Safe and Supportive Working Practices

Encouraging safer and more supportive working practices in theatre

UK Theatre and SOLT are coordinating industry-wide action to ensure that everyone in theatre and performing arts can prevent and tackle harassment and abuses of power, and ensure theatre and the performing arts is a safer, more supportive and inclusive working environment for all in the future.  

As well as our new Dignity at Work Training and our legal checklist, we are now introducing two further areas of support.  

  • 10 Principles to encourage safer and even   more supportive working practices in theatre. The principles are intended to help all employers, employees, workers, freelancers, volunteers, directors and trustees to create a positive tone and culture. They have been adapted from the 8 principles commissioned for the film industry by the BFI and are supported by the major unions and industry bodies.
  • Theatre Helpline (0800 915 4617) is a free and confidential support line available 24/7 for anyone working in theatre and performing arts in the UK.  
Theatre Helpline provides advice and support to help deal with challenges including
    • Bullying or harassment
    • Health issues including mental health  
    • Injury and mobility problems
    • Issues with employment or unemployment
    • Career issues including professional development and training 
    • Retirement and care in later life
    • Debt and financial issues
Download a Theatre Helpline poster in English or Welsh to display at your organisation.
Read our Theatre Helpline FAQs in English or Welsh.

UK Theatre and SOLT have published a handbook - downloadable here - which includes

  • 10 Principles to encourage safer and even more supportive working practices in theatre.     
  • Theatre Helpline information. 
  • A legal checklist to support you in making sure you have clear, up-to-date policies and procedures for preventing and dealing with harassment and bullying.         
  • Example policies, procedures and initiatives from UK Theatre and SOLT members across the country.      
  • A summary of the key themes arising from the open forums held across the country in February, and suggestions of good practice arising from those events.  
  • A list of organisations and individuals with specialist skills to help deal with sensitive issues. 

UK Theatre and SOLT have developed this support following our conversations with members, and others across the theatre and performing arts industry. We know it’s vital that that conversation continues, so that together we can ensure we make our world-leading theatre industry even stronger for the future.

This group was formed in response to accusations of inappropriate behaviour in theatre and creative industries working environments, including bullying, sexual harassment and racism. Collectively these accusations reveal a sector that still needs guidance in what appropriate behaviour looks like, what positive welcoming working cultures look like, and clarification of organisations’ responsibilities in relation to the 2010 Equality Act. The Presidents of SOLT and UK Theatre have identified this work as a priority for our organisations and the sector.  

The working group includes:

  • Eleanor Lloyd (chair) - SOLT President
  • Fiona Allan (chair) - UK Theatre President
  • Eddie Redfern - Little Theatre Guild
  • Erica Whyman - Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Gaynor Evans - Royal Opera House
  • Kate Varah - Old Vic
  • Lesley Owusu - Sadler's Wells
  • Megan Conway - Ambassador Theatre Group
  • Nia Janis - Playful Productions
  • Sarah Houston - Mayflower Theatre
  • Annie Waugh - SOLT and UK Theatre
  • Julian Bird - SOLT and UK Theatre
  • Marsha Bull - SOLT and UK Theatre
  • Sebastian Cater - SOLT and UK Theatre


The first meeting of the working group was held in September 2021. You can read the Terms of Reference for the group here.

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"UK Theatre" is the operating name of UK Theatre Association, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, whose registered office is at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, Company No 323204.