Fin Kennedy – ‘Funding cuts have led to amateurisation of theatre’

Fin Kennedy. Photo: Tamasha Theatre Company
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Tamasha co-artistic director Fin Kennedy has criticised a “steady amateurisation” of small-scale touring work, as a result of being “disproportionately badly hit” by ongoing cuts.

Speaking at the British Theatre Consortium’s conference, Kennedy drew attention to a number of issues facing small-scale touring work and regional theatres, including diminishing resources.

“The first [problem] is the erosion of the art form, by which I mean the steady amateurisation of professional work; less to spend on sets for example, or the inevitable downward pressure on wages.”

He also said that a shortfall in economic resources was being met with the personal resources of theatre staff, creating “a working culture of low pay and high stress”.

“What a way to put off the next generation from joining the profession,” he said.

Kennedy praised rising numbers of co-productions as being a positive outcome of difficult financial times, but claimed the industry is in danger of cutting off “critical access points” for new talent.

“Small-scale touring work has always been economically unviable, it is now simply more so,” he said. He went on to add: “Companies like Tamasha are a stepping stone for talent and those access points are in danger of closing down.”

Kennedy has been co-artistic director of Tamasha since 2013.

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