29 October - Future of dance in schools under threat as poll points to ‘dangerous’ decline
Dance in schools has been put in a “dangerously precarious and vulnerable” position as a result of the pandemic, which has exacerbated the existing decline of its place in education, according to one of the UK’s leading dance bodies.
29 October - 85% held back in theatre careers by financial barriers, survey suggests
Eight out of 10 people working or aspiring to work in theatre have not applied for a job due to financial barriers, according to a survey exposing obstacles to careers in the creative industries.
28 October - The West End is back – but is business as usual good enough?
When the curtain goes up on Cabaret at the Playhouse Theatre next month, it will symbolically mark the full reopening of the West End. But, talking to those in the know, Tim Bano finds that despite a triumphant return from a sector that came close to ruin, there is still much to be done and a lot needs to change to secure its future
28 October - Bringing back WFH would be ‘hammer blow’ for theatres in London’s West End
A leading West End producer has warned a return to home working for millions of Londoners would be a “hammer blow” to the city’s theatres.
27 October - Budget 2021: How did theatre benefit from Rishi Sunak’s plans?
As chancellor Rishi Sunak sets out an optimistic post-Covid spending plan, promising to prepare the country for a new economy after the pandemic, we look at some of the key issues the theatre and arts sectors wanted to be addressed, and the outcomes announced in today’s Budget and Spending Review.
27 October - Budget 2021: Theatre tax relief doubled until 2023
Tax relief for theatres has been doubled until 2023 in the government’s autumn Budget 2021, which has been hailed as an “incredibly welcome boost” for the sector.
25 October - Producer Patrick Gracey: Let’s get vaccinated and wear masks to keep theatres open
As winter approaches, concern has again been raised about Covid-safety measures in certain settings. While social activity currently poses some risk of contracting Covid-19, I am encouraged by SAGE findings that seeing a theatrical production presents less risk than visiting a pub, attending a family gathering or spending a day at the office.
25 October - Frozen’s Stephanie McKeon begs theatre-goers to wear masks at West End shows amid rising Covid rates: ‘Keep our productions running’
An actress starring in the West End’s production of Disney’s Frozen has begged theatre-goers to wear masks during the shows as the Covid infection rate continues to rise.
25 October - Unboxed festival – just another way for government to downgrade the arts?
First it was the Brexit Festival, the brainchild of Theresa May, who saw it as a way to celebrate the UK’s creativity and “strengthen our precious union”. Then it became Festival UK 2022 (which apparently nobody realised abbreviated to FUK), and now it has been rebranded as Unboxed. For many, the title is an unwitting reminder of how much the people of the UK and its artists have been left boxed-in by our departure from the EU. How they no longer have access to Creative Europe funds and how collaboration across borders has been hit – and the hostile environment Brexit has created for many migrants, many from the global majority, on whom the UK depends.
24 October - Little Amal is a reminder of how vital art is
Readers respond to a Guardian editorial on the peripatetic puppet – and the slow commodification of culture in England
22 October - We need joined-up thinking to bring theatre working conditions into the 21st century
Recent brinksmanship between the US entertainment industry’s technical workers’ union and film and television producers has had the positive effect of shining a light on the so-called ‘below-the-line workers’.
21 October - No fly zone: can theatre solve the crucial issue of access vs sustainability?
While reducing our carbon footprint is increasingly important, a self-imposed travel ban would reduce cultural connections, says Natasha Tripney, as she considers the alternatives to flying performers around the world and packing up sets in trucks
20 October - ‘Biggest crisis’ – pandemic’s devastation revealed in first official figures
Subsidised theatres in England saw earned income plummet by almost 90% last year, according to the first official figures on the impact of the pandemic across the sector.
20 October - House of Lords urges government to address Brexit touring restrictions
A House of Lords committee has warned it is “deeply concerned” about the “existential threat” facing the performing arts because of touring restrictions caused by Brexit, and has urged the government to work to address the issues.
20 October - Pantos face ‘serious challenge’ as audiences show reluctance to attend – survey
Pantomimes across the country are facing a “serious challenge” in terms of attracting audiences this year, with new Audience Agency data pointing to a reluctance to go to live events and working from home affecting attendances.
