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Risking the Future of Uk Theatre - In Battalions Report Press Release

Risking the Future of Uk Theatre - In Battalions Report Press Release

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Published by Fin Kennedy
A press release of 22 February 2013 to accompany the launch of In Battalions, Fin Kennedy's report for Ed Vaizey into the effects of Arts Council cuts on new theatre writing in England.

The full report can be downloaded here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/126273288/In-Battalions
A press release of 22 February 2013 to accompany the launch of In Battalions, Fin Kennedy's report for Ed Vaizey into the effects of Arts Council cuts on new theatre writing in England.

The full report can be downloaded here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/126273288/In-Battalions

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Fin Kennedy on Feb 19, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/21/2013

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***EMBARGOED UNTIL 12PM FRIDAY 22 FEBRUARY***
RISKING THE FUTURE OF UK THEATRE
Independent report on new theatre writing shows evidence of sharp decline
The evidence is in, and the news is not good. Research by playwright Fin Kennedy andOxford University's Helen Campbell Pickford on the effects funding cuts are having on newwriting for the theatre shows that not only are small scale, regional and specialised theatressuffering, but that even the most prestigious companies anticipate negative effects in theyears to come, as the talent that feeds
them ‘shrivels’.
"The consequences of inadequate public investment will be fewer risks, inadequatedevelopment of new work, a substantially
less interesting theatrical environmentand a less successful one
."- Nick Hytner, National Theatre As cash-poor companies rely increasingly on their back catalogues to make ends meet,fewer and fewer can take the risks necessary to develop new work. Many regionalcompanies have ceased to produce new plays, and even major companies are now affected:
“2012/13 is th
e
first year in our 19 year history that Out of Joint will not haveproduced a new play
.”
 - Max Stafford-ClarkWhat is at risk is not only the future of theatre in the UK, but the wider entertainmentindustry:
 You have to talk about the whole ecology, the relationship betweengrassroots, the subsidised sector, national companies, TV, film and radio.
 We need to take an overview of the cultural body politic and how it is damagedby
a short-termism that will damage a multi-billion industry over ageneration
.”
 - Sonia Friedman, West End producer 
“This impoverishment may not be evident for some years: writing plays is a slow
process with a long lead-time and it takes vision, optimism and resources to invest ina writer without immediate returns.
Without such
investment in today’s beginners,
we risk losing the stars of tomorrow
.”
 - Alison Hindell, Head of BBC Audio Drama, UKThe survey showed across the UK:
 
Cancellation of one or more productions since April 2012
 –
affecting nearly two-thirds of respondents
 
Fewer new plays being produced and fewer full play commissions for writers -
cited by just
 
over 
 
half of all respondents
 
Theatres experiencing multiple funding cuts
 –
 
affecting just over half 
 
of 
 
respondents
 
 
Cuts to new writing Research and Development spending; includingplaywrights
residencies, unsolicited play reading, workshop time and puttingnew plays on for shorter runs
 –
 
cited by two-fifths of respondents
 
Having to insist on smaller cast sizes -
cited by half of all respondents A further set of over 40 interviews with theatre industry professionals, included as supportingmaterial, revealed:

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