October 2020

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31 October - Entertainment venues forced to shut again as government tightens restrictions

Theatres in England will be forced to close again next week under plans announced by the government, as the UK moves back into tougher national measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Read more here

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31 October - National Theatre cancels Death of England: Delroy performances from 5 November

The National Theatre has announced it will cancel performances of its ongoing production of Death of England: Delroy from 5 November to 28 November.

Read more here

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31 October - Second lockdown is a 'body blow' for the arts - Equity

Equity general secretary Paul W Fleming has described news of a second lockdown as “a body blow” for the entertainment sector, warning there will be a “flood” of lost talent in the industry without targeted support.

Read more here

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31 October - 10 things you can do to help theatres during the pandemic

As it is repeatedly said, these are unprecedented times both for society and our industry. In March theatres across the nation went dark – and, once again from Thursday, will have to do the same again for at least four weeks.

Even with the government’s support package, many will be scrambling to make ends meet over the coming months, which in turn will have a drastic impact on artists, freelancers, makers, technicians, and anyone working behind-the-scenes on stages across the nation. Here are a selection of ways to help.

Read more here

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30 October - Performers join week of arts funding protests at Parliament Square

Theatre and opera workers have joined the latest in a series of performing arts demonstrations outside the Houses of Parliament, calling for targeted support for the sector and more recognition for its contribution to the economy.

Read more here

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30 October - The coronavirus keeps most London theaters dark, while performers stock grocery shelves

LONDON — At the gilded playhouses in the world’s most popular theater district, most of the marquee lights are still dark.

Since the government ordered London’s stages closed seven months ago, only a handful of theaters have dared to announce reopening plans — with limited runs, limited casts and socially distanced audiences scattered in the seats. Producers say ticket sales will barely cover the electricity bill.

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30 October - Unions call for targeted government support as UK enters second Covid-19 wave

Organisations representing about 350,000 creative workers in the UK have written a joint letter to the government calling for targeted support.

Read more here

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30 October - Online audiences would pay to watch again even after venues reopen – poll

Most of the people who watched theatre online during the pandemic would pay to watch shows digitally again, even when theatres are open, according to a new study.

Read more here

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30 October - Widening access to arts careers at all levels is more vital than ever

The pandemic has exacerbated the lack of diversity in the theatre sector, says Suzann McLean – concerted action is needed for our workforce to become representative of everyone in our society

Read more here

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29 October - Theatre’s adaptability is key – let’s not take it for granted

We should celebrate the industry’s resourcefulness during the pandemic, says Alistair Smith, but we must not forget that many of our best problem-solvers are freelancers who are struggling to survive

Read more here

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28 October - Tier three restrictions explained – what do they mean for English theatres?

As an increasing number of English theatres come into contact with the new “tier three” restrictions (with these now in place in Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington and parts of Yorkshire), we thought we’d run down what it means for audiences.

Read more here

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28 October - Death of England: Delroy designer Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey: ‘We’re seeing it as two metres together’

London’s National Theatre has reopened with a socially distant Olivier in-the-round for its first show, Death of England: Delroy. Designer Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey explains how the space is being used

Read more here

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28 October - Pitlochry Festival Theatre reveals plans to open second space by May 2021

She went from rave diva with Nomad to winning her third Olivier award on Sunday for Death of a Salesman. Yet the London actor isn’t immune to the storms battering theatre

Read more here

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28 October - Olivier winner Sharon D Clarke: 'Not a penny came in until June. I thanked God for a voiceover job'

She went from rave diva with Nomad to winning her third Olivier award on Sunday for Death of a Salesman. Yet the London actor isn’t immune to the storms battering theatre

Read more here

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27 October - 20 theatres given share of £81,000 to help with reopening costs

Wilton’s Music Hall, Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Corn Exchange in Newbury are among the recipients of grants totalling £81,000 from a new fund set up to help venues reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read more here

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27 October - Ballet dancers protest outside parliament in call for more support

More than 100 dancers gathered in Parliament Square yesterday to highlight the plight of the entertainment sector during Covid-19, and demand more support from the government.