19 October - More than a third of UK music industry workers lost jobs in 2020
More than a third of UK music industry workers lost their jobs last year – 69,000 in total – as venues closed, festivals were scrapped, tours ground to a halt and the pandemic wiped billions off the value of the sector.
19 October - ‘No protection’ – women raise safety concerns over late show finishes and touring digs
Theatre employers are facing growing pressure to increase safety measures for women and other vulnerable people working in the industry, in the wake of renewed concerns over street safety in the UK.
18 October - Bouncer shortage a 'threat to public safety', warn nightlife bosses
A shortage of bouncers in the UK could become a “threat to public safety”, the Night Time Industry Association (NTIA) has warned.
It blames the lack of security staff at venues on people quitting during the pandemic and believes staffing levels are under 70% of what they should be.
18 October - Transparent policies can offer theatre freelancers the support they deserve
Last week ARC, that excellent arts centre in Stockton-on-Tees, published its first Policy for the Employment of Freelancers. It was developed by listening to freelance workers and with their direct input, including from the four freelancers on ARC’s board.
17 October - London's Theatreland has come roaring back from shutdowns and lay-offs
After the troubles of 2020 and 2021, when shows were cancelled en masse, the sight of crowds lining up outside venues in London’s Theatreland has marked a visible symbol of the city’s return.
17 October - Freelancers face £25 billion tax admin burden
The Federation of Small Businesses is calling on the Government to protect small businesses from unfair profit-seeking behaviour from Make Tax Digital (MTD) software providers and other recommendations to avoid economic hardship for freelancers, contractors and other self-employed workers.
15 October - ‘We know they can do it when it suits them’: theatre became more accessible during Covid. Will it last?
Doors may be open again, but some theatres remain inaccessible for disabled audiences. Online performances have helped – but many have already stopped streaming
14 October - Racism in the music industry 'is upfront and personal'
Racism in the British music industry is “serious, upfront and personal”, says the author of a new report about the experiences of black musicians.
“Prejudice is here,” says Roger Wilson of the Black Lives in Music initiative. “There’s nothing stealthy about it.”
13 October - Government 'misleading' industry with latest EU touring claims
The government has been accused of misleading the performing arts sector a second time, after claiming to have improved the touring situation for artists and creatives traveling to the EU.
13 October - The offstage talent drain is theatre’s biggest challenge
As theatre tries to bounce back from the pandemic, the alarming talent drain described in our recent news story could be the single greatest challenge it faces.
Re-establishing consumer confidence will also be difficult, but I have faith in theatre’s ability to address this, principally because it was not a problem before the pandemic.
13 October - Let’s build on theatre’s feminist history to lift marginalised voices
As her book 50 Women in Theatre is published, Susan Croft celebrates the legacy of campaigning women’s groups and their impact on the industry, and examines how today’s theatremakers can build on their work to amplify the work of those who remain under-represented
12 October - Talent-drain crisis as skilled theatre workers move to film and TV
Craft workers in areas such as costume, prop making and set painting are leaving theatre “in their droves” because of more lucrative television and film opportunities, leading backstage figures have warned.
11 October - Theatres have duty to fix accessibility problems – disability charities
Theatre has an “urgent collective duty” to support and advocate for disabled audiences after the pandemic to stop pre-existing accessibility problems returning, leading disability arts organisations have argued.
11 October - Rankin to celebrate talent and resilience of London theatre industry with major photography project
Photographer and filmmaker Rankin has announced details of one of his biggest projects to date: ‘PERFORMANCE, RankinLIVE x West End Theatre’.
11 October - Donmar launches training programme for underrepresented groups
London’s Donmar Warehouse has announced a new career development programme that aims to help address the lack of routes into creative and administrative theatre roles for people from underrepresented backgrounds.
11 October - Night-time cultural sector hit with 86,000 job losses due to Covid-19
Research has estimated that 393,000 jobs have been lost across the night-time economy due to Covid-19, including 86,000 in the “night-time cultural economy” (NTCE), which includes nightclubs and theatres.
11 October - Theatres need coherent Covid rules to prevent vulnerable audiences being left out
Another week, another raft of declined invitations to attend live events from companies I work with. Why? Because of the inconsistent and porous Covid-prevention measures in place at UK venues that make attendance impossibly risky for disabled people like me.
