Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Goodness me. What a firestorm to come back to. I leave the country for three weeks and the Arts Council goes mad and stabs everyone to death. I shall have to be more careful about leaving them unattended.

I've not got much to add to this debate which hasn’t been said elsewhere. I’ve done a bit of letter writing but won’t bore you with the text, you can imagine the sort of thing I said. I thought it might be more useful to publish the details of those in whose power it lies to fix this mess (with thanks to the brilliantly organised Bush Theatre for putting these together into a briefing pack):

In no particular order, they are:

Moira Sinclair
Acting Chief Executive
Arts Council England
2 Pear Tree Court
London
EC1R 0DS

Barbara Matthews
Director, Theatre Strategy
Arts Council England
14 Great Peter Street
London
SW1P 3NQ

Lady Sue Woodford Hollick
Chair of the London Regional Arts Council
c/o Arts Council England
2 Pear Tree Court
London
EC1R 0DS

The following Councillors and London General Assembly members also sit on the London Regional Arts Council and can be emailed as follows, if you’re writing in support of particular London theatre companies:

General Assembly:
Londonwide - Sally Hamwee - sally.hamwee@london.gov.uk
London Borough of Enfield and Haringey - joanne.mccartney@london.gov.uk

Local Authorities:
London Borough of Richmond on Thames - cllr.jcoombs@richmond.gov.uk
London Borough of Harrow - anjana.patel@harrow.gov.uk
London Borough of Hackney - guy.nicholson@hackney.gov.uk

You can of course also lobby your MP to raise your concerns with James Purnell at the brilliant www.writetothem.com

I’ve already had a message back from Sally Hamwee who seemed very open to hearing from both theatre professionals and ordinary Londoners in support of the companies under threat. This is by no means a fait accompli. Together I really think we can fight it.

Was anyone else at the meeting at the Young Vic this morning? What rousing stuff. Josie Rourke in particular I thought was inspirational. Peter Hewitt on the other hand came across as an irritable schoolmaster, berating his naughty assembly. Though I had to admire his balls for being there at all.

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