Freelancers are the lifeblood of the theatre. But, as Chinonyerem Odimba writes, it’s not a case of ‘us’ and ‘them’ – theatre’s survival depends on an interdependent ecology.
Less than a month ago, I took on the role of an artistic director and chief executive in British theatre. Before that, I had spent 18 years as a freelancer. To say my journey from one place in this industry to another has been a wild ride would be an understatement. More pertinent than ever has been my feelings about the work myself and others have been doing in trying to make the plight of freelancer theatre workers headlines in papers and Zoom rooms across the country. So I write this knowing I am not alone in saying it, but it feels like it’s worth repeating. We need to come up with new ways of supporting our freelance artists, creatives and theatre workers. Beginning. Middle. End.
And the only way we can do that is to change the narrative we have held onto for the last year. A narrative of surprise. The surprise of how our industry is made up over 70 per cent by a freelance workforce. A surprise that when... Keep reading on the Evening Standard.