The Theatre Community Fund has been established to support the theatrical artists and professionals whose livelihoods and creative futures have been threatened in the wake of Covid-19.

This fund will be separated into two priority strands giving grants:


1.    HARDSHIP grants in partnership with the Fleabag Support Fund


Grants will be distributed in partnership with the Royal Theatrical Fund.

Applications for the Fleabag Support Fund will open on the 1st of every month for five days, for the foreseeable future.  

Creative and innovation grants will open in late 2020 or early 2021, with the exact date to be agreed. 


How To Apply 

Applications to the Theatre Community Fund can be made through our partner The Royal Theatrical Fund. All information on eligibility and criteria can be found over at their website.



The arts are how a society thinks about itself - how we examine and express who we are, who we want to be, who we need to be.  Without the arts - without a consciousness - our society cannot claim to be civil, or truly healthy.

But the arts today - and the theatrical arts especially - are under greater threat than they have been in our lifetime.  Whilst the government’s arts funding package is of course to be welcomed, it is clear that the beating heart of theatre in this country – freelancers – remain deep in peril.  It is clear too that amongst that community, it is those who are already marginalised – those who are already fighting hardest just to make their voices heard – who will suffer most.  We will all suffer if they are allowed to fade away.

For that reason we are launching a campaign aimed at helping to sustain theatrical arts practitioners in the UK through the Covid-19 emergency.

The campaign will pursue two main objectives:


Firstly, by adding our voice to existing arts funding campaigns, we aim to increase awareness of the vital role the theatrical arts play in the health of our nation. 


Secondly, we will establish the Theatre Community Fund to support the hundreds of thousands of theatrical artists and professionals who currently face an existential threat to their livelihoods and creative futures.

We are not seeking donations from the general public (although of course all donations are welcome). Instead, we are calling on arts professionals like us who through great good fortune find themselves near the top of the tree; those who have been supported by and benefited enormously from the UK's genuinely world-class arts community, and continue to rely on its good health. 

We are each making a lump-sum donation to launch this fund. Furthermore, we are committing to paying into the fund a set percentage of our income over the next two years.  We ask all those who can to join us. 

We understand that many are already giving generously - to this and other causes - and we don't wish to challenge anyone on their private giving decisions, or to create a virtue-signalling arms race.  For that reason, we will not be publishing details of any individual contribution.  But we call on anyone - writers, actors, directors, producers, business people - anyone who believes in the theatrical arts, and has benefited from them, and finds themselves in a position to give - to join us in making this commitment to those fellow professionals of ours who are struggling, and thereby ensure the future health of our industry, and our nation.




Gillian Anderson 

Jesse Armstrong

Tim Bevan 

Sanjeev Bhaskar

Hugh Bonneville

Stephen Boxer 

Danny Boyle

Jim Carter 

Emilia Clarke

Olivia Colman

Christian Contreras 

James Corden

Stephen Daldry

Arthur Darvill 

Shaun and Polly  Dooley

Anne-Marie Duff

Jane Featherstone

Eric Fellner

Tanya Franks

Emma Freud  and Richard Curtis

Romola Garai

Rebecca Hall

David Hare

David Harewood

Kit Harrington

Jonathan Harvey

Keeley Hawes

Julie Hesmondhalgh

Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hollander

Sir Anthony Hopkins

Suranne Jones

Zygi Kamasa

Katherine Kelly

Robert Lindsay

Lucy Lumsden

Sean Mathaias

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

James McAvoy

Matthew McFadyen

David Mitchell

David Morrissey

Samantha Morton

Graham Norton

Josh O'Connor

Al Petrie

Daniel Radcliffe

Daisy Ridley

Mark Rylance

Andrew Scott

Imelda Staunton

Sir Tom Stoppard

Meera Syal

Russell T Davies

Dame Emma Thompson

Jack Thorne

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Dame Harriet Walter

Rachel Weisz

Jodie Whittaker

David Yates

Sir Ian McKellen, Sean Mathaias and ATG Productions from funds raised by Ian McKellen on Stage



Who will be eligible?

Anyone UK-based who can demonstrate they worked professionally in UK theatre in the year preceding the Covid-19 crisis, or had professional UK theatre work cancelled due to Covid-19.


For full eligibility criteria please visit The Royal Theatrical Fund’s website. 

You may find the website by clicking here.


What will the awards be? 

The fund will be separated into two priority strands giving grants of up to £3000:

  • HARDSHIP grants, in partnership with the Fleabag Support Fund



How do I apply?

You will need to apply through The Royal Theatrical Fund. 

You may find the website by clicking here.


When will the grants open?

Applications for hardship grants will open monthly for five days with the next round open 3rd – 7th August.


Creative and innovation grants will open in late 2020 or early 2021, with the exact date to be agreed. 


Who will administer and distribute the funds? 

The Royal Theatrical Fund in partnership with the Fleabag Support Fund. RTF began in 1839 and since its reconstitution in 1979 the Board of Directors have awarded grants, both regular and special, to members of the theatrical profession. The RTF have been working in partnership with the Fleabag Support fund since April 2020 to award hardship grants to those in the theatre profession who have been directly affected by Covid-19. In May 2020 The Fleabag Support Fund gave out its first wave of grants totalling over £83,000.

How are we considering diversity?

We hereby affirm our conviction that the future health of our industry is contingent on allowing all voices and stories to be heard – and to be heard by all – and the fund will be distributed with that simple truth in mind.


Our hardship fund will by definition reach those on the margins of our industry – those whose voices are in imminent danger of falling silent.


Our innovation and creation grants will have clear diversity standards, set in consultation with industry experts, and will aim to help our industry emerge from the Covid-19 crisis in robust - and robustly diverse - good health.


What about the government’s most recent bailout package for the arts? What about other fundraising initiatives?

We welcomed the recent announcement of a bailout package from government. However, our research and conversations have led us to the conclusion that this will focus on buildings and organisations, and leave exposed the same people left exposed by the furlough scheme – ie. freelancers


As for other fundraising initiatives, we are aware of many of them, including the recently announced Theatre Artists Fund, spearheaded by Sam Mendes. We have spoken to some of those involved and cheer their work to the rafters - we need to get money into the sector through as many channels as possible.


We believe that the Theatre Community Fund is distinct in proposing a longer term funding and grants mechanism aimed at helping theatre practitioners – and UK theatre as a whole – move from crisis into resurgence.



If you would like to donate to the Theatre Community Fund please get in touch.