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Phyllida Lloyd: ‘Arts cuts will lead to posh actors playing all the roles’

Phyllida Lloyd at The Stage Debut Awards 2018. Photo: David Monteith-Hodge
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Director Phyllida Lloyd has said that cuts to the arts in education will lead to “posh actors playing all the roles”.

She said cuts made it “devastatingly” difficult for young people from non-privileged backgrounds to gain access to theatre training.

The comments were made at The Stage Debut Awards 2018, where Lloyd presented the best actor in a play award to Akshay Sharan for the National Youth Theatre’s production of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Lloyd told The Stage: “It [cuts] makes it devastating for people who haven’t come from privileged backgrounds to get training. I think that’s something the government have to look to – we have much less equality in training opportunities now and that’s really very serious.”

Asked about the effect on the industry if cuts continue, she said: “We will have many posh actors playing all the roles, and that’s got to stop.”

Lloyd argued that, at a time when arts subsidy is shrinking, it was important to recognise productions that have not originated through obvious commercial routes.

She added: “[The best actor in a play award] has gone to somebody who has come through the National Youth Theatre, which is such an important bedrock of our industry.”

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