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Sir Sam Mendes spearheads fund for theatre workers at ‘breaking point’

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Sir Sam Mendes is spearheading a fund to help people working in the theatre industry in need of emergency financial support.

The fund has been established with a £500,000 donation from Netflix.

Sir Sam said: “Thousands of theatre professionals in the UK are struggling. 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.”

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The fund is “specifically designed for theatre workers who find themselves at breaking point, for those unable to put food on the table or to pay bills, or for those considering leaving the profession altogether”.

It offers grants up to £1,000 per applicant and is designed to support freelance artists who have been ineligible for government aid.

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People visit Columbia Road Flower Market, London, as it reopens following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

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A member of bar staff wearing PPE in the form of a face mask, pours drinks inside the The Goldengrove in Stratford

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Cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands prior to the League One play-off semi final match between Portsmouth and Oxford United at Fratton Park

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Tony Bennett the owner of The Devereux pub in Temple, London. Pub and hospitality bosses have cheered the Government’s proposals to allow customers through their doors again on July 4 as « a welcome relief ». PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 23, 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that pubs, restaurants and cinemas will be able to reopen from July 4, with « one metre-plus » distancing measures in place

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Scouts show their support at the Lord Baden-Powell statue in Poole. The statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay is to be placed in « safe storage » following concerns about his racial views

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The Edward Colston statue has been pulled down by Black Lives Matter protesters in Bristol. Colston was a 17th century slave trader who has numerous landmarks named after him in Bristol

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Children pose for their family in front of discarded placards fixed on a wall in Piccadilly Gardens after a Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Manchester. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world

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31/50 5 June 2020

Protesters kneel in Trafalgar Square during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in London, England. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world

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Protestors march from Windsor Castle in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement

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People wearing face masks hold banners in Hyde Park during a Black Lives Matter protest following the death of George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis

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Street artist Nath Murdoch touches up his anti-racism mural in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

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Customers socially distance themselves as they queue to enter Ikea in Warrington. The store opening saw large queues of people and traffic on adjacent roads as it reopened after the lockdown. The furniture and housewares chain reopened its stores across England and Northern Ireland subject to several restrictions, keeping its restaurants closed and asking customers to shop alone

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A man wearing a protective face mask kneels in front of police officers during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of African-American man George Floyd near the U.S. Embassy, London, Britai

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Visitors at Grassholme Reservoir in Lunedale, Co Durham are able to cross an ancient packhorse bridge as work on the dam wall means water levels have dropped signifcantly to reveal this monument of the pas

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British Tennis player Maia Lumsden in action at Bridge of Allan Tennis Club. People can meet family and friends outdoors and play sports such as golf and tennis again as the country is moving into phase one of the Scottish Government’s plan for gradually lifting lockdown

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A police frogman, searches for a weapon in Abington Lake in in Northampton

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears before the Liaison Committee via Zoom from the cabinet room at 10 Downing Street, amid the coronavirus

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Members of the public relax on the beach at Botany Bay in Margate

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Dominic Cummings, senior aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, makes a statement inside 10 Downing Street, London, over allegations he breached coronavirus lockdown restrictions

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A demonstrator holds a sign reading ‘Why are you above the law?’ outside the house of Dominic Cummings in London, following allegations Cummings broke coronavirus lockdown rules by travelling across the country

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People take a walk near Durdle Door as cows graze in Lulworth

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Waves break onto a wall at Brighton beach

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Cafe owner Francini Osorio serves customers in a trial phase during the coronavirus lockdown. Osorio has installed an air purifier and 35 clear shower curtains, which will divide customers and tables, in the Francini Cafe De Colombia, Worcester, ready for the re-opening of his business as lockdown restrictions are eased

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People at Bournemouth beach in Dorset, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased. The Met Office has predicted the hottest day of the year

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A dog jumps into the water as families relax at a Lido in London

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49/50 18 May 2020

A fan celebrates outside Celtic Park after Celtic were crowned champions of the Scottish Premiership. Hearts were also relegated after a decision was made to conclude the season with immediate effect

PA

50/50 17 May 2020

People on Brighton beach after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown

PA

1/50 5 July 2020

People visit Columbia Road Flower Market, London, as it reopens following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

PA

2/50 4 July 2020

A member of bar staff wearing PPE in the form of a face mask, pours drinks inside the The Goldengrove in Stratford

. via .