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26 October - Set design in the Covid era: how theatre's creatives are adapting to socially distanced spaces

With more theatres starting to reopen, Natasha Tripney talks to stage and costume designers about how they are making allowances for a new set of considerations and restrictions amid Covid-19’s ever-changing landscape.

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26 October - Digital must not become live theatre’s poorer cousin – audiences need both formats

When Tinuke Craig’s revival of Crave, by Sarah Kane, opens at Chichester Festival Theatre later this week it will have two audiences at the same time: one will be the socially distanced audience inside the theatre and the other will be a global digital audience who will be able to watch a crack cast – Erin Doherty, Alfred Enoch, Wendy Kweh and Jonathan Slinger –from their living rooms wherever they are in the world.

Read more here

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26 October - Olivier Awards winner Sam Tutty still feels blessed, despite missing that red carpet walk

“It was my first year in the industry so I didn’t have the tax [returns]. I have had to use my savings to get by. It has been very tough. My friend Lucy [Anderson], who plays Zoe [Evan’s love-interest], is in the same position. And it has been much the same with everyone. I haven’t met another actor who said ‘I’m fine’. 

Read more here

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26 October - Creatives have proven their mettle this year – who we are isn’t being erased

Surrounded by burnt-out buildings and burning barrels, our group walks through the desolate, post-apocalyptic landscape. Ash-covered, hungry and in artfully ripped but uncreased clothes. “Soon night will fall,” says the handsome one. “We need to build a shelter, gather food, purify water…”

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25 October - Rishi Sunak job support leaves 500,000 self-employed ‘in the lurch’, claims Labour

Half a million self-employed people have been “left in the lurch” by chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new coronavirus support package, according to a new analysis by Labour’s Ed Miliband

The workers, in sectors which have either been shut down or severely restricted by measures to control Covid-19, will see their monthly support cut in half from next weekend.

Read more here

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24 October - 35 arts venues receive more than £1 million each in new Cultural Recovery Fund grants

Thirty-five major arts venues across England have received grants of between £1 million and £3 million in the latest batch of Cultural Recovery Fund announcements.

Among the organisations are English National Ballet, Sadler’s Wells and the Old Vic in London.

Read more here

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24 October - Culture recovery fund: Royal Exchange theatre, Design Museum and Fabric to get at least £1m

The Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester, the Design Museum and Fabric nightclub in London are among the cultural institutions to receive at least £1m in the latest round of grants from the government’s £1.57bn cultural recovery fund.

Read more here

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24 October - £500,000 lifeline for Edinburgh's Capital Theatres

Capital Theatres in Edinburgh has been thrown a £500,000 lifeline from the Scottish government.

It is one of three cultural flagship venues to receive emergency Covid-19 support direct from the government.

Read more here

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24 October - Shakespeare's Globe among venues to get slice of Culture Recovery Fund

Shakespeare’s Globe, the Sage Gateshead and the company behind the Lady Boys of Bangkok are among the latest recipients of emergency government arts funding.

The replica Elizabethan theatre in London will receive almost £3m from the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.

The Birmingham Hippodrome, London’s Old Vic theatre and the English National Ballet will all get the maximum £3m.

Read more here

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23 October - Arcola Theatre reveals new outdoor venue with plans to open in 2021

The Arcola Theatre has revealed plans for a new venue, the Arcola Outside, set to open next summer.

Overseen by designer Jo Bausor (Bat Out of Hell), the space is scheduled to open for a series of trial performances in December 2020. The venue will be the epicentre of a festival of outdoor performance, Today I’m Wiser, which Arcola plans to produce in 2021. Full details are to be revealed in due course.

Read more here

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22 October - 'Nobody realised the extent of their vulnerability': Arts figures on what the government needs to do for freelancers

Money from the Culture Recovery Fund is starting to trickle through to institutions, but what about the freelancers who make the work that goes into them?

As employment opportunities have vanished, many have found themselves ineligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and hard-pressed to find alternative income.

