bn) package has been agreed by the German government to help the culture industry get back on its feet as the country slowly emerges from a third wave of the Covid pandemic.

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27 May - Government ‘pilot events’ are ruling the arts by state diktat

Download festival has been un-cancelled, now going ahead as a pilot for the Government. Why are our arts being cherry-picked for survival?

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27 May - Without Covid insurance, theatre’s recovery could be stifled

After last week’s reopening of theatres, and the almost-daily announcements of theatrical treats to tempt audiences back into auditoriums, the appearance is one of an industry confidently back in business.

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The Times Logo

26 May - Hardly anyone cares about the culture wars

Issues that matter, like affordable homes and social care, get far less attention than the social agenda of an elite minority

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26 May - Amateur choirs 'devastated' at Covid rule change in England

The government updated their guidelines, without warning, to say that amateur choirs in England could only gather in groups of six people indoors and 30 outdoors.

The decision was as unexpected as it was unwelcome. Choirs had been working under the assumption that restrictions on rehearsals would be relaxed on 17 May, at the same time as shops, bars and hairdressers opened up.

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26 May - V&A accused of refusing to reduce 'exorbitant salaries' to save jobs

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has been accused of “demolishing” its Theatre and Performance department following a restructure and criticised for allegedly refusing to reduce “exorbitant salaries at the top” to save jobs.

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26 May - Culture secretary 'hopeful' theatres can open in full on 21 June

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has said he is “very hopeful” that theatres will be able to open in full on 21 June, following the success of test events.

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26 May - 'Lack of trust' in disabled audiences' access upon reopening

Just 7% of disabled arts professionals are in full time employment according to a new survey that paints “shockingly fragile” picture of disability in the cultural sector.

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25 May - UK theatres promise to only cast trans actors in trans roles

Several of the biggest theatres in the UK have pledged to only cast trans, non-binary or gender non-conforming actors in roles for characters with those identities, in a move industry figures have described as a tipping point.

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25 May - UK Covid test events result in just 15 cases as Oliver Dowden raises hopes of June 21 reopening

More than 58,000 people took part in the trial events which Oliver Dowden has labelled a ‘real success’

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25 May - ‘There’s nothing like it!’ Musical stars return to storm the stage

Performers from the hits Hamilton, Pretty Woman and Back to the Future consider theatre’s comeback and the shows they can’t wait to see

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25 May - Has BLM really changed the arts?

A year after the murder of George Floyd, black creativity and inclusion in the sector are more vital than ever, writes the founder of campaigning group Inc Arts

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The Stage logo

24 May - Four in 10 musicians could leave Britain over EU touring fears – poll

More than 40% of musicians polled about their work in the European Union said they would consider relocating to Europe to continue accessing jobs, with a fifth contemplating changing career entirely.

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24 May - Masks, mobile ordering and plenty of legroom - what the theatre is like during a pandemic

Being able to go to the theatre on a whim was probably the thing I missed most (apart from hugging friends and family of course – a given) about the last 14 months or so.

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24 May - Campaign to highlight public's experiences of theatre across UK

Derby Theatre, Colchester’s Mercury Theatre and Northern Stage are among the partner venues in a campaign to collect and highlight experiences that members of the public have had with theatre.

Playwright and theatre publicist Laura Horton is behind the Theatre Stories campaign, which has received nearly £15,000 funding from Arts Council England.

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24 May - Details revealed of £42 million cultural investment fund

Arts Council England has announced details of a £42 million fund to support the long-term recovery of the arts, heritage and creative sectors.

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24 May - Now is the perfect time to celebrate theatre’s often undervalued producers

It’s a week since theatres started welcoming audiences back, but the way ahead remains uncertain – and there could be unforeseen and unpleasant surprises along the road.

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23 May - London Is Leading a Post-Pandemic Theater Streaming Revolution

When London’s theaters started streaming shows to home audiences in lockdown, the goal was to survive the pandemic. It’s worked so well that they don’t want to stop.

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The Stage logo

21 May - Here’s to the front-of-house workers at the heart of theatre’s recovery

Theatre is back and we should feel rightfully elated. Great theatre is made through teamwork, trust, and commitment. The industry came together to get the show back on the road, even if the journey has, and will continue to be a challenging one.

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20 May - Is Boris Johnson really going to sacrifice arts degrees for the Conservative cause?

