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.

Sir Eddie Kulukundis, Honorary Vice President of the Society of London Theatre, sadly passed away on 17 February, aged 88. Our thoughts go out to his devoted wife, the actress Susan Hampshire CBE.

Sir Eddie was a generous champion of the arts, and a noted theatrical impresario. He co-produced the 1976 Tony Award-winning play Travesties by Tom Stoppard, and later formed Knightsbridge Productions and was a prolific producer on Broadway and the UK.

Sir Eddie was the Founding Father of the Ambassador Theatre Group; its first chairman from 1992-2008; and a long-standing and much respected colleague and partner of Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, who along with many others he supported loyally over decades. He was also a champion of the RSC and the Hampstead Theatre Club. 

By keeping SOLT solvent during a period of limited income through his wise guidance and financial support, Sir Eddie laid the platform for the successful and financially sound organisation it is today.

Sir Eddie was a larger than life character with huge gravitas who leaves an enormous legacy both in SOLT and beyond. This incredibly kind and much loved man will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege to know him.

Individual Emergency Resilience Programme (IERP) – Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland has released a further £6.9m of funding to almost 1,600 individual artists as part of the Individual Emergency Resilience Programme (IERP), which is being delivered by the Arts Council on the Department for Communities’ behalf. Individual artists, such as musicians, actors, freelancers and craft workers, will be offered grants of up to £5,000 and for those with a disability up to £7,500.

REMINDER: Rapid testing
If you run a business / organisation (which would include a production) that employs 50 or more people, you can register to order tests for employees who cannot work from home. Organisations can then directly book themselves onto some ‘Intro’ webinars and sign-up to DHSC’s digital platform, Egress, for ordering and receiving tests. As a reminder, the community testing offer is still available via local authorities for organisations with less than 50 employees who have staff that are unable to work from home.

Action: Tell young people about careers in our industry
Next week is Discover! Creative Careers Week. Due to COVID-19 this year it will take place online. It is a programme that aims to introduce over 60,000 secondary school students to an exciting array of careers and workplaces across the creative industries. Theatres such as Royal Opera House, HighTide Theatre, National Theatre Wales and Wakefield Theatre Royal have contributed with a series of filmed interviews, tours and live panel discussions. 

How you can get involved: As part of Discover! there will be an online campaign celebrating the lesser-known jobs within our sector and busting some myths about common misconceptions around creative careers.

  • You can get involved by sharing your own myths, promoting Discover! week and sharing your own career resources.
  • Take to Twitter tag @CreativeCareer5 and use the hashtags #DiscoverProperJobs #DiscoverCreativeCareer.
  • You could also link to a range of job profiles on Get Into Theatre.
  • For more information on other ways to get involved you can check out the campaign pack

Alongside programmes such as Inspiring The Future of TheatreTheatreCraft, and the Creative Careers Programmethis is a chance to help inspire and inform young people about jobs in our industry. During National Careers Week every industry will be talking about their sector, so it’s a great opportunity for theatre to also make some noise.  

The Black Theatre & Film Directory has been launched by The Black British Theatre Awards
The global online database will feature profiles of Black theatre talent right across the industry including performers and creatives. Designed to expand awareness and visibility of Black expertise, it will provide the international theatre industry with a pool of talent to enhance diversity and connection in theatre.

Please click here to register for the Directory.

Reminder – 16 March
We will be marking 16 March, the anniversary of theatres closing, with an industry-wide press and social campaign, linked to raising awareness about the challenges still facing the industry, hopes for the future and what we need to move forward.

As part of this, we are asking leading performers, theatre makers and industry colleagues to take part in a video and selfie campaign to help raise donations for the Theatre Artists Fund, which is still vital for supporting struggling freelance theatre workers while theatres remain closed. Please find information on our selfie and video requests in the PDF here (NB: please do not share the collage and videos in the PDF on social media). 

Please share the PDF with any contacts you have who would be willing to participate, particularly if you have high-profile contacts that can get involved with the video request. Take a look at Denise Gough, Eddie Redmayne and Maxine Peake’s videos here


Coronavirus Recovery Guidance

Wellbeing and mental health support for you and your staff