The arts industry is facing a tough time – but one theatre company has come up with an innovative way to make it accessible for everyone.

Warts and All Theatre, which is launching a new programme this autumn in Coventry, has started a ‘pay on your own terms’ model, which asks parents to choose a scheme that suits their personal finances.

They can choose a £10, £20 or £30 monthly direct debit option, and all members receive the same benefits and access to weekly sessions.

It comes as many professional theatres are struggling to cope with the impact of coronavirus.

Last month Stratford’s Royal Shakespeare Company announced it would not reopen for full productions until 2021. They have also started a consultation with staff as they look to secure their future.



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Christopher Elmer-Gorry, artistic director and CEO of Warts and All Theatre, said: “It’s all part of our renewed vision to make arts and culture accessible for as many people as possible.

“By offering a more flexible way of engaging with us, we will make more voices heard, society fairer and in turn enable communities to thrive.”

The company’s Coventry home is Broad Street Hall and their autumn programme is open to young actors aged from four to 21.

The workshops aim to provide an opportunity to children and young people to work collaboratively with experienced industry experts.

They will learn theatre, drama skills and techniques, as well as develop their confidence, public speaking and team working skills.

All their activity is in line with socially-distanced Covid-19 secure policies.

In the height of the pandemic, Warts and All ran online masterclasses with some household names from the theatre world, including Rob Brydon, Julie Walters, Benjamin Zephaniah, Adrian Lester and Fiona Shaw.

The programmes meant young people and their families could continue to have the chance to share their experiences, express themselves and remain in touch with the arts during lockdown.

One participant, 20-year-old Kirsten Harris, described what the theatre company means to her.

She said: “Going to Warts and All allows me to feel comfortable to say whatever it is I want to say, to speak up, to say what truly matters to me and have that be respected, and having a space to fully explore what your truth is.”

For more information visit wartsandalltheatre.co.uk/be-a-wart or email hello@wartsandalltheatre.co.uk





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