The curtain falls
Sir: Melvyn Bragg ("Sorry, Sir Peter, but things are getting better for theatre", 26 February) rejects Peter Hall's charge that "it seems Arts Council policy to provoke the end of many small theatres so that resources can be concentrated on the big boys".
Anyone who looks with a flicker of clear-sightedness at the current policy for drama in the subsidised sector, and not through the rose-tinted spectacles Melvyn is wearing, will see that Peter Hall is giving the facts. The suggestion that Peter's anger could have been exacerbated by his failure to receive funding could only come from someone ignorant of the man.
In spite of what has been done for the flagships, all of which is laudable, the spawning-ground for the future of drama is now suffering from perilous neglect. If Melvyn Bragg wishes to communicate the facts he should include the threatened demise of the King's Head and some examples of organisations on standstill funding, such as the Black Theatre Co-Op, Tara, Trestle, Theatre Centre, Pop-Up, Kaboodle, Oxford Stage Company, English Touring Company, Method and Madness.
I am sorry, Melvyn, things are getting a lot worse, not better.
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