Letter: Stars who choose to work in the reps

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The Independent Online
Sir: David Bond's letter (26 July) was most welcome in its support for the repertory theatres of England currently under threat both because of the decision of the Arts Council to move funding away from drama and also the threat of a pounds 5m cut in the council's budget by the Department of National Heritage.

He is, however, quite wrong in suggesting that the 'stars' have abandoned the reps for the West End and television. It is quite true that famous names can earn more money elsewhere, but Mr Bond will be reassured that, despite this, many choose to work in the reps, placing great value on the innovation and quality of work they produce. A cursory look at the billings this year would have shown actors such as Tom Courtenay, Timothy West, Vanessa Redgrave, Rula Lenska and a host of others appearing in seasons at repertory theatres all over Britain.

The contribution of the repertory theatres to the cultural life of the country is immeasurable, and the loss of even one would be devastating. Performers and directors will be the very first to campaign for their survival and for proper long-term funding of the arts.

Yours faithfully,

PETER FINCH

Assistant General Secretary

British Actors' Equity Association

London, WC2

27 July

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