The Stage – News – Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Olivia Colman launch fund to support freelancers

Leading names from the entertainment industry including Daniel Radcliffe, Gillian Anderson, Meera Syal and James Corden have pledged donations to a new fund aimed at supporting theatre professionals whose livelihoods have been threatened by Covid-19.

The Theatre Community Fund has been launched with a £1 million pledge from its founder donors, who also include Imelda Staunton, Danny Boyle, Emma Thompson and Andrew Scott. It will offer grants of up to £3,000.

The fund is the brainchild of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Olivia Colman and Francesca Moody, who was the original producer of Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag on stage.

According to a statement, it “aims to help ease economic strain both immediately and in the long-term”.

It adds: “The Theatre Community Fund reflects its donors’ recognition that they have benefitted a great deal personally from the health of the UK theatre, and is a statement of their belief that UK theatre – nationally for all audiences and voices and down its grass roots – is vital to the strength of our nation. “

The fund will be split into two streams: one to help freelancers survive by providing hardship grants to those in immediate need, and the other to “ensure a healthy future for the industry by providing innovation and creation grants” for artists to produce work.

It will be dispersed and monitored by the Royal Theatrical Fund in partnership with the Fleabag Support Fund.

The Theatre Community Fund is appealing to all performers, artists, producers and executives to support the fund if they are able to.

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