The below correspondence is posted here by kind permission from the Society of London Theatre

The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) is an organisation that works with and on behalf of their Members to champion theatre and the performing arts.

Find out more about SOLT and visit their website here.


As you may be aware, the government is rolling out a programme for mass testing for those that must leave home to go to work during the national lockdown. This will consist of government funded (until 31 March) regular lateral flow testing to all those who have to leave their home to work during the national lockdown, not just critical workers. A press release relating to this scheme is here. For our sector, we are working on the basis that this scheme will only cover those attending rehearsals, streaming and broadcasting activities given that these cannot be carried out at home.


To estimate the number of tests needed, we have been asked to gather some basic information from you all to help develop these estimations.


IF you are planning activity at the moment, please can you send the following basic info to by midday on Monday 18 January – if you are NOT planning anything or do not know at the moment, please do not send anything to us. Info requested:

  • Name of organisation 
  • Is the organisation already providing testing to staff members?
  • Number of people requiring testing within the organisation (only those who cannot work from home and are required to come into the workplace).
  • IF this is to stream / film something, what is it and what is the proposed timing for the filming / stream?

Theatre APPG update

UK Theatre and SOLT are the Secretariat to the Theatre APPG. This week the Group held its AGM. The APPG went out last year to seek new parliamentarians to join as Officers to ensure a greater regional spread – focussing particularly on Scotland and Wales. As a result, it was very encouraging to see five new MPs from different parties and parts of the UK join as Vice Chairs. These are:

  • Simon Baynes MP (Clwyd South, Conservative)
  • Alison Thewliss MP (Glasgow Central, Scottish National Party)
  • Kevin Brennan MP (Cardiff West, Labour)
  • Theo Clarke MP (Stafford, Conservative)
  • Kerry McCarthy MP (Bristol East, Labour)

You can see the full list of the officers, upcoming meetings, and videos of previous evidence sessions on the Theatre APPG Website.


The Theatre Helpline – Here to support you and your staff

In these especially challenging times – with a new lockdown recently announced and further uncertainty of when the restrictions will be eased – people might be struggling to cope with a wide range of issues, including mental health, financial worries and career issues. The Theatre Helpline – a free and confidential email and phone service (0800 915 4617) available to all theatre industry workers – is still operating and provides support and sign-posting on any topics which affect people’s wellbeing. Please do not hesitate to contact them if you or your staff need support.


Hearts for the Arts Awards – Shortlist Announced 

Today Hearts for the Arts announced its shortlist of nominees for the 2021 Awards. UK Theatre is a partner and was pleased to help judge the applications, alongside other partners – the LGA, Culture Counts, the NCA, WCVA, Voluntary Arts Wales and Thrive. You can see the shortlist on the NCA website.


This year’s winners will be selected from the shortlist (and announced in February) by a judging panel of key arts industry experts and practitioners, including:

  • Le Gateau Chocolat, Drag artiste and cabaret performer
  • Paul Hartnoll, musician, composer, founder member of Orbital
  • Adrian Lester CBE, actor and director
  • Petra Roberts, Cultural Development Manager, Hackney Council (2020 winners for the Windrush Generations Festival)
  • Samuel West, actor, director, Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts




Coronavirus Recovery Guidance


Wellbeing and mental health support for you and your staff