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Drama UK: Lack of schools’ funding will cause ‘irrevocable damage’

Drama UK's Ian Kellgren Drama UK's Ian Kellgren. Photo: Alex Brenner
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Drama UK has warned that the sector will suffer “irrevocable damage” if drama schools are not given the “right level of rational and equitable” financial support from the next government.

In a letter written to the three leaders of the main political parties, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, the industry body claims the next government needs to ensure proper funding is in place to enable aspiring performers to study at drama school.

“Any proposal by any government of whatever colour that works against this will cause irrevocable damage in our ability to supply world-class talented, highly trained and increasingly diverse workforce on to the international stage,” Drama UK director Ian Kellgren stated in the letter.

He said that to be successful in the industry, evidence suggests performers need to undertake “long and arduous training”.

“Drama UK, as an industry backed body, is calling on all political leaders to pledge continued sustainable funding for vocational training in the performing arts sector so we can provide an exceptionally skilled and more richly diverse workforce in the future,” he added.

Kellgren said that a “simple, clear and consistent route to guaranteed funding for arts training is long overdue”.

The letter comes as Drama UK revealed that 80% of actors in the non-musical acting categories, including best actor and actress, for this year’s Olivier Awards trained at Drama-UK accredited schools.

“I am delighted that the Olivier nominations back our own research showing that learning your craft at a Drama UK-accredited school equips graduates with the skills to shine and succeed in a highly competitive performing arts industry,” Kellgren said.

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