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Contributors to the Public Campaign for the Arts video.

Public Campaign for the Arts highlights the human value of the UK’s art industry

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 29 June 2020, Last Updated 30 June 2020

The theatre industry is so incredibly important to us all. Not only for its contribution to the industry and to the country’s economy but also to us, as humans. It’s vital to our mental health, to our communities and to our education.

Jack Gamble, Associate Director at the Arcola Theatre, has organised a Public Campaign For The Arts for the public to express their support and for the action that is needed to save our theatres.

Following the closure of the Arcola Theatre in mid-march, Jack received various messages from people in the local community, who were concerned about its future.

They make a “different kind of argument”, said Jack. “Particularly outside London, the arts centre is the heart of a community.”

To highlight the immense value that the arts industry brings to us individually, Jack gathered several videos from members of the public from across the UK. In these powerful and heartfelt videos, individuals talk about what theatre means to them. From their theatre’s outreach and participatory work to the benefits it brings to their confidence and mental health, it indicates the many levels to which theatre brings us value.

One individual says the arts are good for their “mind, body and soul”, while another says “it’s what woke me up to feeling in touch with life and meaning.”

Jack truly believes that public investment is essential. It is important, now more than ever to protect our theatres and the arts industry because of the great benefits it brings to us as humans.

“Unless our government acts now, most of Britain’s theatres, music venues and performing arts companies will be gone by the end of this year,” the campaign’s website states. “We are members of the public who need them to survive.”

Please join us in supporting the Public Campaign For The Arts today by submitting your videos. Tell the world how the arts have made a difference to your life and help support theatres. Click the button below to find out how you can do this, and more.



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We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.