All-Party Parliamentary Group for the UK theatre industry

Published: 7 July 2019
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

The inaugural General Meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Theatre was held this week.

The APPG’s Statement of Purpose is "to identify and debate potential opportunities and issues for the theatre industry in the UK, and increase fellow parliamentarians’ understanding of the theatre and performing arts at a national and local level."

The creative industries are the UK economy's fastest growing sector with UK theatre in 2018 giving 62,945 performances with a ticket revenue of nearly £1.28bn.

Headed up by former professional actors, Giles Watling, Conservative MP for Clacton, and Tracy Brabin, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, trade associations UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre (SOLT) have been appointed the secretariat to the APPG.

In the secretariat role, UK Theatre (which represents approximately 240 theatres, concert halls, dance companies, producers and arts centres) and SOLT (which represents approximately 200 London-based producers, theatre owners and managers) will offer organisational, practical and strategic support to the Group.

A team of theatre organisations will be formed through these two bodies that will raise issues relevant to the wider industry for the APPG to look into.

Giles Watling MP said, "it is my hope that this APPG will do more to promote domestic theatre in Parliament. As a former actor, I know that we have a thriving and successful theatre industry in the UK, but we need to do more to support this sector and improve the offer for those working within it.

"I hope that all other interested parties will get in touch to work with us, to help put domestic theatre on a higher level here in Parliament—doing so can only be a positive for our theatre, production teams, and actors."

The formal launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Theatre will take place later in the year.