Cutting subsidies and tuition fees is part of broader and more audacious attack on England’s liberal institutions

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20 May - How theatre can benefit your mental health

UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) – the not-for-profit organisation which runs Official London Theatre –  have today released statistics showing that theatres generate an annual cost saving to the NHS of £102,234,585, by helping benefit the physical and mental health of those in their surrounding communities.

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20 May - Afraid of the Indian variant? Time to rediscover the joys of outdoor theatre

Bring an umbrella – the venerable tradition of outdoor performance is being revived. Is it the breath of fresh air British theatre needs?

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19 May - ‘Musicians are abandoning the industry for a stabler career’ – classical artists share truths about arts reopening

The arts and live music are gradually being restored. But the long-term impact on musicians has been disastrous and many are leaving the profession entirely, say the classical industry’s leading figures.

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BBC News logo

19 May - Nicola Sturgeon appoints new health and education secretaries

Angus Robertson has been appointed as the constitution, external affairs and culture secretary – which is likely to be a key role as the Scottish government pushes for a second independence referendum.

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The Stage logo

19 May - Arts Council reveals theatre companies failing to improve workforce diversity

Northampton’s Royal and Derngate, the Almeida in London and Newbury’s Watermill Theatre are among performing arts organisations that have failed to improve the diversity of their workforces, a year after being told to do so by Arts Council England, new data has revealed

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The Times Logo

18 May - Women share list of ‘men to avoid’ working in TV and film

Women working in the entertainment industry in Scotland have shared a list of “powerful and abusive” men to avoid, it has emerged,

The so-called whisper network contains names of men working in TV, radio, films and theatre deemed to be a threat to women.

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18 May - Government releases theatre guidance in line with step three of the roadmap to reopening

One day after shows have already kickstarted their socially distanced runs, the government has finally (better late than never?) published its reopening guidance for “step three” of the roadmap to reopening.

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17 May - V&A to reduce curatorial staff by 15% as it reveals restructuring plans

The Victoria and Albert Museum has confirmed it is to reduce its curatorial teams by 15%, while merging its Theatre and Performance department with Furniture, Fashion and Textiles.

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17 May - Arts Venues Re-open Too Late for Some Migrant Artist

Professor Sara Jones and Dr Kinga Goodwin reflect on how xeno-racism, Brexit and the Coronavirus are causing central and eastern European artists to say goodbye to the UK

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17 May - Delay to full June reopening would be ‘devastating’ for sector, industry warns

Producers and theatre owners have warned that any delay to the government’s roadmap – allowing audiences to return to venues in full – will have a “devastating” impact on the sector, resulting in cancelled productions and more financial losses.

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The Telegraph Logo

17 May - An ominous tweet from Oliver Dowden is the last thing the West End needs right now

As theatres reopen, a note of caution from the Culture Secretary left producers feeling ‘incredibly nervous’ – and fearing what comes next

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17 May - Dark horizons: Arts education cuts will limit window of opportunity for young people

While media attention has been firmly fixed on the reopening of theatres, one issue that will have a long-term impact on the arts hasn’t received the same attention. Namely, the government proposal to cut the budgets for higher education for arts-related subjects by 50%.

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17 May - Back with a bang: UK theatre bets on bold reopening

Britain’s cultural institutions are at a crossroads moment, according to the National Theatre’s deputy artistic director, who says the public want challenging art rather than “comforting” work as venues reopen and lockdown eases.

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17 May - Back on Stage: Campaign welcomes audiences back as theatres reopen

The return of live theatre in London is to be celebrated as part of an advertising campaign welcoming back audiences.

The Society of London Theatre has launched an industry-wide advertising campaign celebrating theatres reopening on May 17, with media and entertainment group Global.

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17 May - New ISM survey reveals how the Brexit Trade Deal has been a disaster for music businesses

A new survey by the Incorporated Society of Musicians has revealed how the Brexit Trade Deal has been a disaster for businesses such as tour operators, instrument manufacturers and retailers as well as those involved in recording, music publishing and sale of music. One performer even said ‘the era of being a UK-based concert artist is pretty much over’.

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The Stage logo

17 May - Our joy at being back in theatres must not allow a return to the old normal

The prospect of finally being able to return to the theatre after so many months has triggered a lot of feelings in me. So many feelings. Joy is high up there – it dominates – but alongside that I also feel trepidatious.

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Financial Times Logo

16 May - Music industry decries first 100 days of Brexit as a ‘disaster’

The first 100 days of the post-Brexit era has been a “disaster” for the British music industry and the government has made almost no progress in addressing problems raised by visas, customs and other controls, a wide-ranging new survey of the industry has found.

