Theatre News: Phoebe Waller-Bridge And Olivia Colman Initiate Theatre Community Fund

Photo Credit: Darren Gerrish

Emmy-winning actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Oscar-winning phenomenon Olivia Colman, have joined forces to help save theatres with the new initiative, The Theatre Community Fund.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, and the subsequent lock-down that led to the closure of places of entertainment, theatres were forced to close their doors to their loyal audiences. As a result, there has been a substantial loss of income to freelancers and artists.

While pubs and cinemas have begun to reopen their doors to the public, social distancing rules have limited most theatres to operating at 30-40% of their capacity, forcing them to stay closed and continue to struggle economically.

With the launch of The Theatre Community Fund and a pledge of £1 million, donors aim to provide longer-term support to artists and professionals in the UK impacted by the pandemic. The fund has already currently amassed £500,000 so far from the likes of Gillian Anderson, Emilia Clarke, Tom Hiddleston, Daniel Radcliffe and Ian McKellen. This will continue through an initial lump sum from others, alongside a fixed confidential percentage of their incomes over the next two years.

The money will be split into two categories: first, to ensure the industry we have all grown to love has a healthy future through innovation and creation grants for artists to produce work. Hopefully, with this grant and the help of the donors, theatres can get the money they need to produce the plays we’re all longing to go watch. Secondly, the money will also help freelancers survive the pandemic by providing hardship grants to those who have been put to a standstill since the breakout of the virus.

The Theatre Community Fund will thus be monitored by The Royal Theatrical Fund in partnership with The Fleabag Support Fund, both of which have already been raising money to help theatres survive the pandemic. The initiative also joins existing Theatre Artists Fund created by fellow artist Sam Mendes.

Words by Lucy Lillystone.

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