BSC Address

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I am gobsmacked

The following theatre organisations have been reported in the press as in danger of being cut or axed by The Arts Council: Quicksilver, Pop-Up, London Bubble, Union Dance, Bush, LIFT, Queer Up North, Drill Hall, Watermans, Arts and Business, Total Theatre, Compass, ETT, Lip Service, Kaos, Orange Tree, Cambridge Arts, Derby Playhouse, Bristol Old Vic, Exeter Northcott, Eastern Angles, Pride of Place Festival, Norwich Puppet Theatre, Creative Arts East, Tara Arts, People Show, Stationhouse Opera, National Student Drama Festival, ITC, Yvonne Arnaud, Dukes Lancaster, Circus Arts Forum, Red Shift, Chisenhale, Mimika, Freehand.

The BSC is not funded by anyone, but that doesn't stop me wondering what on earth the Arts Council is thinking?! If these cuts go ahead, our industry would be decimated.

I am forced to wonder if this is some bureaucrat's warped idea of an April Fool - but it's January.


At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

its aweful. and its so sad. i was doing a show at the watermans this christmas when they were told thier funding is was terrible. i dont think they knew which way to turn because they were given little reason. so we gave out pertitions and leaflets during the show. something has to be done.


At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it so intrinsically awful? Arts funding can never be a guaranteed sum, as that leads to stasis and stagnation. Many companies have had their funding increased, and others will now be funded for the first time. The PR has been very badly handled, but there is no reason why funding must remain a constant.

Those of us who choose to work in the creative industries must do it in the knowledge that it is an insecure way to make a living. We do it because we love it and because it is important - no-one should do it because it is secure.

AIDAN McCARTHY (BSC "Danny..." company member).

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Christopher Barlow said...

I do partly agree with you Aiden, i dont think anybody really goes into this industry expecting it to be easy and secure. but its no bad thing to expect a little security when you are working for an established theatre/theatre company, not necessarily as a performer but as a technician, front of house, bar person etc. we need the arts and the arts has to be run by people who must feed themselves and pay the bills.

As I said when the watermans had thier funding cut, it wasn't that they would get less, it was cut completely, and there was little justafiable reason given for it.and thats the biggest problem. why was it cut completely, why was it so sudden, questions that if answered may help the watermans to be prepaired, cut back in time, make arrangements to help protect thier company, thatre and the poeple working for it. as a result the watermans may now close, and england loses another little theatre that reaches out to the community.

I believe that the arts are a necessity for society and not a luxury, and for that reason must be funded or at least subsidised by the government / arts councel / taxes.

It may be that new companies will get funding, and others get more funding but is it right that so many other theatres and companies suffer for it?

Art funding is surely there to help companies produce work, help keep them running, stop them from collapsing, and helping new companies get started. to give a company like the watermans a security blanket only to suddenly tug it away has disasterouse consequences. and i think its aweful because it happend suddenly to so many good and important companies.

I am wandering if its all really down to the money for the olympic stadium.

I dont know all the ins and out but i do feel like this is a disasterouse blow the arts council has dealt to the indutry it is supposed to be supporting.


the problem is that

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Neal Foster said...

I think the real issue here is the way it has been handled. The notion of closing Exter, Derby and Bristol, to name but three, was so ludicrous that it doesn't bear thinking about. And Derby has gone! What was needed was a strategy to get these theatres back on track - a detailed, long-term interaction with the AD and the board to ensure higher standards etc. Simply cutting their grant, closing them down, is a bizarre, irresponsible approach to such a serious issue. And don't me started on the Bush, which was threatened because the Arts Council got the most basic figures completely wrong!

The whole episode has been a disgrace and the acting profession was right to declare no confidence in the Arts Council.

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