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Sam Mendes Outlines a Potential Plan For Saving the Theatre

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Sam Mendes Outlines a Potential Plan For Saving the Theatre

Director of film and stage, Sam Mendes, wrote a piece for The Financial Times titled "How We Can Save Theatre" which outlines a plan that he thinks can help the arts to continue to receive much-needed funding during this time.

Mendes says that to make sure theatre stays afloat, the performing arts first must be kept alive until the physical theatrical spaces can be reopened.

"The job retention scheme for retained staff needs to be continued, and a package has to be created that supports the army of freelancers and self-employed artists who create so much of the work itself," he said.

When it comes to long-term job retention, Mendes is asking that the rate of the government's tax relief be increased from 20% to 50% for the next three years, and that it apply to the production's ongoing running costs, as well as the remounting of suspended productions.

He says that the private individuals ("Theatrical Angels") who invest in productions, should also help to offset production losses against production profits.

The performing arts sector has made a proposal, titled the Cultural Investment Participation Scheme, which will help the government provide funds for the arts at this time. The plan is to treat the government as an "Angel" and allow for return investments and profit sharing for successful shows, once the shows have earned back their initial costs.

Read Mendes' full piece on The Financial Times.

Sam Mendes founded and ran The Donmar Warehouse in London for ten years. He was the founding director of The Bridge Project and Neal Street Productions.

His work has been seen at The National Theatre, RSC, Royal Court, Old Vic, Young Vic, BAM, the West End and on Broadway. Film includes American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, Away We Go, Skyfall and Spectre.

Awards include Academy Award Best Director, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award Best Director, 2 Tony Awards, 5 Olivier Awards, the Olivier Special Award, 3 Evening Standard Awards, Empire Inspiration Award, Directors Guild of America Award and the Shakespeare Prize.

He has also won the Directors' Guild Award for lifetime achievement. In addition to The Ferryman, his production of The Lehman Trilogy is currently running at The National Theatre in London.


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