Read more here

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22 October - Full list of Wales' Cultural Recovery Fund recipients

Arts organisations across Wales have been granted money from the country’s Cultural Recovery Fund, across two strands. The capital fund will help companies make the necessary changes to their venues to facilitate social distancing and other Covid-19 safety measures, while the revenue fund offers support for organisations with “urgent financial difficulties” and to help protect jobs.

Read more here

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22 October - Chancellor announces changes to Job Support Scheme with more funds going to freelance workers

The scheme will see extra funds go to qualifying freelancers and more money for companies with full-time workers returning part-time

Read more here

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22 October - West End musicians reject variation agreement including Sunday pay clause

Musicians’ Union members have rejected a variation agreement that would have required them to work Sunday shows for no additional pay.

Read more here

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22 October - Nica Burns reopens first West End theatre as she declares venues are 'safe'

Nimax boss Nica Burns has said she hopes the return of her theatres will prove the sector is safe and ready to resume, as she opens the doors of her West End venues for the first time since lockdown.

Read more here

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22 October - Composer Jeff Wayne: Government's treatment of freelancers is 'absolutely shameful'

Chatting to WhatsOnStage last week, Wayne commented upon the ongoing circumstances for freelance arts workers up and down the country. While funds for English institutions are being distributed, it is unknown what proportion of this will go to the freelance workforce that is, more often than not, the backbone of the entertainment industry.

Read more here

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22 October - Theatres must get used to social distancing – it’s what audiences want

After crunching the numbers of recent audience surveys by Indigo, SOLT and YouGov, former ticketing manager Andrew Ladd says the results couldn’t be clearer – if theatres want audiences to return, they will need social distancing in place

Read more here

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21 October - 'We've had endless, endless plans': How the National Theatre got its doors back open

Over six months after it first closed its doors, the National Theatre reopens to audiences tonight for the first performance of Death of England: Delroy.

Getting the building back open to the public in the middle of a pandemic has been tiring, thrilling — and remains nothing short of a tightrope walk. Here, four people who played an essential part in the reopening plans explain what it’s taken to get the building back open.

Read more here

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21 October - Producer Kenny Wax questions Culture Recovery Fund decisions

West End producer Kenny Wax is the latest theatre figure to raise questions around the decision-making process behind the Culture Recovery Fund grants, amid growing concerns that a lack of clarity may have led to eligible organisations missing out.

Read more here

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21 October - Did ACE have the expertise to decide who received emergency funds?

Arts Council England and the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport were always going to be on a hiding to nothing when it came to fairly and logically distributing the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

Read more here

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21 October - Shakespeare's Globe to present open-air film screenings and comedy nights with plans to reopen in spring 2021

Shakespeare’s Globe will invite audiences into its unique venue for a weekend of socially distanced screenings and comedy.

Read more here

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20 October - Exeter Northcott unveils plans for 'year of creative renewal'

Exeter Northcott is establishing an associate director post, as part of a wider programme of artist development, community and young people’s work.

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20 October - Theatres nationwide create new roles to boost social mobility

Fifty arts organisations across the UK will host year-long fellowships intended to nurture talent from low socio-economic backgrounds, as part of the next iteration of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme..

Read more here

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20 October - TV and film depend on theatre’s writers – and this talent needs support

Here’s a random list of some of the most sought-after British writers of film and TV: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Lucys Kirkwood and Prebble, Theresa Ikoko, Milly Thomas, Mike Bartlett, Michaela Coel, Jack Thorne, Dennis Kelly, Abi Morgan, and Martin McDonagh.

What do they have in common? They all started, and many of them still work, in theatre, honed their craft on stage in front of real, three-dimensional people, who laughed, cried, clapped and, yes, coughed.

Read more here

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19 October - Small-scale is great, but big shows are key to making theatre accessible

Though tiny productions are a great way for to get creative in the time of Covid, let’s not forget that big shows are the lifeblood of many producing venues and a vital introduction to theatre for many, says Lyn Gardner 

Read more here

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19 October - Almost 600 further arts organisations receive funding from Culture Recovery Fund

Following last week’s reveal that over 1300 organisations will receive grants from the UK government’s culture support scheme, almost 600 more companies have been given money to help them see through the pandemic.