3/50 3 July 2020

Cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands prior to the League One play-off semi final match between Portsmouth and Oxford United at Fratton Park

PA

4/50 2 July 2020

A diver cleans the inside window of the seal tank at Tynemouth Aquarium in North Shields, as it prepares to open on Saturday after further coronavirus lockdown restrictions are lifted in England

PA

5/50 1 July 2020

Slackliner Sandor Nagy practices on the beach in Boscombe, on the south coast of England

. via .

6/50 30 June 2020

(left to right) Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill attending the funeral of senior Irish Republican and former leading IRA figure Bobby Storey in west Belfast

PA

7/50 29 June 2020

Former Team GB Rhythmic Gymnastic dancer Hannah Martin during a training session at Ouse Valley Viaduct in Sussex

.

8/50 28 June 2020

People visit Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire, that recently reopened following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restriction

PA

9/50 27 June 2020

A protest for Justice for Shukri Abdi on Trafalgar Square in London, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK

PA

10/50 26 June 2020

Police at the scene of an incident at the Park Inn Hotel in central Glasgow. Scottish police said armed officers shot dead a man after a suspected stabbing in the city centre left six others injured, including one of their colleagues. Several roads were closed and the surrounding area was cordoned off

. via .

11/50 25 June 2020

A horse is washed down at Haydock Racecourse

PA

12/50 24 June 2020

People enjoy the hot weather on Margate beach

.

13/50 23 June 2020

Tony Bennett the owner of The Devereux pub in Temple, London. Pub and hospitality bosses have cheered the Government’s proposals to allow customers through their doors again on July 4 as « a welcome relief ». PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 23, 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that pubs, restaurants and cinemas will be able to reopen from July 4, with « one metre-plus » distancing measures in place

PA

14/50 22 June 2020

Police forensics officers carry out a search near Forbury Gardens, in Reading town centre, the scene of a multiple stabbing attack which took place at around 7pm on Saturday, leaving three people dead and another three seriously injured

PA

15/50 21 June 2020

Soccer Football – Premier League – Everton v Liverpool – Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain – June 21, 2020 Children play football outside the stadium before the match, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Action Images via .

16/50 20 June 2020

Arsenal’s midfielder Nicolas Pepe kneels before the Premier League match against Brighton and Hove Albion at the American Express Community Stadium in southern England

. via .

17/50 19 June 2020

Bianca Walkden during a training session at the National Taekwondo Centre in Manchester

PA

18/50 18 June 2020

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures about social distancing alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he arrives at Downing Street for a meeting. Macron also visited London to commemorate the 80th anniversary of former French president Charles de Gaulle’s appeal to French people to resist the Nazi occupation during World War II

./.

19/50 17 June 2020

Players kneel, as well as, having ‘Black Lives Matter’ in place of names on their shirts prior to the start of the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Sheffield United at Villa Park in Birmingham. The league resumed after its three-month suspension because of coronavirus

AP

20/50 16 June 2020

Motakhayyel ridden by Jim Crowley, right, wins the Buckingham Palace Handicap during day one of Royal Ascot. This year, the flat racing’s biggest meeting, is behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak

PA

21/50 15 June 2020

Queues form at Primark at the Rushden Lakes shopping complex after the government relaxed coronavirus lockdown laws significantly, allowing zoos, safari parks and non-essential shops to open to visitors

.

22/50 14 June 2020

A man kneels at a commemoration to mark the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire in London. The fire claimed 72 lives on 14 June 2017

PA

23/50 13 June 2020

Protesters confront police in Whitehall near Parliament Square, during a protest by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance

PA

24/50 12 June 2020

A Black Lives Matter supporter sings to crowds who marched with her in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square in London. The death of an African American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world

.

25/50 11 June 2020

Scouts show their support at the Lord Baden-Powell statue in Poole. The statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay is to be placed in « safe storage » following concerns about his racial views

.

26/50 10 June 2020

Social distancing markers around the penguin enclosure at London Zoo. Staff have been preparing and are now ready for reopening next week with new signage, one-way trails for visitors to follow, and extra handwashing and sanitiser stations in place

PA

27/50 9 June 2020

Protestors hold placards and shout slogans during during a protest called by the Rhodes Must Fall campaign calling for the removal of the statue of British imperialist Cecil John Rhodes outside Oriel College, at the University of Oxford

. via .

