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Phil Willmott

How to Lobby to Save Theatre and a Sobering Reminder of Why You Should

Theatres closed until further notice The fine people at the PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FOR THE ARTS have added two templates from which you can pick, personalise and send to your MP, making the case for a financial rescue package from the Government to save the theatre industry.

There’s even a nifty little box where you can put in your post code and it’ll identify the member of parliament who represents you.

If your following developments you’ll know that there’s been no mention of aid despite persuasive, logical and vociferous campaigning by some of the most powerful people in the land and folk like you and me.

When I bring this up in conversation there are occasional mumblings about theatre being niche and not a priority so it’s worth reiterating quite how many people’s livelihoods are at stake.

We tend to think it’s just about saving actors jobs but, in fact, there’s an entire eco-system of subsidiary workers and business that are reliant on theatres staying open AND putting on shows.

A number of people, across social media, have attempted to quantify those affected. This is the most complete list I’ve found. I’ve been unable to discover who originated it but, if it was you, thank you for so diligently itemising who’s out of work when a theatre closes.

It’s more than you might imagine. As well as the performers there’s:

  • Playwrights
  • Translators
  • Adaptors
  • Dramaturgs
  • Production Managers
  • Stage managers
  • Company managers
  • House managers
  • General managers
  • Dressers
  • Wardrobe Supervisors
  • Hair/Makeup
  • Carpenters
  • Electrics
  • Sound
  • Props
  • Musicians
  • Ushers
  • Bartenders
  • Box office treasurers
  • Porters
  • Cleaners
  • Merchandisers.
  • Security
  • Marketing
  • Producers
  • Directors
  • Choreographers
  • Movement Directors
  • Authors
  • Orchestrators/Arrangers
  • Interns
  • Press Agents
  • Casting Directors
  • Set Designers
  • Costume Designers
  • Hair/Makeup Designers
  • Lighting Designers
  • Sound Designers
  • Prop Designers
  • Video Designers
  • Projection Designers
  • Puppeters
  • All the design assistants
  • Assistant Directors
  • All Design Associates
  • Vocal/dialect coaches
  • Child wranglers
  • Doormen
  • Scenic artists /painters
  • Composers
  • Theatre Photographers
  • The Orchestras
  • Conductors
  • Aerialists
  • Graphic designers
  • All the costume shops where the costumes are made
  • The millinery shops where the hats/headpieces are made
  • The cobblers where all the custom shoes are made
  • The wigmakers
  • The fabric/bead/feather shops- while these may reopen they will suffer huge losses with no shows requiring anything for this entire year.
  • Scenic shops where the sets are built
  • Prop shops where the props are made
  • Sound and Lighting shops where the lights & mics are rented from
  • Design studios where the sets, costumes, props, etc are dreamed up to make the directors vision a reality
  • Rehearsal spaces for the show to be worked out before it appears for your pleasure
  • Merchandise vendors, concessions
  • Advertising agencies & press agencies
  • Talent agencies and managers
  • Union offices
  • Producer & general management offices
  • in house theatre bookshops stuf
  • Printers (theatre programmes)
  • Theatre Accountants
  • Theatre Architects
  • Delis
  • Restaurants
  • Post-show bars
  • Post show Dinners
  • Coffee shops
  • Hotels / Theatre Digs
  • Garages
  • Gyms
  • Physical therapists
  • Laundrettes