Read more here

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19 October - As theatre begins to renew itself, we must work out how critics engage with it

Early on in my nerdy, theatre-obsessive teenage years, I heard of something called the Critics’ Circle. We all spend our youth as outsiders looking for an inner circle, and with theatre being the tribe I was desperate to belong to, I assumed that this must be the inner circle of learned authorities. Membership sounded like the ultimate imprimatur. No doubt a complex initiation ceremony was involved.

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18 October - Full list of theatres receiving Culture Recovery Fund grants in round two

The Association of British Orchestras (ABO) and the Musicians’ Union (MU) have joined forces to express their deep concern about the lack of support for self-employed musicians during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Read more here

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17 October - Full list of theatres receiving Culture Recovery Fund grants in round two

More than £76 million has been awarded to 588 cultural organisations across England to help them survive the coronavirus pandemic in the latest round of the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund grants.

Read more here

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17 October - Choirs and comedians among recipients of £76m Covid arts aid

Comedy clubs, circuses, choirs and theatres across England are in line to receive a share of £76m of government funding for the cultural sector.

Read more here

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17 October - Military Wives Choirs and The Hepworth Wakefield get share of £76m fund

Venues and organisations including the Military Wives Choirs, The Hepworth Wakefield and Night and Day in Manchester are to receive a share of £76m government arts funding.

Read more here

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16 October - 'We have £52 left': the dire future for England's small arts organisations

This week, the UK government announced £257m in emergency arts funding – we hear from some of those who missed out, complaining of baffling applications and a lack of guidance

Read more here

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16 October - 72% of early-career directors considered quitting theatre, survey finds

Almost three-quarters of emerging directors polled as part of a survey into the impact of Covid-19 on their careers said they had considered leaving the arts altogether.

The survey’s creators said its findings represent a “cry for help” from early-career directors working in theatre, who need more support in order to stay in the profession and be prevented from falling through the cracks of existing financial aid.

Read more here

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16 October - What happens when the show can’t go on?

Government bailouts may keep the lights on, but how cash was distributed – and who received it – has sparked criticism that ministers are either ignorant or apathetic about the industry they supposedly want to save.

Read more here

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15 October - Theatres and producers rejected by recovery fund warn of uncertainty ahead

Theatres and producers turned down for grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have warned of the impact the decisions will have on their businesses, with some making immediate redundancies in the wake of the news.

Read more here

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15 October - ‘Misleading’ government campaign tied to arts funding reported to advertising watchdog

A watchdog is assessing whether a requirement for arts groups to publicise a government campaign in order to obtain lifeline funding broke strict rules around advertising.  

A complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Authority after the demand was revealed by The Independent.  

Read more here

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15 October - London is set to move into lockdown tier two – the new rules explained with performances unaffected

London is, according to the BBC, set to go into the “tier two” level of lockdown from the start of the weekend.

The tier system is intended to streamline restrictions across England, providing greater clarity for those affected by the pandemic.

Read more here

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15 October - Sonia Friedman: Theatre's absence is damaging Britain's mental health

The celebrated producer talks about the life-changing alchemy of live performance – and why we need it now more than ever

Read more here

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15 October - The Lottery panto scheme will generate income, but it won't save Christmas by itself

A few weeks ago, it seemed unlikely any theatre would be casting culture secretary Oliver Dowden as Prince Charming this Christmas. But now, thanks to a scheme that forms part of the government’s so-called Operation Sleeping Beauty, it seems audiences may at last get a chance to go to the ball.

Read more here

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14 October - Theatre job losses leap to 7,500, BECTU figures reveal

At least 7,442 theatre and live events workers have been made redundant as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, new figures from entertainment union BECTU have revealed.

Read more here

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14 October - 'A culture bursary for every child': A post-recovery wishlist from the London theatre world

After months of waiting, theatres around the country finally received grants from the Government’s arts recovery package this week.

