It seems to me that what with the very fresh and welcome announcement from the Government regarding monetary help for the Arts that the time has come for the profession to have a rethink. I think, as unfortunate as it may be, the way the general public think of ‘the arts’ is not going to change, therefore I believe there has to be a coming together of the Creative Industries.
I ought to say that I have not thought this through, and this is an on-the-spot gut reaction to a situation that is not over yet. Indeed, expect further feathers to fly as the money announced by the Government goes mainly to the Usual Suspects and smaller bodies hit the dust.
What I am saying is simple (and probably impossible) but surely now, especially how we have seen just how vulnerable the arts are and how little the sector is thought of by a general public, happy to forget how much of their lives are spent being fed by the Arts, is the time to bond. To speak as one voice.
This of course requires the Big Beasts (Royal Shakespeare Theatre, National Opera etc, etc) to step up to the plate and speak with one voice. To do what they can for the Pool they all originally came from.
The cheap letting of unused rehearsal space. Printing facilities. Performance space. Expert advice. The list as they say, is endless. There is no argument that there are organisations who receive large amounts of money which they use to build and put on large and expensive productions; a lot of the material dispensed with once the show is over.
Having worked backstage at the Royal Shakespeare I have seen what goes into various productions in terms of hydraulics and other backstage wizardry. Sadly, I have also seen the large skips ready for collection and disposal after the show has finished its run. Skips that are full of wood, cloth and other bits and pieces that some of the small companies would die for.
The time has come, especially after Covid that leads me to believe that there has to be a coming together of the Creative Industries. Now is the time because the next time disaster strikes it will be too late and we really will be travelling round village to village in horse drawn carts (no bad thing?)
There needs to be dialogue between theatres/creatives and a sharing of resources where possible.