Written evidence submitted by Futures Theatre



We are a small touring and original writing theatre company (est 1992). We challenge injustices that prevent marginalised women from realising their creative and life potential. We do this by engaging excluded women in long-term creative engagement programs, by producing uncompromising theatre about female stories and through our innovative training programs for social workers who work with vulnerable women. Our engagement projects for excluded and isolated women are co-produced with professional female artists and delivered in partnership with grass-roots women’s charities and organisations. These partnerships have enabled us to engage with women who are in street prostitution, involved in the criminal justice system and affected by domestic abuse.


For us, this crisis has meant:


Furloughing has provided some support for organisations but the support for freelance artists has not gone nearly far enough.

We cannot go for government loans.  We’re concerned going forward that our business model will not sustain the repayment of loans (even if we were granted them).  We believe this is likely to be similar for many other small organisations, particularly those who, like us, do a lot of work in the community or with marginalised groups.


Long term we face a significant financial risk. While we are currently in a fortunate position in comparison to other theatre companies and not at immediate risk of closure, 90% of our income from Trusts & Foundations/ Arts Council is for specific projects and this lack of unrestricted income puts us in a precarious position whilst we are currently unable to deliver those projects.


We believe it will become harder to get funding and that venues we would ordinarily partner with will become more risk-averse and reliant on commercially viable projects. It seems likely that many small venues who would have traditionally been our partners will close permanently because of this pandemic, which will have a ripple affect among the smaller organisations and artists who work with them.


Support needed:


Ways the sector will evolve: