This is a response to the recent NewsBlog in The Stage online. The comments filter does not allow all the hyperlinks required to substantiate the facts.  So this is the reposting with all the links.

Hi Georgie.

Au contraire, mon frere!

You will find that this is factual.

To see the document listing the ‘sustain’ award for Ms. Old Vic you can visit: The Arts Council site. 

The purpose of the funding according to the ACE. “Our funding will help to support the artistic programme at the Old Vic at a time when recessionary pressures have impacted income from corporate sponsorship.”

If you follow this link you can visit an article where we look at the OLD VIC’s own report to the Charities Commission. AMW has an excellent factual article about this.

There are lots of other interesting things you can learn about the Old Vic. They spent more than £500k on their education program but little of it went to the actors working in the Tunnels. Fascinating to learn the stated purpose of the Tunnels program

“Attract a new audience to the Old Vic Tunnels space play underneath Waterloo – in collaboration with Punchdrunk, leading audiences to the Old Vic”

So the Old Vic Tunnels exploits unpaid actors to lead audiences to their mainstage. All this in aid of their overall aims:

“To ensure the long term future for the theatre at the highest artistic level within London and beyond.”

About a year ago the Arts Council ‘Arts jobs’ website very responsibly has pulled the Old Vic’s adverts for unpaid actors and stage management (follow this link) yet still posted their own adverts.

And yes, Annie is a little pissed off with the OLD VIC. But so are a lot of other artists and workers. After a year of campaigning the OV continues to fob everyone off and ignore the moral questions of what they do. EQUITY and BECTU have both called around the place and they have made some headway. But the Old Vic Tunnels still trawl for professional actors using their mailing lists.

The Old Vic has attempted to bully Actors Minimum Wage with legal posturing, which was pretty provocative. But when they were asked a few straight forward questions they have yet to answer.

The Old Vic does have some friends though. They are regarded as a model “Big Society” project by the current COn-Dem coalition. In fact Mr Spacey himself collected the Big Award.

And the real gall of this is that, despite using professional and preprofessional ‘volunteers’ the award was given on the basis of the tunnels being a ‘community project.’

I did not know that dishonesty was such an important element of running a charity.

Shame on you Old Vic.

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1 Response to

  1. anon says:

    I have been asked several times to work as an unpaid usher for the Old Vic. This was on commercial productions where the actors and the staff were all being paid. For a company with goverment funding to still have to repeatedly beg professionals to work for free for them, one wonders if their business strategy is really effective. Or maybe it’s the quality of the productions that isn’t bringing in a sufficient number of people to make the theatre viable. With investors and audiences being more selective about where they spend their time and money, this is a slippery slope any organisation should be tripping over themselves to avoid.

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