Local authorities and amateur groups are being encouraged to give children every opportunity to perform in local shows, as new Government guidelines state that individual licences are not required for every child for every performance. The guidance makes it clear that local authorities can issue an approval to cover all performances for all children, as appropriate to the needs of the performing group.
This clarification of the existing 40-year-old child performance laws has been issued with the aim of making it clearer to local licensing officers and amateur groups how they can quickly and easily involve children in amateur performances, while avoiding unnecessary bureaucracy. Amateur groups have complained that the current system has created “a postcode lottery of opportunities for children to get on the stage”. Eddie Redfern, Chairman of the Little Theatre Guild, said: “I have long championed the need for clarity of the existing rules so that local authorities are able to interpret them in a uniform way… Many theatrical societies do not even know the regulations exist and see no enforcement of the rules.”