Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Olivia Colman launch fund for UK theatre professionals

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Olivia Colman are launching a fund to provide grants to UK theatre professionals facing financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tom Hiddleston, Suranne Jones and Gillian Anderson are among the founding donors to the fund, which aims to help ease economic strain both immediately and in the long-term.

The Theatre Community Fund will see donors contribute through initial lump sums and fixed, confidential percentages of their incomes over the next two years.

Suranne Jones
Suranne Jones is among the founder donors (Ian West/PA)

The fund, which was conceived by Waller-Bridge, Colman and Fleabag producer Francesca Moody, has received a pledge of £1 million from founder donations, and has amassed £500,000 so far and will offer hardship grants to freelancers in immediate need and creation grants to help produce new work and ensure a healthy future for the industry.

It will be dispersed and monitored by The Royal Theatrical Fund (RTF) in partnership with the Fleabag Support Fund (FSF), which was announced by Waller-Bridge in April 2020 to award hardship grants to those in the theatre profession who have been directly affected by Covid-19.

In May 2020, FSF disseminated its first wave of grants worth more than £83,000.

Hugh Bonneville, Danny Boyle, Emilia Clarke, James Corden, Emma Freud and Richard Curtis, David Harewood, Kit Harington, Sir Ian McKellen, Keeley Hawes, Daniel Radcliffe and Dame Emma Thompson are also among the founding donors.

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