Theatre APPG

All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Theatre

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Theatre was founded in July 2019 to support the resilience and relevance of theatre in the UK for audiences, its workforce and society. 

The APPG’s Statement of Purpose is to:

  • To support the resilience and relevance of theatre in the UK for audiences, society and the industry;
  • To identify and debate potential opportunities and issues for theatre in the UK;    
  • To support parliamentarians' understanding of theatre and the performing arts industry at a national and local level.

Theatre is part of the creative industries, which are the fastest growing part of the UK’s economy, contributing over £101 billion in Gross Value Added. In 2018, the theatre industry saw audiences of over 34m with ticket revenue of nearly £1.28bn, from a total of 62,945 performances across the UK. 

The cross-party group is led by Giles Watling, Conservative MP for Clacton, and Tracy Brabin, Labour MP for Batley and Spen – both former professional actors with experience of the theatre industry.   

UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre (SOLT) are the secretariat of the APPG for Theatre, providing organisational, staff time and strategic support. They will also bring together a group of theatre organisations from across the UK to act as a sounding board and help ensure that a wide range of theatre topics and issues are suggested for the APPG to look into.

If you are a member and would like to write to your MP and let them know about this newly launched APPG and see if they are interested in becoming involved, we have drafted a letter template for you to use.

Please note that this is not an official webpage of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed on this webpage are those of the group.      

APPG for Theatre Co-Chairs: 

Tracy Brabin MP and Giles Watling MP

Tracy Brabin.jpg
giles watling.jpg
APPG logo





Chair & Registered Contact

Giles Watling



Tracy Brabin

Labour (Co-op)

Vice Chair

Stephen Metcalfe


Vice Chair

Lord Kerslake


Vice Chair

Andrew Lewer


'All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. They are run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords, though many choose to involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities.' To find out more about how they work, please visit the UK Parliament Website.  

 On Wednesday 16 October 2019, the Theatre APPG had its official launch in the Houses of Parliament. To see some of the tweets from the day, take a look at the Twitter Moment. You can also read more about the day from this news story
Lord Kerslake, Giles Watling MP, Helen Whately - Arts Minister
APPG for Theatre members will take part in visits to theatres. These visits, organised by the APPG, will be in order to help educate, explain and explore the issues related to the APPG's current inquiry.
The APPG for Theatre holds regular meetings to discuss priorities and to hear from expert speakers. A list of meetings is below. Please click on a meeting to download the minutes.

APPG for Theatre meeting - 16 July 2019

APPG for Theatre AGM - 1 July 2019

The Secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Theatre is provided by the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre. Please contact our Advocacy Manager Hannah for more information on the APPG.

Do follow us on Twitter: We will be tweeting from the @uk_theatre handle and using the hashtag #TheatreAPPG.

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Get in touch

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+44 (0)20 7557 6700

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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.