For many institutions, who have been unable to welcome audiences since March, it was hailed as a relief. But arts figures were also clear that it marks a small step on a much longer road to recovery.

Read more here

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14 October - Dowden rebuts claims that thanking government was condition of recovery grant

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has rebutted claims that recipients of this week’s Culture Recovery Fund grants were told to thank the government publicly as a requirement of accepting the money, arguing that asking beneficiaries to publicise this was a “perfectly normal” part of awarding funds.

Read more here

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14 October - Funding decisions must be free of political demands

The Cultural Recovery Fund is a much-needed lifeline for the theatre industry, says Alistair Smith – but it is chilling that the government is forcing the arts world to sing its praises

Read more here

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14 October - Emilia archived West End production to be streamed with pay-what-you-can pricing

An archived recording of the West End production of Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s Emilia will be streamed online for audiences.

With a pay-what-you-can model, viewers will be able to contribute at least £1 to see the piece, which was taped in London during its run at the Vaudeville Theatre. Proceeds from the recording will be shared across the entire team from the 2019 production.

Read more here

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13 October - West End variation agreement voted through by Equity members

A controversial West End agreement that includes no additional pay on Sundays and pro-rated pay has been accepted by Equity members, who voted in favour of the temporary deal.

The Stage understands 75% of current West End casts held on the current variation agreement voted in favour of the new deal.

Read more here

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13 October - Community support has long been the lifeblood of theatre’s civic standing

As news of redundancies pours in and arts workers continue to protest the lack of government support, theatres have increasingly turned to local communities for help.

Yet, asking for money from the public is nothing new. Theatres have long relied on community funding beyond ticket sales.

Read more here

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13 October - Government unveils three-tier lockdown system for England – what does it mean for theatres?

The government has unveiled a three-tier system in a bid to control the pandemic through more cogent rules. The measures are being introduced to help prevent transmission of the virus, and allow people to know what is and isn’t possible in their area. Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I do not want to stop people enjoying themselves, but we must act to save lives”.

Read more here

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13 October - MPs warn safe return of audiences is needed to help theatre long-term

A group of MPs has warned that the government needs to find a way for audiences to return safely to venues to “truly help [the industry] in the long term”.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Theatre, while welcoming the government’s distribution of £257 million to struggling theatres, also expressed concern that the distribution of the Culture Recovery Fund “had taken so long”.

Read more here

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13 October - Nearly 1400 arts organisations “woke up to good news” as £257m of Culture Recovery Fund awards were announced, but those who missed out stand a slim chance of survival.

Only two-thirds of applicants to the first round of England’s Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) have been awarded funding to see them through to March 2021.

Out of nearly 2000 organisations, 578 were rejected as being either unviable or capable of surviving without financial support.

Read more here

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12 October - Entertainment venues could close under 'tier three' restrictions, PM warns

Entertainment venues could be forced to close if an area goes into the most severe of the newly announced “three-tier” system, prime minister Boris Johnson has said.

As he unveiled the new rules for England, which will see areas classified as being medium, high or very high risk, Johnson warned of the “stark reality of the second wave” that could prevent certain businesses from opening to the public if they are in a very high-risk area.

Read more here

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12 October - Downing Street joins criticism of ‘crass’ job ad

Downing Street has added its voice to criticism of a government-backed advert suggesting a ballet dancer should retrain in cyber security.

A No 10 spokesperson said it was “not appropriate” and had been taken down.

Read more here

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12 October - The Culture Recovery Fund will help keep theatres’ lights on and protect jobs

While the pandemic has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone, help is here for the arts sector, says culture secretary Oliver Dowden –  and more is on its way

Read more here

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12 October - England arts bailout a 'gamechanger' – but some will miss out

The government’s allocation of £257m in funds to support arts organisations and venues has been welcomed as a “gamechanger” for struggling venues, but there have been calls for urgent support for freelancers and those who missed out on grants.

