The theatre is subsidized by the public purse in the form of local authorities and the arts council (Arts council, 2010). However, funding is under continual pressure after cuts made to the arts budget by the coalition government (Mintel, 2012). This has been evident since 2008 where the arts council of England stopped funding of the theatre meaning it is only supported by Winchester City Council, Hampshire city council, sponsors and friends of Theatre Royal Winchester (Burn, 2008), for example, sponsorship from the Hampshire Chronicle and wave FM (Theatre Royal Winchester, 2012).
This could have an impact on the Theatre industry as it may mean they are forced to take a more commercial approach and lead to increased prices to ensure that they stay afloat. A recent 2012 survey on local authority arts spending by Arts Development UK has revealed there is a decline in partnership work between Arts Councils and local authorities. Also, 47 local authority arts services have closed since 2003 and average expenditure on the arts is 16% down on 2010 and 38% down since 2008 and 15% of local authorities in England and Wales have lost their arts services since 2000.
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The outlook is also looking bleak as Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association reveals a planned 15% cut to arts services for 2012-13. The local Government Association is warning that unless central government policy changes, local funding for arts in England and Wales will have practically disappeared by 2020. The distribution of Arts Council funding across the English regions reveals a considerable imbalance: London gets over 50%, Midlands 12% and South East only 4% (2010-11 figures) (Gillet, 2013).
Economical Due to the UK market slipping back into recession, this continues to restrain consumer spending and the performing arts as a whole are not immune from this common trend as the spending power of customers is hindered. It is also evident that household incomes have been restricted by high inflation and static earnings further hindering spending power and consumer confidence (Mintel, 2012), meaning that consumers have less disposable income to spend on items such as the theatre.
However, because of this trends in recent years have seen a fall in holiday trips taken abroad and therefore seen an increase in domestic holidays and theatre breaks are a popular form of weekend break and tourists spend is an important source of revenue for the theatre business (Mintel, 2012) as the west end enjoyed record box sales in 2011 for the 8th consecutive year (BBC, 2011). Social
The theatre is seen to be most popular with those ranging from 35-55+ who account for 66% of theatre attendees showing that they are an ageing demographic with a strong female bias (Mirror, 2012) suggesting that the theatre is struggling to attract younger audience members as it may not be seen as attractive too them. Danny Boyle was quoted saying “"Theatre sustains local communities and does very positive things for local economies. But it also gives a sense of belonging” (Youngs, 2012) and are therefore hugely important part of the UK and British culture. Technological
New technology is having a huge affect on the theatre industry. The ownership of mobile devices such as smartphones and Tablets are playing there role in this age of technology, as is the quality of TV’s, HD, 3D and the content that you can see within your own home that is most threatening to the theatre industry (Mintel, 2012). Technology is also being used in the form of multiple camera angles and high-definition technology, allowing Digital Theatre (2013) to bring the drama and emotion of each production to a global online audience to those who otherwise would not have seen the performance.
Environmental- Environmental issues for the theatre can take several shapes and forms. For example they can include things such as energy bills and sets being scrapped at the end of performances especially for smaller theatres, as they cannot afford the storage. Bus miles generated by companies on tour and the audiences travelling into town are also factors that can be linked in with the theatre. There is also paper for the flyers, posters, programs and scripts that may be wasted and demands on power from theatre foyers, bars and offices, as well as the many exit signs that, by law, must be lit round he clock (Fisher, 2007) all add up and can prove costly for the theatre. There are several licenses that a business such as a theatre need to adhere to and these are monitored by bodies such as the Environmental Agency (2013) who aim to “protect and improve the environment, and to promote sustainable development. ” Legal- Health and safety law applies to theatres as it does to other businesses. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and related legislation places duties on employers, employees, the self-employed and those in control of premises.
The responsibilities include things such as working at height and manual handling as these are the two areas where most accidents/injuries occur (HSE, 2013) The Winchester theatre also holds 14 licenses ranging from food to alcohol licensing which must be handled with care responsibility. There are also important contracts between the theatre itself and the touring company’s/performers that must not be breached (Courtice, 2013).
- BBC, (2011) West end ticket sales hit ? 528 Million in 2011. Available at: http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/entertainment-arts-16795432 [Accessed 01/03/2013] Courtice, Mark (2013).
- Lecture at Oxford Brookes University. 19/03/2013 Digital Theatre, (2013). Available at: http://www. digitaltheatre. com [Accessed 01/03/2013] Fisher, M. (2007). The Guardian. Alas, Poor Planet.
- Available at: http://www. guardian. co. uk/environment/2007/feb/07/energy. theatre [Accessed 01/03/2013] Gillet, John. (2013). Local Authority Cutbacks: A report on Theatres 18/01/2013. Available at: http://www. lost-arts. org/local-authority-cutbacks-theatres/ [Accessed 06/03/2013]
- Environmental Agency (2013). About us. Available at: http://www. environment-agency. gov. uk/aboutus/default. spx [Accessed 03/03/2013] HSE. (2013).
- Theatre. Available at: http://www. hse. gov. uk/entertainment/theatre-tv/theatre. htm [Accessed 03/03/2013] Mintel (2012) Performing arts UK, July 2012. Mirror, (2012)
- Theatre Goers Available at: http://audiences. visualdna. com/mirror/audience/entertainment/theatre_goers [Accessed 01/03/2012]
- Theatre Royal Winchester, (2012). Available at: http://www. theatre-royal-winchester. co. uk [Accessed 01/03/2013] Young’s, I. (15th Nov 2012)
- “Danny Boyle voices regional theatre fears”. Available at http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/entertainment-arts-20338771 [Accessed 03/03/2013]
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