working together we can make things better, and make better things

lets get ready: making things better.

Just over three weeks ago we were celebrating the amazing achievements of the Off West End, many of us were busy putting exciting new work together, and we here at eStage were preparing to open at least one show a week all the way until May. Well what a difference three weeks can make.

Sadly with many of our shows have been cancelled or postponed, we too are at a loss for things to do. We wanted to take this time to highlight some positive things that have happened in the industry, some ways to get support, and some causes to support. And if you have any ideas for any more, let us know!

Good eggs

Let’s celebrate some good eggs out there who have been helping out people across the industry and make things better.

Tiata Fahodzi and the seeds: UK tour

We’ve sadly had to help Tiata Fahodzi close the wonderful seeds UK tour ahead of it’s planned date, but that hasn’t stopped them being absolutely wonderful through it all. The team have agreed to pay everyones fees in full for the entire show, no matter what, and even sent everyone some flowers to make everyone a bit cheerier. This kind of commitment to the full team has been an amazing help and security for everyone, so here’s to you Tiata, we can’t say thank you enough!

Papatango: Isolated but open

Our pals over at Papatango have set up Isolated But Open. An opportunity for writers to share their creativity by penning a new monologue, with the top ten being picked for a £100 prize and to be read by 10 separate actors (each also paid £100 for their time), sharing this new content with the world.

Papatango has also set up a free library of plays, sending out three free plays to the first 10 people. The hope is that once the plays have been read, they will send the plays on to others.

Getting support

We’re not really here to make too many statements about getting support in these difficult times, we’d recommend looking to your most relevant union for some information and support as each area of the industry is unique. We do however know that for some people there may not be an ideal union to look to so below are some explainers on things we’ve found.

Government support

It’s a tricky time for all of us and the government have been making steps to help people out. Last night they announced a package of funding for self-employed workers, so we’ve provided a bit of info below on that, they have also suggested universal credit, and as I mentioned in my blog post I’ve been going through that process. I still haven’t got clarity on what it means but if you want to chat please for contact me.

The self-employed scheme helps those who have the majority of their income from self employment with a profit of less than £50,000 in 18/19, or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 16/17, 17/18 and 18/19. This will support you for up to 80% of your average income, up to £2500 a month. The bad news: the system won’t be in place until June.

If you are recently self-employed and do not have a full year of accounts or have a 18/19 tax return that does not have a majority of income from self-employment, sadly this scheme doesn’t help you at the moment. The chancellor has indicated he’s looking at this but there’s no guarantees.

Other support

There are some other sources of support and funding you could consider, and The Stage has put together a great article on these here.

If you need to talk to someone about this difficult time we recommend the Theatre Helpline – 0800 915 4617, or UK Theatre have also started this page which gives a list of places you can go for support.

Changing things

EDIT: Dan wrote this before last nights announcement – so this is all a bit out of date.

Dan Gosselin

Dan is responsible for the development of eStage by leading business strategy and new service integration. Dan oversees the delivery of our projects whilst scoping new services these could lead to and working to deliver them with members and directors alike. As a production manager, he also supports Ian with the delivery of our production services.