Freelancers Make Theatre Work

Freelancers Make Theatre Work is an organisation that came into being in 2020. They did their first freelance survey in June of that year called The Big Freelancer Survey.

At the time, 9000 freelancers signed up to their platform, and it was driven substantially by CoViD issues. That survey looked at how CoViD had affected people (SEISS, Furlough, etc). It also aimed to check in on well-being – qualitative and quantitative data.

8,000 freelancers filled out the survey and it led to a report called ‘Routes to Recovery’ which TMFW believes influenced the decision for the £1.75bn CRF fund.

All of this led to a second report called ‘The Big Freelancer Report‘ in January 2021 which revealed common themes, such as…

  • isolation
  • fear
  • imbalance and inequality within the workforce
  • voice not being heard

They have teamed up with Curtain Call and the University of Essex and they plan to do surveys, focus groups, and 1-to-1 interviews over five years and monitor freelance issues during this period. They are also looking at demographics – who is moving between theatre and film.

They are now also surveying wider subsets of entertainment – TV, film, performing arts, etc as well as theatre.

Common themes that have come out of the University of Essex interviews with freelancers are the need for a proper review of the funding infrastructure – one that includes the possibility of a UBI for freelancers, and the feasibility of creative collaborative hubs for freelancers.

Their current survey is online here and it officially closes on the 1st of April (though there is a possibility that it may be extended by a few more days so please click on the link and try to respond if you wish to).

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