23 February 2013
Posted in Theatre
Fin Kennedy's snapshot of new play development issues a challenge to Culture Minister Ed Vaizey
A shocking exposé of the devastating effect of spending cuts on live theatre has been published by playwright and Writers' Guild Theatre Committee member Fin Kennedy.The research, In Battalions, which can be read in full above, reveals:
- Nearly two-thirds of theatres surveyed have cancelled one or more productions since April 2012
- Fewer new plays are being produced
- Theatres are experiencing multiple funding cuts from city and county councils,trusts and foundations, reduced fees from venues and decreased box office revenue
- There are fewer full play commissions for writers, and cuts to new writing research and development
- Shorter runs
- Smaller cast sizes
- Cutbacks to playwrights’ residencies and attachments and new writer development schemes
- Lower commission fees to writers
- More revivals.
The project was born after a conversation between Kennedy and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey at a Writers’ Guild event in Parliament, when the minister said cutbacks were having 'no effect' on the theatre.
In an introduction to the survey, Jack Bradley, former Literary Manager of the National Theatre, writes: 'We are no longer a manufacturing nation; our dependency on financial services is trepidatious to say the least. In only one area do we show the world our heels: the Arts. To cut the Arts is to cut apprenticeship,legacy, invention and evolution.'