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16 May - ‘Help us or LSO fails’: Sir Simon Rattle’s plea over Covid and Brexit

As the orchestra prepares to welcome back live audiences, the conductor urges ministers to act on new touring rules in Europe

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16 May - Scottish Government tightens rules on live events ahead of ‘reopening’ of venues

Large-scale crowds will be banned at cultural events in Scotland for another six weeks.

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17 May - Visual arts lobby defends arts education against 50% cut

Arts universities have joined the sector in protesting the Government’s “counterproductive and contradictory” funding proposals.

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14 May - Andrew Lloyd Webber to sell The Other Palace

Andrew Lloyd Webber has put his venue The Other Palace up for sale.

In a statement the Phantom composer said: “The Other Palace is a wonderful and unique place. It has a theatre, a separate studio space and an excellent restaurant that shot straight into the Michelin and Good Food Guide within a couple of months of opening. It’s the perfect place to produce new work and showcase live performances. I have hugely enjoyed owning this amazing creative facility and it is heart wrenching to put it up for sale. I hope the future owners will love it as much as I have.”

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14 May - PM: Indian Covid variant could delay full reopening of theatres

Stage four of the government’s roadmap, which would see theatres able to operate without social distancing, may be delayed due to the new Indian variant of Covid-19, Boris Johnson has warned.

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13 May - ‘There are compromises all over the place’: A battered Theatreland prepares to reopen

As performances resume, there is much to celebrate, but financially devastated, with its community decimated, it will be a different theatre that returns

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13 May - How do we build theatre’s post-pandemic future with hope?

Looking back over the past year – including Covid closures, Black Lives Matter and the aftermath of Brexit – producer and general manager Patrick Gracey says that, as we build a future for our industry, we need to encourage empathy

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The Times Logo

13 May - Theatres and cinemas will have to do more to win over the young

There’s sadness, but there’s resilience too. The most chastening thing I read this week was an interview in The Stage with young performers who have been making ends meet during lockdown by working in shops. “I’m currently selling tobacco in Croydon,” says the opera singer Lara Harvey, who has been lucky enough to land some work as a singing teacher too. Daniel Page, an actor who has been working five nights a week at Sainsbury’s, kept his spirits up by tweeting: “I can’t wait for all this to be over so I can return to being an unemployed actor again.”

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13 May - London’s West End Set to Return in Stages After COVID-Devastated Year

The U.K. theater scene was vibrant, with a box office breaking £1 billion ($1.4 billion) annually, until coronavirus struck in 2020.

Of this, London’s famed West End theater district contributed nearly £800 million in 2019 with more than 15 million admissions annually, according to data from industry body Society of London Theatre.

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13 May - Cuts to arts education could prove catastrophic for the industry's future

With the momentum building in theatre as restrictions begin to lift on Monday, it’s been easy to be distracted from other news. But just as our industry takes a few steps towards recovery, another crisis has emerged that could prove catastrophic for its future.

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12 May - As theatres in England reopen soon, we ask what the experience will be like for audiences and staff?

Theatres in England will reopen soon, what will the experience be like for audiences and staff? How is the money they receive from The Cultural Recovery Fund being spent?

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12 May - Museum directors and art school leaders demand that UK government ‘scraps cuts to arts education’

“Art is essential to the growth of this country,” say 300 art world figures and academics in open letter

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12 May - ‘Tragic misstep’: arts education cuts risk UK cultural leadership, government told

Arts sector leaders speak out against proposed 50% funding cut for arts subjects at universities in open letter

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12 May - Cinemas, theatres and museums to reopen on May 17 - these are the latest Covid rules

As we move onto Step Three of the roadmap, the Government officially announces the return of indoor entertainment

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12 May - ‘We won’t be bouncing back’ – the unsettling truth about the big reopening

Next week, after 14 months of closure and despair, the arts are reawakening. But the damage caused by Covid runs deep – and recovery is by no means assured

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The Times Logo

11 May - Cuts to the arts will undermine UK’s global influence

As we sit in front of our television, tablet or phone screens binge-watching Line of Duty or The Crown, or we lay in the bath blasting Cleo Laine’s rendition of Gershwin’s I’ve Got A Crush On You for the sixth successive time, we can’t afford to take for granted those who created the films, soundtracks and choreography we love.

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11 May - Theatres can reopen

Theatres will be allowed to reopen, albeit with strict social distancing requirements and limited audiences, from Monday May 17 2021 as most of Scotland moves into Level 2 of Covid lockdown.