28/50 8 June 2020

Hermione Wilson helps to install a new artwork at Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, created as a tribute to the NHS titled « A Thousand Thank Yous » originally devised by the late Allan Kaprow which consists of colourful painted messages on cardboard and has been directed remotely by London-based artist Peter Liversidge

PA

29/50 7 June 2020

The Edward Colston statue has been pulled down by Black Lives Matter protesters in Bristol. Colston was a 17th century slave trader who has numerous landmarks named after him in Bristol

SWNS

30/50 6 June 2020

Children pose for their family in front of discarded placards fixed on a wall in Piccadilly Gardens after a Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Manchester. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world

.

31/50 5 June 2020

Protesters kneel in Trafalgar Square during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in London, England. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world

.

32/50 4 June 2020

Protestors march from Windsor Castle in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement

.

33/50 3 June 2020

People wearing face masks hold banners in Hyde Park during a Black Lives Matter protest following the death of George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis

.

34/50 2 June 2020

Street artist Nath Murdoch touches up his anti-racism mural in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

PA

35/50 1 June 2020

Customers socially distance themselves as they queue to enter Ikea in Warrington. The store opening saw large queues of people and traffic on adjacent roads as it reopened after the lockdown. The furniture and housewares chain reopened its stores across England and Northern Ireland subject to several restrictions, keeping its restaurants closed and asking customers to shop alone

.

36/50 31 May 2020

A man wearing a protective face mask kneels in front of police officers during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of African-American man George Floyd near the U.S. Embassy, London, Britai

.

37/50 30 May 2020

Visitors at Grassholme Reservoir in Lunedale, Co Durham are able to cross an ancient packhorse bridge as work on the dam wall means water levels have dropped signifcantly to reveal this monument of the pas

UK

38/50 29 May 2020

British Tennis player Maia Lumsden in action at Bridge of Allan Tennis Club. People can meet family and friends outdoors and play sports such as golf and tennis again as the country is moving into phase one of the Scottish Government’s plan for gradually lifting lockdown

PA

39/50 28 May 2020

A police frogman, searches for a weapon in Abington Lake in in Northampton

.

40/50 27 May 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears before the Liaison Committee via Zoom from the cabinet room at 10 Downing Street, amid the coronavirus

10 Downing Street/.

41/50 26 May 2020

Members of the public relax on the beach at Botany Bay in Margate

.

42/50 25 May 2020

Dominic Cummings, senior aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, makes a statement inside 10 Downing Street, London, over allegations he breached coronavirus lockdown restrictions

AP

43/50 24 May 2020

A demonstrator holds a sign reading ‘Why are you above the law?’ outside the house of Dominic Cummings in London, following allegations Cummings broke coronavirus lockdown rules by travelling across the country

.

44/50 23 May 2020

People take a walk near Durdle Door as cows graze in Lulworth

.

45/50 22 May 2020

Waves break onto a wall at Brighton beach

.

46/50 21 May 2020

Cafe owner Francini Osorio serves customers in a trial phase during the coronavirus lockdown. Osorio has installed an air purifier and 35 clear shower curtains, which will divide customers and tables, in the Francini Cafe De Colombia, Worcester, ready for the re-opening of his business as lockdown restrictions are eased

PA

47/50 20 May 2020

People at Bournemouth beach in Dorset, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased. The Met Office has predicted the hottest day of the year

PA

48/50 19 May 2020

A dog jumps into the water as families relax at a Lido in London

AP

49/50 18 May 2020

A fan celebrates outside Celtic Park after Celtic were crowned champions of the Scottish Premiership. Hearts were also relegated after a decision was made to conclude the season with immediate effect

PA

50/50 17 May 2020

People on Brighton beach after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown

PA

It comes as the government announced a £1.57bn support package to “protect” the future of Britain’s arts.

Sir Sam said: “I am well aware that this is a drop in the ocean in terms of what is required for a full recovery, but I hope it might ensure some form of survival until the theatres can reopen again.”

The multiple award winner called for funding from individual donors and organisations, saying: “Please do consider a donation. I promise it will make a difference.”

Read more

Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, said: “We remain gravely concerned for the thousands of artists who have little or no income, especially those who have slipped through the cracks and missed out on the government schemes. Currently these artists are completely in the dark as to when they might be able to earn money again.”

Theatres and concert halls have been cleared to reopen but not for live performances.

Anne Mensah, 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.”

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Information is at https://theatreartists.fund and donations can be made at https://theatreinvestmentfund.enthuse.com/cf/theatre-artists-fund

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