The National Theatre

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The National Theatre is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

www.nationaltheatre.org.uk

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Review of the Year
12 | REVIEW OF THE YEAR
Glastonbury organisers
have promised a
cleaner and more
environmentally-friendly
festival ahead of their
50th anniversary
“We’ve made so many positive strides
with our green campaigns this year.
It’s incredible to think that there will
be one million fewer plastic bottles for
the planet to deal with because we’ve
stopped selling them.
“The most eye-opening part of the
weekend for me was not seeing
any plastic bottles in the bins or on
theground.
“I think people are really starting to
understand how important it is to treat
the land with respect, and to stop living
a disposable lifestyle.”
Festival organisers also urged all
festivalgoers to take their tents home
as, in previous years, many had simply
left disposable tents at the site.
The “Love the Farm, Leave no Trace”
pledge, which was introduced in 2017,
saw a reported 81 per cent reduction
in the number of abandoned tents
compared to the previous year.
Following this year’s festival
concluding, Eavis tweeted that 99.3
per cent of tents had been taken
home, a significant improvement on
previousyears.
After the festival ends, a massive clean-
up operation is organised to return the
site, which was home to 200,000, to a
dairy farm.
On the Monday following the festival’s
conclusion, a team of 1,300 volunteers
began to clean the area. Each volunteer
carries bin bags made from recycled
plastic, which is later recycled after the
clean-up is completed, to collect rubbish
left on the ground and in the 15,000
bins that are scattered across the site.
This process usually takes six weeks.
In 2017, more than 60 tonnes of
card and paper, 32 tonnes of glasses,
45 tonnes of cans and 40 tonnes of
plastic bottles were recycled. Alongside
this, 132 tonnes of food waste was
converted into compost and 4,500 litres
of cooking oil was turned intobiofuel.
Roughly 40 per cent of revellers attend
Glastonbury via public transport, and
since the turn of the century, 10,000
trees have been planted in the localarea.
Next year will see the 50thanniversary
of Glastonbury. Mrs Eavis vowed: “We
won’t be slowing down for very long.
We have already started working on
next year’s 50th anniversary.
“Trust me when I say we are planning a
huge celebration.”
The details of this celebration have not
been announced as
The Parliamentary
Review
goes to print, but acts, agents
and fans alike are eagerly awaiting
details of the largest UK festival’s
semicentennial celebrations.
13THE NATIONAL THEATRE |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Rufus Norris (Director & Joint
Chief Executive) and Lisa
Burger (Executive Director &
Joint Chief Executive)
The company of
Pericles
included over 200 people from
eight community organisations
across London
The National Theatre is the UK’s largest producing theatre and a
key contributor to the country’s artistic and cultural landscape.
Beyond its three theatres on London’s South Bank, the
National Theatre tours extensively across the UK and internationally,
and broadcasts performances to over 2,000 cinemas worldwide. In
response to challenges in the creative and education sectors, it is
stepping up its work with over 4,000 schools across the country,
and supporting audience development directly at seven theatres
through its Theatre Nation Partnerships programme. Chief Executives
Lisa Burger and Rufus Norris tell
The Parliamentary Review
more.
Our mission is to make world-class theatre that is entertaining, challenging and inspiring,
and to make it for everyone. More than ever, our focus is on living up to the “national”
part in our name. It means reflecting the nation on our stages, in the breadth of stories
we tell and the diversity of the artists telling them. It means reaching far beyond
our three theatres on London’s South Bank through extensive touring and national
learning programmes. It means using digital to increase our reach – broadcasting to
over 700 UK cinemas, and developing work in virtual and augmented reality.
But in the present moment, being “national” also means increasing our social impact.
To that end, we’re working closely with communities and in partnership with theatres
around the country to get more people than ever watching and participating in theatre.
Britain leads the world in making and staging theatre
British theatre stands tall on a global stage, including in the USA, where the 2018
Tony Awards were dominated by British plays. We’re proud to play our own part in
FACTS ABOUT
THE NATIONAL THEATRE
»Joint Chief Executives:
LisaBurger and Rufus Norris
»Established in 1963
»Based in London
»Services: Live performance,
R&D, education, broadcast
and digital
»Turnover: £100 million
»Global audience of 8 million
The National Theatre
Glastonbury organisers
have promised a
cleaner and more
environmentally-friendly
festival ahead of their
50th anniversary
“We’ve made so many positive strides
with our green campaigns this year.
It’s incredible to think that there will
be one million fewer plastic bottles for
the planet to deal with because we’ve
stopped selling them.
