Written evidence submitted by Theatre Centre

 

The Committee invites written evidence on the impact of Covid-19 on any sectors under the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s remit (including, but not limited to, culture and the creative industries; civil society; sport; tourism; heritage; publishing, media and journalism; telecoms). In particular, the Committee is interested in finding out:

• What has been the immediate impact of Covid-19 on the sector?

Our context: Theatre Centre is a national touring company funded as an ACE Band 1 NPO to make work with and for children and young people (CYP), working with teachers, schools youth theatres and with communities in a range of settings. Currently offering a programme of online workshops and resources for teachers to use with students and for CYP and families to use independently, also running ImagiNation, a national participation project open to everyone and being used by teachers, youth leaders, homeschooling parents, elders groups, a range of other community led groups and even a school in Mumbai.

As a touring company with strong reserves, we are in a good position right now relative to the majority of the sector, and are able to roll out grass roots projects for children, young people and communities and have engaged with our UK-wide network of schools in delivering lessons plans and whole-class teaching opportunities ("Theatre Centre have been a godsend"; “Thank you so much for giving SO much Theatre Centre. We look forward to getting you all back into our schools.” Post-lockdown feedback form Drama teachers) but our future is very uncertain as we are part of an interconnected ecology whose business and financial models have been devastated.

These are the issues we are already impacted heavily by or have identified as issues that will affect us negatively within the next six months:

 

• How effectively has the support provided by DCMS, other Government departments and arms-length bodies addressed the sector’s needs?

 

• What will the likely long-term impacts of Covid-19 be on the sector, and what support is needed to deal with those?

 

• What lessons can be learnt from how DCMS, arms-length bodies and the sector have dealt with Covid-19?

 

• How might the sector evolve after Covid-19, and how can DCMS support such innovation to deal with future challenges?