Theatremakers are selling items connected with their work – including model boxes and drawings – as part of a new initiative in which 20% of sales will be spent on other freelancers.
Designer Robert Innes Hopkins is behind the #TheatreMakersSupportPledge campaign, which he started to raise awareness of the difficulties facing freelancers during the Covid-19 pandemic and to help them generate some income.
To participate, theatremakers of all disciplines and levels of experience are invited to post an image of their work on Instagram, using the hashtag #TheatreMakersSupportPledge.
The pieces can be priced between £10 to £200, and buyers can communicate directly with the artists through Instagram.
Participants must then pledge to spend 20% of any money they make on other freelancers’ work.
Innes Hopkins said: “I think people are fascinated by what we do, and I feel there must be thousands of people who are missing theatre as much as we are. [This initiative] is a way of connecting the people that make the theatre to people who are missing theatre.”
The theatre and opera designer added: “Everyone who sells their work pledges to spend 20% of what they sell on other makers posting.
“That creates a circular economy that keeps 20% of the money within the circle, which means that the support will move around and find everybody, because you might choose to buy a young designer’s work.”
Designer Peter McKintosh is among the artists taking part, selling work and model boxes from previous productions including Brand starring Ralph Fiennes and The Cryptogram starring Kim Cattrall.
McKintosh is donating the remaining 80% of profits to charity Action for Children’s Art.
He told The Stage: "I had these things I’d done a while back and I just thought I’d get them out of storage and see if they might be appropriate.
"I thought I’d dip my toe in the water – because I really am a complete Instagram novice – just to see if they would have a reach."
He added: "What’s really lovely is some of the people who have been engaging with me are people who were involved in those productions up to 20 years ago.
"All these lovely freelancers have been contacting me and saying how much they enjoyed working on the show. When you’ve been sitting around for months and months not doing the thing that you do, it’s been really lovely to reconnect with the workforce."