National in talks to share services with other London venues

Natalie Woolman
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The National Theatre is in talks to share its back office functions with other London venues, in a bid to reduce costs across the subsidised theatre sector in the capital.

Services including box office, legal, HR, contracting, IT support, welfare and occupational health could be provided to other London venues at low or no cost as part of the proposal. The National is currently investigating the practicalities of such an arrangement.

NT executive director Nick Starr said that the National was in talks with several venues about the initiative, including the Royal Court, the Donmar Warehouse, the Almeida, Lyric Hammersmith, Battersea Arts Centre, Stratford East, Hampstead Theatre and the Bush.

Starr said that the small costs that would be incurred by the National, would result in a large benefits being delivered to the smaller venues.

Starr added: “It is an incredibly linked-up picture, the British theatre scene, it is a genuinely collaborative thing. So we are talking about quite practical things, about sharing box office. There a whole lot of stuff that is actually quite expensive to do for smaller theatres that they don’t have in-house but we do, things like legal advice.”

Nicholas Hytner, NT artistic director, said that if the initiative meant that the National had to increase its own back office staff, then they would do so as they receive more public funding than any of the other theatres.

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