Sir Sam Mendes has launched a fund geared towards providing financial support to theatre workers amid the coronavirus pandemic
The fund has been established with a a £500,000 donation from Netflix, and is being aimed at the UK's theatre workers who find themselves at financial breaking point, or are considering leaving the profession altogether
8 July 2020
Sam explained: "Thousands of theatre professionals in the UK are struggling.
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"Many of them haven't been able to get help from the existing government schemes, and the situation continues to worsen. They need help now.
"We have created a fund to which the most vulnerable freelance theatre practitioners can now apply."
Sam has called on individual donors and organisations to lend their support to the fund, insisting it will "make a difference".
The acclaimed filmmaker said: "The fund has been initiated by a donation from Netflix and I am extremely grateful for their remarkable generosity and leadership.
"Although the money is initially limited, I hope that it will encourage other individual donors and charitable organisations. The more money that is donated to the fund, the more grants we will be able to give out. So please do consider a donation.
"I promise it will make a difference."
Anne Mensah, the vice-president of original series at Netflix, said: "Creativity is all about collaboration, and we are deeply concerned by the challenges our friends in the theatre now face, especially in the regions, and the likely consequences for the diverse voices and stories at the heart of our culture.
"Playwrights and directors, theatre artists and performers, composers and comedians, are the lifeblood of our industry too and, while Netflix has been more fortunate than many, in the end we are only as strong as the people we work with."
The fund provides grants of up to £1,000 per applicant and is geared towards supporting freelance artists in the UK.
The government is also creating a £1.57 billion support package to help the arts industry in the UK, which has been thrown into turmoil by the pandemic.
It's hoped the bailout will help to protect the future of Britain's museums, galleries and theatres.