“The most eye-opening part of the
weekend for me was not seeing
any plastic bottles in the bins or on
theground.
“I think people are really starting to
understand how important it is to treat
the land with respect, and to stop living
a disposable lifestyle.”
Festival organisers also urged all
festivalgoers to take their tents home
as, in previous years, many had simply
left disposable tents at the site.
The “Love the Farm, Leave no Trace”
pledge, which was introduced in 2017,
saw a reported 81 per cent reduction
in the number of abandoned tents
compared to the previous year.
Following this year’s festival
concluding, Eavis tweeted that 99.3
per cent of tents had been taken
home, a significant improvement on
previousyears.
After the festival ends, a massive clean-
up operation is organised to return the
site, which was home to 200,000, to a
dairy farm.
On the Monday following the festival’s
conclusion, a team of 1,300 volunteers
began to clean the area. Each volunteer
carries bin bags made from recycled
plastic, which is later recycled after the
clean-up is completed, to collect rubbish
left on the ground and in the 15,000
bins that are scattered across the site.
This process usually takes six weeks.
In 2017, more than 60 tonnes of
card and paper, 32 tonnes of glasses,
45 tonnes of cans and 40 tonnes of
plastic bottles were recycled. Alongside
this, 132 tonnes of food waste was
converted into compost and 4,500 litres
of cooking oil was turned intobiofuel.
Roughly 40 per cent of revellers attend
Glastonbury via public transport, and
since the turn of the century, 10,000
trees have been planted in the localarea.
Next year will see the 50thanniversary
of Glastonbury. Mrs Eavis vowed: “We
won’t be slowing down for very long.
We have already started working on
next year’s 50th anniversary.
“Trust me when I say we are planning a
huge celebration.”
The details of this celebration have not
been announced as
The Parliamentary
Review
goes to print, but acts, agents
and fans alike are eagerly awaiting
details of the largest UK festival’s
semicentennial celebrations.
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
14 | THE NATIONAL THEATRE
that, with productions stretching from
Broadway to Beijing – including recent
New York transfers for
Network, The
Lehman Trilogy
and
The Jungle.
A
striking trend is the reliability with
which many of these internationally
successful productions have been
fuelled by organisations and artists
from the subsidised sector.
There are clear economic benefits, with
arts and culture alone contributing
more to the UK’s GDP than agriculture.
British cultural soft power is ranked
only behind the USA, and it strongly
supports the UK’s first-place position in
the 2018 Soft Power 30 Index. It is no
surprise, therefore, that many countries
are increasing their investment in
their creative industries. The National
frequently hosts international
delegations, who are aiming to
develop their approach in this area.
Subsidised theatre: the
nation’s infrastructure for
talent development
The abundance of British creative
talent on the world stage is no
accident – it is the result of many years
of sustained government investment
Arts and culture are instrumental to
the country’s burgeoning creative
industries, and theatre fuels the wider
storytelling economy of film, television
and video games. Swathes of the
best-loved British talent honed their
craft in theatre: Olivia Colman, Sam
Mendes, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and
John Boyega, to name a few.
We recognise the importance of
investing in new work that pushes
boundaries. Our approach to R&D,
artistic risk and talent development is
enabled by our long-term sustained
Arts Council subsidy. Our New Work
Department is our creative laboratory,
which fosters projects by bringing
together artists and supporting them
through the development process.
There are around 200 projects in
development at any one time, and in
the last three years, 3,500 artists have
worked with us.
Our best-known production,
War
Horse
, which continues to tour
internationally ten years after it
premiered, was in development for
seven years; it was a major artistic
risk rather than the premeditated
material of a global, commercial hit.
More recently, Natasha Gordon’s
award-winning debut play
Nine
Night
emerged from development in
2018, selling out at the National and
becoming the first play by a black
British female playwright to be in the
West End.
Unfortunately, budgets of many
subsidised theatres, historically tight,
are now under extreme pressure due
to cuts to local government funding
and standstill national investment.
For theatres across the country,
this reduces our sector’s ability to
support emerging artists and invest
in innovation. A recent report by the
Centre for Economics and Business
Research showed that 74 per cent of
arts organisations have been affected
by public funding cuts, and 54 per
cent have indicated they are unable to
compensate for theloss.
