Theatres, arts organisations and industry professionals across the UK have been celebrating the wide range of offstage theatre careers available for young people, as part of #InspiringFutureTheatre, a joint initiative by Society of London Theatre (SOLT), UK Theatre and Education & Employers, encouraging young people to explore job opportunities within a sustainable and representative theatre workforce.
As part of this campaign, hundreds of young people today (Wednesday 3 July 2019) got an exclusive insight behind the scenes in London’s West End.
SOLT and UK Theatre – working with Westminster City Council’s youth culture programme City Lions – brought nearly 500 13 to 16 year olds from Westminster schools, who rarely get a chance to engage with the world-leading theatre on their doorstep, into the West End to discover a range of offstage careers.
Workshops were held at nine theatres across all the major London theatre owners, from speed networking sessions to technical insights into staging a large-scale show. Theatre Royal Haymarket, the Cambridge Theatre, the Vaudeville Theatre, the Aldwych Theatre, the Piccadilly Theatre, the Prince of Wales Theatre, the Gillian Lynne Theatre, the Donmar Warehouse and the Royal Opera House all participated in the day.
The students then watched extracts from two hit British musicals: Six at the Arts Theatre and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre.
Several local and national politicians attended, including Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, who was at the Gillian Lynne Theatre to observe workshops and meet participants.
Jeremy Wright said:
“The West End’s theatre offerings are rightly regarded as being amongst the very best in the world. We can only maintain this success if the UK’s incredible pool of theatre professionals is sustainable, with young and new talent nurtured and encouraged. #InspiringFutureTheatre Day is a fantastic initiative and I congratulate all those involved for their work in reaching out to young people and letting them know about the amazing theatre jobs on offer behind the curtain.”
Today’s events marked the culmination of year one of Inspiring Future Theatre activity between schools and theatres across the UK, which has recruited over 1,000 theatre industry Ambassadors, and reached over 51,000 young people across 800 schools.