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.
Welcome to this week’s newsletter.
I am thrilled to share with you that Claire Walker and Hannah Essex have been appointed the new joint Chief Executives of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre, in an innovative job share first for our organisations.
Currently Co-Executive-Directors at the British Chambers of Commerce, Claire and Hannah are the UK’s most successful and high-profile job share partnership. With over 40 years of combined experience as senior leaders in a range of business and not-for-profit organisations, they are trailblazers in the concept of co-leadership, proving it can have significant benefits in terms of innovation, influence and relationships. They are regarded as two of the most effective, credible and tenacious influencers in Westminster and were both recently recognised as two of the Top 100 Women in Westminster by House Magazine.
Following conversations with the Department for Transport they are very pessimistic with regards to the possibility of stopping the strikes planned for next week. Network Rail has released the following press notice which indicates which rail services will likely run next week and contains a useful map. They are asking passengers to plan ahead and expect disruption throughout the entire week. During strike days trains will start later and finish much earlier than usual with the rail network only open between 07:30 – 18:30, and only around 20% of services will run which will have a devastating impact on theatres.
Each train operator has begun to publish their individual strike timetables, and these will continue to become available on their websites. Tuesday 22 June will be particularly challenging as the tube workers are on strike as well so we will be faced with a double whammy so I am not sure how shows will be able to operate. We are highlighting alternative ways to travel in on the Thursday and Saturday but please do plan contingencies for your cast. It would be good to have a consistent policy with regards to exchanges so please share any plans that you have.
Tickets for Kids Week 2022 went on sale on Tuesday this week. So far over 130,000 tickets have been sold, which is 11% up on 2019! We have lots more marketing and comms planned.
West End LIVE
West End LIVE will be taking place next weekend on 25 and 26 June in Trafalgar Square and is the biggest Musical Theatre festival of its kind. The schedule for West End LIVE was released on Thursday afternoon and we will be announcing the presenters today. The final press release will be on Wednesday 22 June to link in with our Piccadilly Lights take over.
Please view the line-up here.
Last chance to purchase Performance by Rankin books
We have a limited number of Performance by Rankin books still available to purchase, and we will be selling the rest at West End Live next weekend.
If you would like to purchase a copy, please email Kayley to arrange. The books cost £25 and can be collected from our office.
Final line-up of speakers for Theatre & Touring Symposium announced – A new landscape for theatre
Monday 27 June | The Brewery, London EC1 | 11am-5pm | in-person or virtual
With nearly 50 speakers and facilitators, this is the first time the industry has gathered in-person on this scale in over three years. It offers an opportunity for theatre professionals to come together to work towards shaping a new landscape for theatre and will offer practical take-aways from each session to make it easier to play a part in positive change.
Network and discuss the issues facing the industry in the post-pandemic landscape:
Audiences and ticket sales
The cost of producing and touring
Workforce recruitment and retention
The event is sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance UK, Spektrix, Tysers, Theatre Tokens, and Yesplan Venue Management Software. The networking drinks in the Conservatory at the Barbican from 5pm are sponsored by Trafalgar Theatres.
Job Opportunity: Senior Press Manager
The National Theatre are looking for a Senior Press Manager to join their Press team.
The Senior Press Manager an important part in helping manage the reputation of the National Theatre, as well as anticipating and responding to events and will also support the Head of Press with crisis communication management. Substantial press and communications experience within a relevant environment is essential, as well as experience of line management and delivering and overseeing creative and high impact multichannel media campaigns.
Deadline for applications: 12pm on Thursday 22 June 2022.