Read more here

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12 October - Whisper it, but the arts may have been saved - for now

Despite bad PR, The Culture Recovery Fund has been shared fairly and wisely from the commercial sector to the fringe. Hope is in the air

Read more here

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12 October - Third of theatre rescue grants awarded to London venues, ACE data reveals

More than a third of grants awarded to theatres in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund have gone to venues with London postcodes.

According to Arts Council England, which is administering the grants on behalf of the government, 110 London theatres have received grants under the scheme, out of 317 (34.7%).

Read more here

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12 October - Culture Recovery Fund: full list of organisations receiving money in first round of grants

A full list of the 1385 English organisations receiving funds in the first wave of funding from the UK government and the Arts Council has been revealed.

According to the Arts Council, 31 per cent of all grants (constituting 34 per cent of funding) went to organisations in London, with 14 per cent going to the south East. 12 per cent went to the “North West”.

Read more here

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12 October - Worst-case Covid scenario could lead to 95% drop in West End arts jobs – report

Arts jobs in the West End could plummet by 95% in the next four years if central London is subject to repeated lockdowns, new research has warned.

The West End could also lose up to 97% of the total gross value added generated by its arts and culture sector under a worst-case scenario, in which more waves of Covid-19 might result in further lockdowns, widespread working from home, recommendations not to travel and digitisation of entertainment becoming the norm.

Read more here

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12 October - Government sparks anger with ad campaign suggesting ballet dancer 'rethink' and 'reboot' job

A new government campaign has come under fire for suggesting that ballet dancers should ‘rethink’, ‘reboot’ and ‘reskill’.

As part of HM Government’s “Cyber First” campaign (you can find out more here), an online ad was shown that juxtaposed a picture of a young ballet dancer with a caption saying that “Fatima’s next job could be cyber….Rethink. Reskill. Reboot.”

Read more here

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12 October - Safety first: how drama schools are adapting to the coronavirus era

Students are returning to training institutions for the first time since March, but what changes can they expect? Heads of drama schools across the UK tell John Byrne what they are doing to ensure in-person education can continue in Covid-secure ways

Read more here

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12 October - Over £250 million of grants given to more than 1300 arts organisations in 'vital boost' for culture

The DCMS has unveiled the first set of organisations being awarded grants as part of the Cultural Support Package.

The largest portion of the £1.57bn package revealed earlier this year, it will provide a ‘vital boost’ for a variety of companies and venues across the UK.

Over 1300 applicants received funds (which are available in a value up to £1m), with larger loans being distributed later this year.

Read more here

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12 October - Back to work: but what do I wear, what do I do, and how long might it last?

We can, and should, remain certain that what we do has value. We can, and should, therefore remain certain that both as an industry and as individuals, we are viable, despite what certain members of the government try to tell us. So we can, and should, remain optimistic that at some point we’ll get back to doing the work we love.

Read more here

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12 October - Arts organisations across England to receive £275m survival fund

More than 1,300 arts organisations across England, including Liverpool’s Cavern club, the Young Vic and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, are to receive a share of £257m government money to help them survive the next six months.

Read more here

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9 October - Broadway to stay closed until June 2021

Broadway shows will remain closed until at least the end of May next year.

 

The Broadway League confirmed the move in an update on October 9, in which it announced the continued suspension of all ticket sales until May 30, 2021.

Read more here

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9 October - National Lottery announces nationwide scheme to support socially distanced pantomimes

A new nationwide campaign to support pantomime productions across the UK has been unveiled.

 

As part of the scheme, dubbed “Operation Sleeping Beauty” by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the National Lottery will buy seats that need to remain empty to enable social-distancing, making productions more viable for producers.

Read more here

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8 October - West End outdoor festival postponed until 2021

An outdoor festival of theatre, opera and music scheduled for this month that was designed to encourage audiences back to the West End has been postponed.

Read more here

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8 October - The arts aren't a luxurious hobby, Rishi Sunak. They're a lifeline for millions

Find another job, says the chancellor. But our sector provides hope – and billions for his own exchequer

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8 October - Covid crisis will see thousands of jobs lost, arts leaders warn Lords

Performing arts industry leaders have warned of the devastating impact a continued lack of sector-specific support could have on employment, with thousands at risk of leaving the profession.