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11 May - Scottish theatres given green light to open from 17 May with social distancing

Theatres in Scotland will be able to reopen from 17 May, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has revealed.

While a major step forwards for the arts world in the north, the news was dampened somewhat by the revelation that audience members must adhere to a two-metre social distancing system, more severe than England’s “one -metre-plus” rule.

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11 May - Cinemas, theatres and museums to reopen on May 17 - these are the latest Covid rules

Lockdown measures across England are being gradually lifted. The Prime Minister has announced that we will definitely move to Step 3 of the roadmap on May 17, which means that most arts and entertainment venues can reopen next week.

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11 May - Scottish theatres say reopening not viable under Holyrood Covid rules

Theatres in Scotland have called for an urgent review of Covid-19 social distancing restrictions for audiences, saying that the current two-metre rule leaves them in a perilous position.

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Evening Standard Logo

10 May - Curtain up on London: how the city’s arts sector can recover and thrive

London’s creative scene is the best in the world but has been hit hard by the pandemic. Arts leaders tell us how the industry can and will rebuild to be even better

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The Stage logo

10 May - Government cuts to the arts will damage our vision of the future

The government’s plans to impose a 50% funding cut on arts subjects at higher education institutions will tear away at the fabric of our multicultural society, says Theatre Peckham artistic director Suzann McLean

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10 May - Prime Minister to confirm today that English theatres can reopen on 17 May

National newspapers have today confirmed the plans for theatres to reopen with social distancing in place.

Outlets were briefed on the plans overnight, with the 17 May date now set in stone. The Prime Minister will address the national later today to confirm the plans to move to “step three” in the roadmap to reopening.

Read more here

The Stage logo

10 May - Theatres in England given green light to reopen from May 17

Theatres across England have been given the green light to reopen from May 17 under the next stage of the government’s roadmap.

Venues will be able to open with social distancing, with capacities capped at 50% or 1,000 people for indoor shows, and 50% or 4,000 people outdoors.

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10 May - Scottish theatres unite to fight ‘impossible’ social distancing reopening rules

Leading theatres and arts venues across the country have joined forces to call for a relaxation of planned social distancing restrictions amid warnings they will leave almost all venues unable to reopen.

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10 May - West End Live planned to return this summer, London mayor announces

In a speech from the stage at Shakespeare’s Globe, the freshly re-elected Sadiq Khan launched what he has declared the “biggest domestic tourism campaign the capital has ever seen”. This is set to include the return of the much loved live event nestled in the heart of London.

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10 May - Theatre has had to fight for survival, but a tougher fight may be yet to come

Next week, theatres will start welcoming audiences back into their auditoriums. Performance spaces, dark for over a year or only briefly illuminated last autumn, will reopen their doors, artists will step on to stages and patrons will fill seats, albeit initially with social distancing in place.

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10 May - Sadiq Khan outlines a £6m year of fun for London

Within hours of his reelection being confirmed, London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan was back doing what he does best, extolling the virtues of the city he represents. On the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe on the banks of the Thames, he officially signed up for his second term, then launched a huge new £6m campaign aimed at boosting London’s culture, hospitality and retail economies. Let’s Do London harnesses the talents of major London arts and culture institutions with the mantra ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’.

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09 May - UK government’s heritage culture war is stifling museums, say trustees

Pressure to support Tory position on contentious issues such as colonialism ‘cancels honest debate’

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08 May - Chinonyerem Odimba: Theatre is propped up by freelancers — and we left them in crisis

Less than a month ago, I took on the role of an artistic director and chief executive in British theatre. Before that, I had spent 18 years as a freelancer. To say my journey from one place in this industry to another has been a wild ride would be an understatement.

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07 May - Lloyd Webber: Proposed cuts to higher education arts subjects are idiotic

Andrew Lloyd Webber has led further criticism of plans to cut funding for higher education subjects including drama and music by 50%, labelling the move “idiotic and short-sighted”.

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The Guardian Logo

07 May - Decolonising museums isn’t part of a ‘culture war’. It’s about keeping them relevant

Let’s be open to the idea of returning stolen cultural objects, and remaking international relationships with honesty

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The Stage logo

07 May - Hope must be at the heart of theatre's Covid recovery

There have been times during the past year, when it has been hard to believe theatre could ever bounce back. But amid the fear and uncertainty, there was a sliver of hope that our ecology could grow into a better, healthier landscape after the crisis.

