Mendes raises £1.6m for theatre artists

The fund set up by Oscar-winning film and theatre director Sir Sam Mendes to help theatre workers struggling in the lockdown has raised £1.6m in just three weeks.

The Theatre Artists Fund was launched on July 6 and was immediately boosted by a £500,000 donation from Netflix.

With grants of £1,000 per recipient the fund as paid out to 1,600 so far, though applications have been arriving at the rate of 4,000 a week.

"The theatre industry is 70% freelance” said Mendes, pictured here with his wife, the trumpet virtuoso Alison Balsam, “so we know that literally thousands more actors, writers, directors, stage managers, costume designers and many more urgently need our help.

“We have raised £1.6 million in this first round of fundraising, so we are able to help 1,600 people. Now we want to help many more. This fund has enabled us to move fast in response to the urgent need that is out there."

As well as from ordinary members of the public, the fund has attracted contributions from the Mackintosh Foundation, Eileen Davidson Productions, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Imelda Staunton, Eddie Redmayne, Sonia Friedman, Colin Firth and Hugh Bonneville. to donate.


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