10 October - ‘British musicians and singers will lose their high ranking if unable to work abroad’
The renowned British opera singer Dame Sarah Connolly has warned that Britain will lose its placing among the world’s leading musical nations if younger performers and instrumentalists are not easily able to work abroad again.
10 October - 50% of UK theatres streaming shows online during Covid revert to in-person only
More than half of UK theatres that offered online performances during the Covid pandemic have reverted to in-person shows this autumn, raising concerns that improved accessibility for disabled audiences could be lost.
09 October - Theatre in UK faces exodus of women after pandemic, study finds
More than 60% consider leaving jobs amid concerns that ‘safe’ work by men could be prioritised
08 October - Jack Thorne: Risk-aversion in theatre means it’s a scary time for new voices
Writer Jack Thorne has warned that the pandemic has led to “risk-aversion” that is making it difficult for new voices to be heard in theatre, adding that it will “damage the sector and society as a whole”.
08 October - A new photo series by Rankin celebrates the West End’s return
‘Performance’ will feature over 200 Theatreland subjects. Touch wood, but the West End is back. It made it through three lockdowns, the pingdemic and social distancing, and while it would be a mistake to say we’re out of the woods, it’s clear that things are a lot better than they were a year ago, and let’s hope they don’t get any worse.
07 October - How does theatre build on the creative community spirit forged in lockdown?
Offering to mentor aspiring writers free of charge during the pandemic has been an enriching experience, opening up new opportunities and ways of thinking, says playwright and King’s Head co-artistic director Mark Ravenhill
07 October - Cut to Universal Credit will remove ‘vital safety net’ for creatives – Equity
Equity has warned that the end of the Universal Credit uplift has removed “a vital safety net” for many creative practitioners, as the union urges the government to reverse its decision.
06 October - Fight for gender equality is harder than ever, say top theatremakers
Leading female theatremakers have warned that fighting for gender parity in the current political landscape is harder than ever, amid fears that the issue is dropping from the agenda.
06 October - Self-isolation exemption reintroduced for performing arts workers
Artists and other cultural workers returning or travelling to England or Scotland will once again be exempt from self-isolation upon arrival, after the government reintroduced an exemption scheme for arts professionals.
06 October - Campaign urges theatres to support emerging stage managers
A campaign is being launched to put the spotlight on early-career stage managers who entered the industry during the pandemic.
06 October - ‘Grim outlook’: producers and theatres prepare for tough winter
Theatres and producers have warned that any restrictions implemented this winter would be “crippling” for the sector, as they urged the government to give the industry time and support to adapt to any new Covid regulations.
05 October - Wole Soyinka, post-pandemic theatre, Michael Winterbottom
Wole Soyinka on his new novel, post-pandemic theatre, Michael Winterbottom and Cathy Brady on British film.
05 October - ‘The show can’t always go on’: will regional theatre bounce back in the Covid-normal age?
Regional arts organisations are exhausted and struggling under lockdown. But opening up may present new challenges, too
04 October - Subsidised theatre's case for funding comes in showing how it differs from commercial
Is commercial a dirty word? Sometimes talking with people in the subsidised sector I get the impression it is. Listen: that subsidy is a non-negotiable necessity for UK theatre and its success, and the well-being of its artists, is a hill I am willing to die on, but the idea that only the subsidised sector can create great art is one that doesn’t bear much interrogation
04 October - We cycled 1,500 miles with our theatre props to perform our all-female, Covid-safe Macbeth
Three women took to two wheels this summer to deliver a Shakespeare play with a difference
03 October - Let’s talk about the fight club: women who battled their way to the top in theatre
As a new book celebrates 50 women who have triumphed in the male-dominated world of theatre, Laura Pullman talks to three pioneers
01 October - Jodie Prenger begs TV bosses to bring back the musical talent shows that made her famous after X Factor is axed
With reality TV and talent contests hitting the pan left, right and centre, West End star Jodie Prenger thinks she knows what would make them succeed once more – kindness.
01 October - Glyndebourne and Pegasus collaborate to mentor diverse talent
Glyndebourne is partnering with fellow opera company Pegasus on a mentoring scheme for singers from diverse backgrounds.