31 May - Stage fright: why has British theatre still not recovered from Covid?
30 May - The five digits that determine your value as an arts professional
There is a very well-known lighting designer working in theatre in the UK and internationally – award-winning, hugely acclaimed, greatly successful. But, as far as the British government is concerned, their work is: “82990 – other business support service activities not elsewhere classified.”
26 May - Mayor of London and Creative UK link up to overhaul freelance model
26 May - EdFringe gets £1.58m for post-pandemic recovery
A total of £1.58 million has been awarded by the Scottish government to support the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic
This includes £1.28 million towards the newly developed Fringe Resilience Fund, which will support 13 venues at this year’s festival.
25 May - Broadway Season Hit Hard By Covid: $845M 2021-22 Total Off 54% From Pre-Pandemic $1.8B High
Broadway’s 2021-22 season – 10 weeks shorter than usual, plagued by Covid and the cancelations it caused, not to mention the tourists who didn’t show up – took a beating at the box office, with season-end numbers no less stark for being expected
25 May - A third of audiences expect to attend more local events post-Covid – survey
25 May - Central school head: we must unite to stop arts education being chipped away
24 May - SOLT & UK Theatre partner with Baker Richards to develop new ‘Evidence Centre’ providing deeper insight into data and analysis for the theatre sector
The UK theatre industry’s two leading membership associations, Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, today announced a unique partnership with data and insight specialists Baker Richards to develop a new ‘Evidence Centre’.
23 May - The government wants to control dissent in the arts – we must not let this happen
Jacob Rees-Mogg has announced the Public Bodies Review Programme, which will examine the work of 295 quangos – of which Arts Council England is one – and decide whether they should be abolished or retained. If retained, at least 5% savings will be required.
20 May - Nadine Dorries: scrapping Arts Council is 'absolutely not' on agenda
The government does not have plans to abolish Arts Council England under its appraisal of arm’s-length bodies, culture secretary Nadine Dorries has said, arguing that it would go against the objectives of the recently announced review programme.
19 May - Welsh bodies call for arts to be central to government healthy living strategy
Access to the arts should be as central to health and well-being policy as sport, according to calls from leading researchers in Wales, who are arguing that creativity should take a leading role in the country’s healthcare.
19 May - Theatre industry is forgetting the lessons it learned during the pandemic
In the first weeks of Covid, as theatre faced an existential threat, many people – including me – observed that one of the very few positives of an otherwise bleak situation was that the pandemic had thrown into sharp relief just how interconnected the performing arts sector was.
17 May - Blind data – why we should be cautious about positive audience stats
17 May - The future for freelancers
16 May - University of Wolverhampton suspends student recruitment to 138 performing arts courses
16 May - Central government to review Arts Council's future
Arts Council England’s future is to be considered as part of a government review into all arm’s length bodies, which could see some bodies scrapped and significant savings demanded from those that remain.
12 May - Theatre sector may have to shrink to cope with current crisis
The pay claim submitted by BECTU this week marks the start of a crucial – and complicated – period for the entertainment unions.
Expectations are high among the workforce, many of whom, as BECTU’s Philippa Childs observes, “are now at breaking point”. This is not hyperbole, or a negotiating tactic, it is the simple truth.
12 May - People in performing arts twice as likely to have depression, Equity finds
11 May - Understudies are the undervalued key to change in the theatre industry - let’s make it happen
10 May - 'Breaking point': BECTU demands pay rises for theatre workers to stem exodus
Theatre workers are at “breaking point” after enduring decades of long hours and low wages, BECTU has warned, as it demands “substantial and meaningful” increases for front-of-house and backstage staff working across the UK.
10 May - Let’s be grown-ups about this: relations between freelancers and theatres need an overhaul
Watching the shockwaves emanating from the cancellation of Really Useful Group’s Cinderella, I was reminded of a psychotherapeutic model. Transactional analysis uses the archetypes of parent, adult and child to describe the ego states of people in conflict. Put simply: healthy dialogue takes place between adults as equals; when we fall into dispute, it is often because one party acts as an authoritarian parent enacting their power on a child.