The Sweetness of a
Sting
, performed by
Haggerston School as part
of Connections, the National
Theatre’s nationwide youth
theatre festival
Lucy Kirkwood and
Olivia Colman in
rehearsal for
Mosquitoes
We recognise
the absolute
importance of
investing in
new work that
pushes
boundaries
15THE NATIONAL THEATRE |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
In this context, we recognise the
importance of the sector support we
can provide. For example, we are
providing direct support to seven
partner theatres through Theatre
Nation Partnerships, our programme
to widen nationwide audiences
for drama through touring, skills
sharing and work with schools and
communitygroups.
Pathways from school
Engagement at school is the means
by which we can ensure that every
young person has the opportunity
to develop creative skills and access
cultural experiences. As well as the
social and attainment benefits creative
learning supports, the future health of
the creative industries is dependent on
talent and ideas being drawn from the
widest possible section of society.
We work with over 4,000 schools
across the UK. Those schools tell us
that the time and resource to deliver
this is under extreme pressure due to a
combination of financial circumstances
and performance measures like the
English baccalaureate driving those
resources to other areas.
Alongside our more granular work
with primary and secondary schools,
we now run five major nationwide
programmes which support
participation in and access to theatre.
All of our programmes prioritise
schools in areas of low engagement,
with high numbers of pupils with
special educational needs, eligible for
Pupil Premium or speaking English
as an additional language. Last year,
74 per cent of the schools who we
worked with directly on participation
or learning work met our high
prioritydefinition.
However, this work to support schools
is resource hungry, and we are finding
substantial bursaries are increasingly
required to supplement our existing
subsidised rates.
Looking to the future
Our ambition continues to grow. In
the coming years, our priorities will
continue to be shaped by our mission
to make diverse, resonant work for
the widest possible audience, and the
changing landscape in the creative and
education sectors.
As the value and importance of the
UK’s creative industries continues to
increase, it is easy to feel optimistic
about the future. The 2018 sector deal
was an immense achievement – cross-
industry initiatives complemented by
targeted catalyst funds, meaningfully
engaging with the specific, granular
structure of our industries.
However, there are inconvenient truths
too: the wider culture and education
infrastructure which feeds the whole
industry cannot be maintained with a
real-terms decline in funding and the
side-lining of creativity in the curriculum.
The next generation of world-famous
British talent will emerge only if given
the right opportunities now. The role
that the creative sector will play in
supporting our nation’s future prosperity
should be both recognised and
supported at a national and local level.
The next
generation of
world-famous
British talent
will only
emerge if
given the right
opportunities
now
» THE NATIONAL THEATRE’S NATIONWIDE
LEARNING AND PARTICIPATION PROGRAMMES
»On Demand in Schools – A free production streaming service, used by 64
per cent of UK state secondary schools and a growing number of primary
schools.
»Connections – An annual nationwide youth theatre festival involving 300
young companies and 6,000 young people – hosted by 28 partner venues
from Inverness to Plymouth.
»Let’s Play – A national programme which supports junior schools and
teachers in creating brilliant plays, with specially commissioned plays and
creative learning that integrates into the wider curriculum.
»New Views – A playwriting programme and competition for 14-19-year-
olds – the winning play is produced at the NT and nine others have
rehearsed readings.
»Touring into schools – Each year, the NT tours productions into primary
and secondary schools across the UK, most recently including
The Curious
Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
.
Fourteen to 18-year-
olds on the National
Theatre’s free six-month
“Young Technicians”
programme
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
14 | THE NATIONAL THEATRE
that, with productions stretching from
Broadway to Beijing – including recent
New York transfers for
Network, The
Lehman Trilogy
and
The Jungle.
A
striking trend is the reliability with
which many of these internationally
successful productions have been
fuelled by organisations and artists
from the subsidised sector.
There are clear economic benefits, with
arts and culture alone contributing
more to the UK’s GDP than agriculture.
British cultural soft power is ranked
only behind the USA, and it strongly
supports the UK’s first-place position in
the 2018 Soft Power 30 Index. It is no
surprise, therefore, that many countries
are increasing their investment in
their creative industries. The National
frequently hosts international
delegations, who are aiming to
develop their approach in this area.
Subsidised theatre: the
nation’s infrastructure for
talent development
The abundance of British creative
talent on the world stage is no
accident – it is the result of many years
of sustained government investment
Arts and culture are instrumental to
the country’s burgeoning creative
industries, and theatre fuels the wider
storytelling economy of film, television
and video games. Swathes of the
best-loved British talent honed their
craft in theatre: Olivia Colman, Sam
Mendes, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and
John Boyega, to name a few.
We recognise the importance of
investing in new work that pushes
boundaries. Our approach to R&D,
artistic risk and talent development is
enabled by our long-term sustained
Arts Council subsidy. Our New Work
Department is our creative laboratory,
which fosters projects by bringing
together artists and supporting them
through the development process.
