Cuts hit Lancaster theatre


LANCASTER’S nationally renowned walkabout theatre performance in Williamson Park will cease from next year, after organiser The Dukes theatre was hit by cuts to its funding.

The Dukes will now only be able to finance two in-house productions per year, instead of five, after a total of £100,000 was slashed from its 2011/12 budget.

The majority of this, £78,878, is a reduction in funding from Arts Council England, with a further £10,000 reduction from Lancashire County Council and an £8,000 cut by Lancaster City Council.

It is also having to consider reducing its core stage management team from three to one and says there will be less freelance work available in its production departments.

Lancaster actor Sue McCormick, a member of actors’ union Equity, expressed concern that next year’s play Sabbat at Williamson Park would no longer move around the park but would be performed in one place, ending a tradition which began 25 years ago.

See the Lancaster Guardian (23-06-11) for full story.