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The Guardian Logo

06 May - The Guardian view on arts education cuts: we don’t need no philistines

Removing funding from university arts courses signals that they don’t matter. Ministers couldn’t be more wrong

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06 May - Seattle’s theater stagehand community, still idled by COVID shutdown, fears a mental health crisis

Cole Guinn, the assistant carpenter with Pacific Northwest Ballet, was setting up for a show in March 2020 when the announcement came — all gatherings of more than 50 people were banned under coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions. 

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06 May - What happens when a theatre actor loses a year?

The pandemic has given performers a chance to recalibrate ambitions and expectations

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06 May - Broadway tickets to go on sale for September reopening

Tickets for Broadway will go on sale this week, although shows will not restart until 14 September.

Theatres will then be allowed to fill 100% of capacity, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced.

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The Stage logo

06 May - As Brexit bites, the loss of cross-channel cultural exchange is to be lamented

During the past few weeks, with continued cause to be hopeful about the UK arts and entertainment sector’s imminent return, I have found myself thinking about a painting by Belgian surrealist René Magritte called Le Retour.

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06 May - Plans for 50% funding cut to arts subjects at universities ‘catastrophic’

Artists and musicians have accused the government of neglecting the country’s “cultural national health” by pursuing a “catastrophic” 50% funding cut to arts subjects at universities, which could come into effect from this autumn.

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05 May - Royal Albert Hall: James Blunt show to be first full-capacity concert

The Royal Albert Hall is to begin hosting full-capacity concerts again this summer, it has been announced.

The South Kensington venue will reopen from 29 May with a series of limited-capacity shows, before allowing a full house on 6 July for a James Blunt gig.

Read more here

The Stage logo

05 May - The government is the one ‘holding back’ young people

In 2014, then education secretary Nicky Morgan warned young people that choosing to study arts subjects at school could “hold them back for the rest of their lives”. A few months later, she clarified the comments, claiming she only meant to speak in support of STEM subjects such as maths and science. She rejected “any suggestion that I or this government think that arts subjects are in any way less important or less worthy than other subjects for study in school”.

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BBC News logo

05 May - Oscar and Grammy winners to be offered fast track UK visas

Oscar, Grammy and Nobel Prize-winners will be among those able to get visas to live and work in the UK more easily under point-based immigration reforms.

The Home Office has announced its decision to “fast track” the process for those winning coveted arts awards.

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04 May - Impresario Howard Panter Predicts Theater Business Will Boom Again Post-COVID

Sir Howard Panter, one of the leading forces in live theater, is so convinced that Broadway, the West End and other stage hubs are poised to come back in a big way post-pandemic, that he’s been using the last few months to restore old theaters and hunt for new ones.

Read more here

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04 May - Why we must put wellbeing first

Sebastian Cater says cultural sector managers who make mental health a priority aren’t virtue signalling, they’re leading by example.

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04 May - More than a quarter of UK music festivals cancelled over insurance fears

More than a quarter of music festivals due to take place in the UK this year have been cancelled as a result of government inaction on event insurance, research has found.

According to the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), which has been tracking festivals taking place in Britain this year, 26% of all festivals with a capacity of more than 5,000 people have been cancelled by their organisers

Read more here

The Stage logo

04 May - Plans for 50% cuts to higher-education arts subjects 'horrific', say industry leaders

Government proposals to cut funding for higher education subjects including drama and music by 50% have been labelled “horrific” and “catastrophic” by industry bodies and leaders including actor Samuel West.

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04 May - Why the current approach to policy making doesn't work for creative freelancers

On February 10th the House of Commons Treasury Committee published the latest report of their inquiry into the economic impact of coronavirus. Their June 2020 report focused on the gaps in support for workers and highlighted “freelancers and those on short-term contracts” as one of 4 groups at risk of being “unlikely to be eligible for either of the Government’s two principal income support schemes” – the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Their latest publication reiterates the fact that “there are a large number of freelancers who continue to miss out on support”.

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03 May - Karen Olivo: ‘My hope for what theatre can be is why I’m speaking out’

The Broadway star has been lauded for their decision to quit Moulin Rouge! in a bold stand against the industry’s ‘unacceptable silence’ following bullying claims against Scott Rudin. Olivo tells Howard Sherman why theatre’s future is at stake in this fight

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03 May - COVID-19: Boris Johnson says there is a 'good chance' social distancing can be scrapped next month

“I think we’ve got a good chance, a good chance, of being able to dispense with one-metre plus,” the prime minister says.

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