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Thank you_16_March

Anniversary of UK theatre closures raises money for Theatre Artists Fund

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 17 March 2021, Last Updated 23 March 2021

This week marked one year since theatre closures across the UK due to the pandemic.

To mark the day, we called on the theatre community and industry professionals to support us in highlighting the plight of freelancers and raising awareness for the Theatre Artists Fund, using the social media hashtags #16March, #TheatreArtistsFund and #FirstInLastOut – referencing the fact that theatre workers were first into lockdown and will be among the last to return to work.

We are thrilled to announced that as a result of this campaign, in just one day we raised £12,695 for the Theatre Artists Fund. As well as putting us at over £1 million in this fundraising round, this week’s campaign saw some of the UK’s – and the world’s – biggest names coming out in support of the Theatre Artists Fund, helping us to raise awareness about the struggles of those in our industry who have been hit financially by the coronavirus crisis and the closure of theatres.

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Created last July by director Sam Mendes, SOLT and UK Theatre, the Theatre Artists Fund provides emergency financial aid to the freelancers who make up an estimated 70% of the theatre sector. Eligible freelancers in need can apply for an individual grant of £1000 to help pay bills and put food on the table.

The latest round of grant applications opened yesterday (16 March) and will close on 30 March. Full details of eligibility and how to apply are available on the Theatre Artists Fund website.

Sam Mendes, director and co-founder of the Theatre Artists Fund, said:

‘The immense level of support for the #16March Theatre Artists Fund campaign illustrates that while theatres may be closed, the spirit of the theatre community is well and truly alive. I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the campaign, and all those who have shown their fantastic support for the Fund. It has helped enable fellow members of our community stay afloat during these extremely difficult times.’

The campaign was shared far and wide, with a number of celebrities also sharing videos of their career turning points; moments when someone lent a hand when they were otherwise ready to give up. These poignant stories are a true example of the solidarity shown within the industry and highlight hope; something we wish to convey to theatre professionals during this difficult time.

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Those who have lent their support to the #16March campaign include Joe Alwyn, Ellie Bamber, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Bonneville, Michaela Coel, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anne-Marie Duff, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfie Enoch, Michael Fassbender, Claire Foy, Hugh Jackman, Ruth Madeley, Ian McKellen, Liam Neeson, James Norton, Sophie Okonedo, Weruche Opia, Andi Osho, Elaine Paige, Maxine Peake, Simon Pegg, Eddie Redmayne, Imelda Staunton, Juliet Stevenson, Mark Strong, David Walliams, Harriet Walter, Zoë Wanamaker, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams, Ruth Wilson and Kate Winslet.

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To end the day, we hosted a 90-minute live musical theatre request show with the incredibly talented Dominic Ferris in aid of the Theatre Artists Fund. We are so thrilled to report that to date, we have raised over £1000 which contributes towards the total amount of £12,695.

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With song requests from Mary Poppins and Fiddler On The Roof to The Greatest Showman and Annie, this magical live show is well worth a watch. And if you’d like to donate, it’s not to late to do so. Just click the Facebook logo in the bottom right hand corner in the video above!

Last but not least, we would like to say a HUGE thank you to each and everyone of you that supported our #16March campaign. Thank you for sharing your selfies, thank you for raising awareness to our theatre professionals that are in need of urgent financial support and THANK YOU for donating.

Thanks to you, we can give even more people individual grants of £1000 each, which will help to pay their rent and put food on their tables during this challenging time.

If you would like to learn more about the Theatre Artists Fund or to donate, please click the button below. Each month, we must raise at least £750,000 to meet the current demand. Any donation, big or small is so welcome and will go directly to those in need.

And if you’d like to book tickets to see a show and have something to look forward to, click the roundup below!

 

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#16March theatre artists fund

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