Read more here

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8 October - ‘Industry could bounce back by 2022’, Arts Council England report suggests

England’s arts sector may recover to pre-Covid levels of growth faster than expected, according to a report commissioned by Arts Council England.

 

The funding body said the research found that the government’s £1.57 billion culture rescue package – announced in July – came at a “pivotal point”, which it said should help restore the arts’ gross value added to previous levels by 2022

Read more here

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8 October - Richard Armitage: 'Theatre is hanging on by a thread'

As he returns in a new film version of Uncle Vanya, the star remembers when Covid shuttered the West End and reflects on the arts crisis

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8 October - The theatre sector’s survival comes down to money – and government help

So far, many arts organisations have weathered the Covid storm despite being forced to make redundancies. With the Culture Recovery Fund allocations due to be announced, theatre lawyer Sean Egan explains the challenges that lie ahead

Read more here

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8 October - Cultural sector to have 'early bounceback' post-Covid, research suggests

A new report from the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) has predicted the arts sector will have a quick bounce back after Covid.

 

The research is also a swift rebuttal to any naysayers suggesting that arts jobs are not viable, with (on purely economic terms) the arts workforce ‘on average more productive than those in sectors such as manufacturing and professional, scientific and technical activities’. In terms of numbers, this translates to an average of £72,000 GVA (gross value added) per full time equivalent worker, compared to the UK average of £56,700 GVA.

Read more here

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7 October - Six Months in the Life of a Locked-Down Theater

Britain’s National Theater hopes to reopen in October after being closed for more than 200 days. But even with the shutters down, it’s been an eventful and emotional time for its staff.

Read more here

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7 October - Chichester Festival Theatre creates youth board to boost inclusivity

Chichester Festival Theatre has established its first youth advisory board, which aims to make the organisation more “inclusive and diverse” for young people.

The board is made up of 12 young people, aged between 16 and 25, and will be led by Georgina Liley and Holly Mirams.

Read more here

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7 October - We must fight for fair pay for freelancers post-Covid

Our statement with AAPTLE appears in The Stage todate

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7 October - By deciding which jobs are 'viable', Sunak is leaving millions to sink or swim

Whole sectors were kept afloat by the furlough scheme, but now they’re being abandoned. There is another way

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7 October - Arts jobs are viable – it’s the government that’s not

I wonder whether loyal subject and Conservative MP Alok Sharma, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, has ever watched The Crown? Not only is it an insightful history and analysis of that great British tourism generator, aka the Royal family, it’s a giant UK export watched – according to Netflix – in 73 million households worldwide since 2016.

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6 October - Royal Shakespeare Company says more than 150 roles at risk due to pandemic

The Royal Shakespeare Company is to keep two of its theatres in Stratford-upon-Avon closed until 2022 and has begun a formal consultation process with its workforce, with more than 150 roles at risk.

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6 October - 400 musicians take part in moving musical protest in Parliament Square in support of freelance musicians

400 professional musicians have taken part in a musical protest on Parliament Square in London today (October 6) to highlight the need for greater financial support for musicians duringthe coronavirus pandemic.

Organised in tandem with the #WeMakeEvents and #LetMusicLive campaigns, today’s event outside the Houses of Parliament was also backed by the Musicians’ Union.

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6 October -Andy Burnham publishes Covid recovery plan for Manchester's arts sector

A recovery plan for Manchester’s theatres and wider cultural sector has been published by the city’s mayor, Andy Burnham, as he calls for support to help the sector weather the coronavirus crisis.

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6 October - New "See It Safely" campaign launched to bolster audience confidence

A new campaign has been launched to inspire audience confidence as indoor venues begin to re-open with social distancing measures

Titled “See It Safely” and launched by SOLT and UK Theatres, the campaign will provide badges for arts buildings that are Covid-compliant, while also offering training, support and advice as well as an animated safety video.

