16 March 2021 will mark one year since theatres across the UK were forced to close their doors as a result of the global pandemic. Despite the government’s roadmap announcement, the next few months will still be full of uncertainty for our industry.
During these challenging times, thousands of theatre professionals across the country are unable to do the jobs they have trained to do. Ineligible for government support schemes, many have fallen through the cracks and are in need of urgent and critical financial support.
In July 2020, we launched the Theatre Artists Fund to provide emergency financial support for struggling theatre freelancers in the form of quick, efficient and easily accessible individual grants of £1000. And because we do not want to lose our future stars both on and off stage, we’ve enlisted some friends from the theatre community to raise awareness of this ongoing challenge and to share a turning moment in their lives when they were grateful to be lent a hand when they were otherwise so close to giving up.
In the run up to the anniversary of theatre closures, we will be sharing these stories, starting with the Olivier Award-winning actress, Denise Gough. Back in 2018, Denise was in her final year of drama school and found herself in a position where she was unable to continue her studies when she was awarded an Laurence Olivier Bursary. Here, she shares her poignant story.
Multi-award-winning actor Eddie Redmayne describes how someone taking a risk on him changed his career.
We spoke to Maxine Peake about how a turning point in her career when a friend within the industry helped her to secure an audition for Holby City. She explains how this gave her confidence and helped pay her rent in a time where she might have otherwise struggled.
Actor, writer and director Michaela Coel spoke about the important bursaries that allowed her to become the creative she is today, including the Laurence Olivier bursary, which enabled her to finish drama school.
If you are able to, please help us support those in urgent need via the the Theatre Artists Fund. Visit www.theatreartists.fund or to donate £10 *text THEATREFUND 10 to 70470
Any donation, big or small, is so greatly appreciated and goes directly to helping those in need.
And, if you’d like to see more stories from our theatre friends, please follow and keep your eyes peeled for the hashtag #FirstInLastOut for more in the coming weeks.
*Texts cost the amount you donate plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text THEATREFUNDNOINFO followed by your chosen amount to 70470.