31 May - Sixties permissiveness created a culture open to abuse at drama schools
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.
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.
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).
28 May - Plans for whistleblowing hotline for theatre aimed at stamping out abuse
28 May - Festivals face 'another lost summer' without government safety net, MPs say
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.
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.
27 May - Government ‘pilot events’ are ruling the arts by state diktat
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.
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.
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.
26 May - Culture secretary 'hopeful' theatres can open in full on 21 June
26 May - 'Lack of trust' in disabled audiences' access upon reopening
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.
25 May - UK Covid test events result in just 15 cases as Oliver Dowden raises hopes of June 21 reopening
25 May - ‘There’s nothing like it!’ Musical stars return to storm the stage
25 May - Has BLM really changed the arts?
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.
24 May - Masks, mobile ordering and plenty of legroom - what the theatre is like during a pandemic
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.
24 May - Details revealed of £42 million cultural investment fund
24 May - Now is the perfect time to celebrate theatre’s often undervalued producers
23 May - London Is Leading a Post-Pandemic Theater Streaming Revolution
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.
20 May - Is Boris Johnson really going to sacrifice arts degrees for the Conservative cause?
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.
20 May - Afraid of the Indian variant? Time to rediscover the joys of outdoor theatre
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
17 May - V&A to reduce curatorial staff by 15% as it reveals restructuring plans
17 May - Arts Venues Re-open Too Late for Some Migrant Artist
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.
17 May - An ominous tweet from Oliver Dowden is the last thing the West End needs right now
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%.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
16 May - ‘Help us or LSO fails’: Sir Simon Rattle’s plea over Covid and Brexit
17 May - Visual arts lobby defends arts education against 50% cut
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.”
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.
13 May - ‘There are compromises all over the place’: A battered Theatreland prepares to reopen
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
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.”
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.
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.
12 May - As theatres in England reopen soon, we ask what the experience will be like for audiences and staff?
12 May - Museum directors and art school leaders demand that UK government ‘scraps cuts to arts education’
12 May - ‘Tragic misstep’: arts education cuts risk UK cultural leadership, government told
12 May - Cinemas, theatres and museums to reopen on May 17 - these are the latest Covid rules
12 May - ‘We won’t be bouncing back’ – the unsettling truth about the big reopening
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
10 May - Curtain up on London: how the city’s arts sector can recover and thrive
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 artistic director Suzann McLean
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
08 May - Chinonyerem Odimba: Theatre is propped up by freelancers — and we left them in crisis
07 May - Lloyd Webber: Proposed cuts to higher education arts subjects are idiotic
07 May - Decolonising museums isn’t part of a ‘culture war’. It’s about keeping them relevant
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.
06 May - The Guardian view on arts education cuts: we don’t need no philistines
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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
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.
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”.
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
03 May - COVID-19: Boris Johnson says there is a 'good chance' social distancing can be scrapped next month
03 May - Non-gendered titles in costume would help the fight for pay equity
03 May - Diversity of storytelling enriches theatre rather than threatens it
If you haven’t seen Radha Blank’s The Forty-Year-Old Version on Netflix, I can recommend it heartily. It may be charting the agonies faced by Blank’s character while trying to get a play staged on Broadway, but its sly nobbling of the prejudices and racism of gatekeepers is as pertinent to British theatre culture as it is to the way theatre operates across the Atlantic. At one point a white producer announces that her play just isn’t “black enough”.
01 May - Audiences given chance to peer behind the curtain as RSC live-streams rehearsals
01 May - Government proposes to cut funding for subjects such as drama by 50 per cent at higher education level
The Musicians’ Union has reacted in “horror” at the revealed plans to cut government funding to certain subjects at a higher education level by 50 per cent, according to a report by the Office for Students (OFS).