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6 October - £3.3 million raised for Acting for Others during pandemic

Acting for Others and its network of 14 member charities have raised £3.3 million so far to support the industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

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6 October - Watch hundreds of freelance musicians play in Parliament Square to highlight plight of the arts

Hundreds of freelance musicians gathered outside the Houses of Parliament to perform and highlight the plight of the arts.

With thousands unable to access freelance support schemes, 400 individuals gathered in Parliament Square to perform numbers that could be heard within the Commons. Set up by letmusicliveuk, tunes from Holst were played out with socially distanced orchestra members spacing themselves out across Parliament Square.

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6 October - Leaving (for now) is a wrench, but I’ll stay part of theatre’s great community

Theatre is a family, says Katie Jackson – even though many of us are being forced to leave the industry temporarily, we’re not disappearing forever

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5 October - West End agreement: No additional Sunday pay and pro-rated weekly wages

There will be no additional Sunday pay and producers will have the option to reduce the number of performances staged in a week under a temporary deal negotiated for West End actors and stage management.

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5 October - Fund launched to support artistic responses to current events

A fund has been set up to support new artistic work that is created as an urgent response to current political and social events.

Theatre figures and visual artists behind the initiative, called ARTCRY, include Improbable’s executive producer Kathryn Bilyard and artistic director and chief executive of Sadler’s Wells Alistair Spalding.

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5 October - Arts Council apologises following delays in arts support fund due to 'volume and complexity of the applications'

Though announced in July, theatres and companies in England are currently facing a fresh delay in finding out whether or not they’ve received money from the arts support fund.

Featuring hundreds of millions in arts grants for smaller to medium-sized organisations in England, the package was announced in July and set to be a lifeline for organisations unable to put on performances during the pandemic.

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5 October - Time to get creative – we artists must make work that fights our corner

Regardless of whether the government thinks theatre jobs are unviable or its workers lack skills, it’s vital to keep creating bold work and telling the stories that humanity needs to hear, says Stephanie Street

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5 October - We need to value theatre for what it does beyond its stages too

Despite the repeated blows that have rained down on theatre over the past seven months – from Boris’ bungling of the closure announcement to the loss of the panto season – there is something enormously cheering and deeply moving about the way it has kept going against all the odds.

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4 October - Arts bailout delay leaves jobs at risk in UK and theatres on brink of ruin

None of the £1.57bn arts rescue fund announced by the government in July to great fanfare has yet been handed out to theatres, leaving many organisations on the brink of collapse.

Many had hoped to hear what they would receive this week, but because of what officials have called “the complexity and volume of applications”, there has been a last-minute delay.

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4 October - Royal Opera House to sell off David Hockney painting in bid to stay afloat

The Royal Opera House is to sell a David Hockney portrait thought to be worth as much as £18m to raise essential funds.

The painting, which was commissioned for the Covent Garden building in the 1970s, is to go up for auction later this month in an unprecedented attempt to protect the venue’s future as a home for the Royal Ballet and for international opera.

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2 October - Brighton and Hove City Council draws up arts recovery plan

Local councillors in Brighton are drawing up a recovery plan for arts in the city, in response to the crisis facing its cultural and events sectors.

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1 October - High street rescue programme allocates £7.4m for cultural projects

Cultural projects intended to revitalise England’s high streets are set to receive a £7.4 million package of funding as part of a wider scheme to regenerate towns and cities across the country.

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1 October - Venues across the world go red for global We Make Events campaign

Venues across the world united under one colour last night as part of a global #LightItItRed campaign. From Canberra to the Philippines to Stratford-upon-Avon, theatres all daubed themselves in red light to highlight the ongoing plight of the arts industry.

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1 October - Business secretary criticised for suggesting workers should be in ‘better jobs’

Business secretary Alok Sharma has been heavily criticised for suggesting workers in sectors that are currently unable to open – such as theatre – should be helped into “better jobs”

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1 October - Carrie Hope Fletcher: 'The arts aren't viable? See how you feel without them!'

The actor and author on starring in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, her Ballet Shoes sequel and the government response to theatre’s crisis

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