09 May - Cultural venues in England to receive up to £128m in funding
09 May - Why Andrew Lloyd Webber’s own goal risks damaging theatre’s reputation
Several things were mind-blowing about the announcement of the sudden closure of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, not least the complete thoughtlessness in the way the announcement was made over a bank holiday weekend – so some, including the future cast (already having wig fittings), discovered via social media that they no longer had the jobs they thought they had.
06 May - Making the unseen seen – we need diversity both on and off stage
The White Card by Claudia Rankine is a courageous and clever debate-play about the privilege of whiteness and the consumption of Black trauma as art. Choosing to direct it feels like a provocation. The play is about making the unseen seen. Embracing the politics of the play and bringing together an incredible team of creatives who are all from the global majority was absolutely vital.
06 May - Government seeks 5% savings from major arts and culture institutions
Major institutions across the arts and culture sector will be required to set out plans for 5% cuts from their budgets as part of a new cost-cutting drive initiated by central government that could see some public bodies abolished.
05 May - Theatre managements are failing to keep up with workers' expectations
Three stories this week all underline the changing expectations of the theatre workforce – and how managements are failing to keep up with them. They also highlight theatre workers’ growing confidence in speaking up against injustices.
05 May - Get Up, Stand Up! running paid traineeships to address talent drain
05 May - Misogyny and design – we need to think outside of the box-ticking
What happens to women in theatre design when they are repeatedly told they’re in the room for PR ballast or because someone fancies them? Set designer Grace Smart says she’s tired of having to navigate so many misogynistic obstacles
05 May - Circus companies demand better representation of global-majority artists
A group of six circus companies has come together to call on arts programmers to do more to engage artists from the global majority more meaningfully, rather than employing them simply to “fill a cultural vacuum”.
04 May - The future of work
04 May - Broadway Attendance Plummets As Theaters Drop Vaccine Mandate
Is Broadway back? Depends on who you ask.
With 36 shows up and running, the industry’s roster has fully recovered to pre-Covid size. And anyone working on established hits like Hamilton or starry revivals like Daniel Craig’s Macbeth will likely say business is booming. (Craig’s show, despite savage reviews, is grossing $150,000 per night.)
04 May - I was due to star in Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella. I found out I was sacked via social media
04 May - Performers win landmark holiday-pay ruling against Qdos Pantomimes
A group of 16 performers and stage managers have won a landmark tribunal brought primarily against Qdos Pantomimes, in a case that hinged on their right to holiday pay and which union Equity said result in millions being paid out to its members across the industry in the future
03 May - Director of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Doomed West End Musical ‘Cinderella’ Is “Angered” Over Treatment Of Cast and Crew On Show
Laurence Connor, the British director of troubled West End musical Cinderella, has told friends of his “anger” at how the closure announcement of his show was handled by Andrew Lloyd Webber and his executives.
03 May - Equity fights to secure compensation for Cinderella cast following protest
About 60 people attended a protest against the handling of the closure of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella outside the Gillian Lynne Theatre in the West End, as union Equity demands compensation for its affected members.
02 May - Cinderella cast voice anger over cancellation announcement
02 May - Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella reopened the West End in style – its closure is no way to ‘build back better’
01 May - It’s time for the industry to learn the positive power of saying ‘Yes’
In a recent interview, playwright Beth Steel spoke about the ambition of her new play, The House of Shades at the Almeida, a story of five generations in a working-class mining family. She talked about not sitting around waiting to be asked to write such a play: “You don’t have to be invited to do it. You do it.”
01 May - Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical ‘Cinderella’ Sets June Close In London, Will Be Revamped For Broadway In 2023
Composer and London theatre owner Andrew Lloyd Webber (Phantom of the Opera) informed cast and creatives Sunday that his Cinderella musical will close at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, Covent Garden, London on June 12 after a troubled run of less than a year.
01 May - Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella to close in the West End
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella will close in the West End next month.
The show, currently playing at the Gillian Lynne, will wrap up performances on 12 June. It is currently led by WhatsOnStage Award-winner Carrie Hope Fletcher in the titular role.