Starlight Express cast skate to Downing Street to call on the new Government to create the conditions for theatre to thrive

It’s curtain up on a new government and yesterday a Starlight Express cast member, in collaboration with Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, rolled down to Westminster to set out the conditions that will enable theatre to thrive.

You can watch the video here:

Skating past Downing Street, the Treasury and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on behalf of our sector, Harrison Peterkin, who plays Lumber in the acclaimed musical now playing at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, took time out from performing eight shows a week to choreograph this special delivery.

Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre’s letter to Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer MP, outlines what’s needed for British theatre to survive and thrive, and how we work in partnership to help his Government promote growth and kick down barriers to opportunity:

Dear Prime Minister,

The power of theatre to promote growth and break down barriers to opportunity 

On behalf of the Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre congratulations on your electoral victory. We are the membership organisations for theatre producers, managers, owners, and operators in London and across the UK. As you will know some of our member venues – including Donmar Warehouse and Gillian Lynne Theatre – are in your own constituency.

Theatre is special – an economic powerhouse, delivering transformative social good, embedded in communities across the country. World-class productions developed in the UK enable us to stand out on the world stage. Our sector is well placed to work with you to help implement your missions, particularly regarding kick starting the economy and breaking down the barriers to opportunity.

As you saw during your recent visit to the Lyric Hammersmith, who are one of our members, theatres deliver incredible projects for their local communities. They also support local economic growth: for every £1 spent on a theatre ticket £1.40 is spent in the local area.

The UK’s world-class theatre sector promotes Britain globally via our phenomenally successful exports. The Lion King as a film franchise has grossed $1.6bn worldwide but is far outstripped by the Lion King theatre franchise which has grossed $9.3bn, for example.

We look forward to collaborating with you and your team across Government to create the conditions for theatre to thrive, so we can help boost the economy and improve equality of opportunity. Please find enclosed a summary of the policy proposals we’ve made to your departments.

We look forward to working with you.

Kind regards,

Claire Walker and Hannah Essex

Co-CEOs, Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre

Annex: Policy proposals to ensure UK theatre kick starts the economy and breaks down barriers to opportunity 

Policy Proposal  Labour Mission and government departments
Theatre for Every Child: Expanding cultural access and young people’s engagement by funding a theatre visit for every child before they leave school. Breaking down barriers to opportunity

  • Department for Culture, Media & Sport
  • Department for Education
Investment in buildings: A sustainable system for investment in theatre buildings, ensuring cultural infrastructure can deliver transformative social good and local growth in communities, and enabling theatres to reduce their carbon footprint. Kickstarting economic growth and making Britain a clean energy superpower

  • Department for Culture, Media & Sport
  • Department for Energy Security & Net Zero
Public investment: A strategic review public investment in the arts to achieve the most effective results for taxpayers. Kickstarting economic growth

  • Department for Culture, Media & Sport


Written by Theatrefullstop