UK THEATRE NEWS

Government unveils Community Ownership Fund to help local people take over and save theatres

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a Community Ownership Fund – which will hypothetically allow local people to "take over" and save endangered theatres.

As part of the plans, launched today, sports clubs, theatres, music venues and post office buildings can be aided by community groups – who will be given up to £250,000 to support spaces in their area through matched funding.

The fund is set to open this summer and last for four years. Many further details are expected to be released, providing clarity on how exactly the Fund will work in practice.

Rishi Sunak said: "This fund will help to ensure vital local institutions aren't lost to those who treasure them most."

Also, grants of up to £18,000 will be given to hospitality and leisure businesses who may not be able to open as swiftly as other non essential retailers. A continued reduction in VAT for items such as theatre tickets will remain until September, with a 12.5 per cent rate from September to April. Business rates will be discounted by two thirds from June 2021.

Increased duties for alcohol will be cancelled, and will be frozen for the next two years.

SOURCE: whatsonstage.com 

Budget for theatres: Furlough extended until September and freelance grant criteria to be broadened

This years budget has unveiled a raft of new plans for 2021 spending as the theatre community looks towards reopening later this year.

The furlough scheme is set to be extended until the end of September, which will be a welcome relief for venues that aren't able to return to full capacity or operations even after theatres have been given the green light to reopen.

Employers will be obliged to pay ten percent of staff wages from July, with that figure doubling to 20 per cent for the subsequent two months.

In an exciting move for a portion of those in the freelance community (though by no means all), Sunak will also open eligibility for the SEISS (Self-Employment Income Support Scheme) to those who were self-employed in the year 2019-20 rather than, as before, those who qualified as self employed in the 2018-2019 year.

A fourth grant will run to April (with 80 percent of trading profits) and a fifth grant to cover through to September. For this fifth grant, those whose turnover has fallen by more than 30 per cent (essentially those hit hardest) will receive the full grant, whereas those who haven't seen a major fall will receive less. As already reported, Sunak will also deliver a further £400 million to aid the arts sector as restrictions are slowly eased over the course of 2021.

Grants of up to £18,000 will be given to hospitality and leisure businesses who may not be able to open as swiftly as other non essential retailers. A continued reduction in VAT for items such as theatre tickets will remain until September, with a 12.5 per cent rate from September to April. Business rates will be discounted by two thirds from June 2021.

Increased duties for alcohol will be cancelled, and will be frozen for the next two years.

SOURCE: BBC Theatre 

SCRIPT OF THE MONTH 

WARNOCK

£27.00

WARNOCK

£27.00

Synopsis: This new gritty play is set in a youth detention centre for girls which tells the story of the daily hardships of being detained at a young age. The main character is Sasha Kilpatrick, a streetwise kind of girl who has been in and out of Warnock detention centre for over the last four years. Following a warehouse job which Sasha was doing with her friend Dodge, where things didn’t go to plan she is sent by the courts to several years locked up. 

Other characters we meet include the gift of the gap character Gemma who can get her hands on anything for the inmates, but for a price. A newbie to the detention centre is Amy, a softly spoken character who thinks Warnock is going to be like a holiday camp……it’s anything but. 

Roles: 6 female teenager parts, 5 adult parts and several young people will be required to play extras in the detention centre. 

Runtime:  A show that consists of acting, singing and dancing it is approx 100 minutes, assuming that you use the full number of suggested musical numbers and not including any interval. But this is very dependent on your own production and can be edited by yourselves to suit.

Music: Background music to help drive the storyline forward and bring an atmosphere to some of the scenes. 

Style: A gritty stage play which is aimed at entertaining older teenagers and adults. Some scenes in this maybe unsuitable you young children. 

NEW ADULT COMEDY SCRIPT RELEASED MARCH 1st

A NEW FAMILY SCI-FI PLAY RELEASED JANUARY 1st 2022