There are around 200 projects in
development at any one time, and in
the last three years, 3,500 artists have
worked with us.
Our best-known production,
War
Horse
, which continues to tour
internationally ten years after it
premiered, was in development for
seven years; it was a major artistic
risk rather than the premeditated
material of a global, commercial hit.
More recently, Natasha Gordon’s
award-winning debut play
Nine
Night
emerged from development in
2018, selling out at the National and
becoming the first play by a black
British female playwright to be in the
West End.
Unfortunately, budgets of many
subsidised theatres, historically tight,
are now under extreme pressure due
to cuts to local government funding
and standstill national investment.
For theatres across the country,
this reduces our sector’s ability to
support emerging artists and invest
in innovation. A recent report by the
Centre for Economics and Business
Research showed that 74 per cent of
arts organisations have been affected
by public funding cuts, and 54 per
cent have indicated they are unable to
compensate for theloss.
The Sweetness of a
Sting
, performed by
Haggerston School as part
of Connections, the National
Theatre’s nationwide youth
theatre festival
Lucy Kirkwood and
Olivia Colman in
rehearsal for
Mosquitoes
We recognise
the absolute
importance of
investing in
new work that
pushes
boundaries
15THE NATIONAL THEATRE |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
In this context, we recognise the
importance of the sector support we
can provide. For example, we are
providing direct support to seven
partner theatres through Theatre
Nation Partnerships, our programme
to widen nationwide audiences
for drama through touring, skills
sharing and work with schools and
communitygroups.
Pathways from school
Engagement at school is the means
by which we can ensure that every
young person has the opportunity
to develop creative skills and access
cultural experiences. As well as the
social and attainment benefits creative
learning supports, the future health of
the creative industries is dependent on
talent and ideas being drawn from the
widest possible section of society.
We work with over 4,000 schools
across the UK. Those schools tell us
that the time and resource to deliver
this is under extreme pressure due to a
combination of financial circumstances
and performance measures like the
English baccalaureate driving those
resources to other areas.
Alongside our more granular work
with primary and secondary schools,
we now run five major nationwide
programmes which support
participation in and access to theatre.
All of our programmes prioritise
schools in areas of low engagement,
with high numbers of pupils with
special educational needs, eligible for
Pupil Premium or speaking English
as an additional language. Last year,
74 per cent of the schools who we
worked with directly on participation
or learning work met our high
prioritydefinition.
However, this work to support schools
is resource hungry, and we are finding
substantial bursaries are increasingly
required to supplement our existing
subsidised rates.
Looking to the future
Our ambition continues to grow. In
the coming years, our priorities will
continue to be shaped by our mission
to make diverse, resonant work for
the widest possible audience, and the
changing landscape in the creative and
education sectors.
As the value and importance of the
UK’s creative industries continues to
increase, it is easy to feel optimistic
about the future. The 2018 sector deal
was an immense achievement – cross-
industry initiatives complemented by
targeted catalyst funds, meaningfully
engaging with the specific, granular
structure of our industries.
However, there are inconvenient truths
too: the wider culture and education
infrastructure which feeds the whole
industry cannot be maintained with a
real-terms decline in funding and the
side-lining of creativity in the curriculum.
The next generation of world-famous
British talent will emerge only if given
the right opportunities now. The role
that the creative sector will play in
supporting our nation’s future prosperity
should be both recognised and
supported at a national and local level.
The next
generation of
world-famous
British talent
will only
emerge if
given the right
opportunities
now
» THE NATIONAL THEATRE’S NATIONWIDE
LEARNING AND PARTICIPATION PROGRAMMES
»On Demand in Schools – A free production streaming service, used by 64
per cent of UK state secondary schools and a growing number of primary
schools.
»Connections – An annual nationwide youth theatre festival involving 300
young companies and 6,000 young people – hosted by 28 partner venues
from Inverness to Plymouth.
»Let’s Play – A national programme which supports junior schools and
teachers in creating brilliant plays, with specially commissioned plays and
creative learning that integrates into the wider curriculum.
»New Views – A playwriting programme and competition for 14-19-year-
olds – the winning play is produced at the NT and nine others have
rehearsed readings.
»Touring into schools – Each year, the NT tours productions into primary
and secondary schools across the UK, most recently including
The Curious
Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
.
Fourteen to 18-year-
olds on the National
Theatre’s free six-month
“Young Technicians”
programme

www.nationaltheatre.org.uk

This article was sponsored by The National Theatre. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.