Parliamentary Support for the British Performing Arts

British Performing Arts gets support in Parliament

As part of our advocacy work to ensure theatre’s voice is heard among key stakeholders, on Wednesday 3 April UK Theatre & SOLT held its first joint Parliamentary Drop-in alongside ABO and One Dance UK.

UK Theatre Board member Stephanie Sirr; SOLT's President Kenny Wax; Head of UK Theatre, Cassie Chadderton and UK Theatre & SOLT's Advocacy Manager, Hannah Gagen were all there to answer questions and talk about the strengths of the theatre sector. 

It was a success with cross-party MPs, Peers and Researchers attending. Parliamentarians also signed our pledge board and tweeted using #PerformingArtsHOP.  

This event has allowed us to meet more parliamentarians that up until now we didn't know had an interest in theatre. It also getting our key messages across to policy makers. 

Attendees included:

  • Tracy Brabin MP (Batley and Spen), Shadow Minister for Education
  • Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West), Shadow Minister for Arts and Heritage
  • Jack Brereton MP (Con, Stoke-on-Trent South)
  • Nic Dakin MP(Lab, Scunthorpe)
  • Sir David Amess MP (Con, Southend West)
  • Thangam Debbonaire MP (Lab, Bristol West)
  • Michael Ellis MP (Northampton North), Minister for Arts Heritage and Tourism
  • Researcher for Paul Farrelly MP (Lab, Newcastle-under-Lyme), Member of Digital Culture Media and Sport Select Committee
  • Sir Roger Gale MP (Con, North Thanet)
  • Baroness Hooper, Deputy Speaker
  • Michael McManus, researcher for Conservative peers including Lord Hunt of Wirral (Con)
  • Barbara Keeley MP (Lab, Worsley and Eccles South)
  • Luke Pollard MP (Lab, Plymouth Sutton and Devonport)
  • Lord Shipley (Lib Dem)
  • Alex, researcher for Jeff Smith MP (Lab, Manchester Withington)
  • Alison Thewliss MP (SNP, Glasgow Central)
  • Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson for Education
  • Lord Wigley (Plaid Cymru)
  • Lord Bishop of Bristol


  • David and Alex, researchers for Ed Vaizey MP (Con, Wantage)
  • Mary Glindon MP, (North Tyneside) Shadow Minister for Farming and Rural Communities
  • Stephen Kerr MP (Con, Stirling)
  • Jim Shannon MP (Strangford), DUP Spokesperson for Health and Human Rights
  • Matt Western MP (Con, Warwick and Leamington)
  • Andrew Gwynne MP (Denton and Reddish), Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
  • Lord Luce (CB)

Questions and issues covered included:

Local funding; Brexit; Theatre Tax Relief; Workforce; Ticket pricing; Diversity; Growth; and Connecting theatres to interested MPs and Lords. 

Image - from left to right: Kenny Wax; Hannah Gagen; Andrew Hurst; Stephanie Sirr; Mark Pemberton.
Date Published: 10 April 2019
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