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Theatre faces ‘exodus of talent’ without support for freelances

The WGGB has signed an open letter issued by 120 organisations from across the creative sector calling on the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend support for freelance workers in the performing arts and entertainment industries until next spring.

The letter welcomes the Government’s decision to allow socially distanced indoor performances from last Saturday, but warns that with the ending of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) support for freelances, the theatre sector “risks an exodus of talent and a sudden decline”.

The last payments for SEISS are being issued this month. From September onwards, every single freelance creative will be without government financial support and unlikely to be able to return to their work in full. Theatre themselves, unable to work at full capacity, will not be able to make up the shortfall in earnings.

The signatories are now asking Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend SEISS until next spring and to engage with them to come up with a new scheme that will cover all freelance artists, including new graduates, international artists, parents and carers, and working-class artists who have disproportionately missed out on support of any kind.

Read the full letter

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