Working In The Theatre: Society of London Theatre


[music] We have this huge history in theatre here in the UK. Of both the historic theatres themselves the
playhouses, some are 100-200 years old. Nearly all are listed for their actual architecture. And it’s a huge industry. [music] The Society of London Theatre is over 100 years old. It was founded in 1908 by Sir Charles Wyndham,
one of our most famous theatre owners. In fact he built several theatres here in
London which obviously still exist. He founded the organization for the same reason
that we still exist today to bring the theatre community together. To be able to argue its case. To be able to lobby, and to be able to set rates of pay. And, generally just to promote theatre in London. You know we run a huge range of activities
from running the TKTS booth that we have here in London just like the one on Broadway. We run the main website that promotes London theatre. We run a press office for London theatre. We produce major events, like the Olivier
Awards but also many many other big events, that all promote and market London theatre around the world. We are sort of the guardians for future generations
of those buildings and the history. The biggest single thing about London theatre
is the huge variety we have every year. So if you want to go see a big blockbuster
family musical there’s those. If you want to see many many plays some which
have star names in them. A lot which don’t here in London. But also family entertainment, many dance, opera, ballet. There really is something for everybody. “and the Olivier goes to … Luke Treadaway” The Olivier Awards are our premier awards
ceremony that happens for theater here in the UK. We have it at the Royal Opera House. Probably the most extraordinary theatre building
we have here in London. They will be 40 years old in 2016. We’re very proud to have grown into a point
where you know they mean an awful amount both to the people that win them, um, but also
the shows that participate. We do this major open air public event at
the same time as the Oliviers here in Covent Garden. We take over the main square. It’s called the Piazza in Covent Garden
where the public can come and enjoy live performances for a couple of hours before the Oliviers
Awards themselves go live, and then we beam the Oliviers on big screens to everyone watching. The Oliviers itself is a major operation just
like doing any of these major shows is. The challenges are fitting a lot of content
into trying to keep a show under 3 hours long. But you know we have roughly 500 people on
stage that night performing. We have you know very major A-list stars from
around the world who come and present awards to winners. And logistically its probably the biggest
challenge, is running that all logistically. London and the UK is very lucky in that we
have had public subsidy we’ve had money from the government in the arts for a very
very long time. Not just in London but around the whole of
the UK and I think the training opportunity that that has offered to generations of people
encourages innovation. Its encouraged new playwriting. It encouraged new forms of theatre. And, and you know the commercial sector working
very much along side that not-for-profit sector is one of the things that gives us strength here. So you know you could have a show like Matilda
in the UK here started in their home base outside London, north of London in Stratford-Upon-Avon
and then it was brought into London. They brought it in themselves they produce
it here in London but it was brought in with the help of commercial theatre expertise. To take that on and make that I think the
phenomenon it became here and of course is now on Broadway and around the world. So its very much the commercial and the
not-for-profit working together here is one of the things uh you know we celebrate and
is one of the things we have to ensure for many many years to come continues to work. [music]

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