Letter: People's theatre

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The Independent Culture
Sir: While it would be impossible not to applaud the worthy sentiments expressed by the Culture Secretary, the chairman of the Arts Council and others in your special report Who goes to the arts? (30 March), it is surprising that none of the contributors was able to draw attention to one theatre which has so successfully achieved many of the aims they wish to promote.

Situated in Newham, East London, the Theatre Royal Stratford East has succeeded in attracting new audiences from a racially-mixed community by a commitment to writers and artists from all backgrounds and by offering concessions to the young and the disadvantaged.

Over the last 20 years, 14 of the 20 most successful productions have been targeted at audiences of Afro-Caribbean or Asian ethnic origin.

The reward is that the Theatre Royal is the only major drama client of the London Arts Board to have received no increase in its core revenue grant for the last five years and that its application last year for funding from the Arts Council's Arts 4 Everyone scheme was overlooked.