Following Entertainment Focus’ announcement on Tuesday 1 July that the UK’s leading radical theatre company Red Ladder is to receive a 100% cut to its Arts Council funding, a team of independent supporters have set up a campaign to save the company.
The campaign’s website went live on 15th July, although early donations to online platform www.localgiving.com/redladder already total over £5000, with the campaign’s twitter account reaching over 1000 followers in its first week.
The #GisATenner campaign is based on the fact that if each of Red Ladder’s Twitter followers gave £10 that would cover the full production budget of one UK tour (£80,000), and half of the £160,000 that the company had cut. The company’s only other current core grant in aid is an annual £5000 from Leeds City Council.
Phill Jupitus, who starred in Red Ladder’s 2012 show, Big Society, comments: “Red Ladder is that rare thing within UK theatre – a company that has successfully continued to produce theatre that is energetic, entertaining and angry at a time when it needs to be angry. But more importantly, consistently produces work that speaks to the wide majority of people who don’t consider themselves ‘theatre goers’.
“I have never found myself surrounded by so little bullsh*t as when I worked with Red Ladder, and their down to earth approach to the arts is exactly why this small but mighty company should continue it’s vital role in the cultural landscape of Leeds, of Yorkshire, of the United Kingdom and the bloody world! Red Ladder’s work is important, and Red Ladder is important. To lose them at a point in British history where the fight against everyday inequality and everyday injustice is being lost all around us would be a genuine tragedy.”
Paul Heaton, formerly of The Housemartins and The Beautiful South comments: “I’m behind this because people need theatre, people need the arts. We must not let culture become the sole domain of the haves and not the have nots.”
Save Red Ladder is working with online fundraising platform Localgiving.com, which is offering its support to the cause. Localgiving.com provides a place for small and local charitable organisations to raise funds online, benefit from automated Gift Aid and access match funding opportunities. Its annual match fund campaign, Grow Your Tenner, will be launching later this year, matching online donations pound-for-pound up to £10 and enabling Red Ladder supporters to maximise the value of their giving.
To help the cause follow @saveredladder, use the #GisATenner hashtag, visit www.saveredladder.co.uk or donate directly via www.localgiving.com/redladder. Red Ladder’s show We’re Not Going Back is on UK tour from September. For tickets visit www.redladder.co.uk.