March Town Hall Minutes

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The meeting was excellently chaired by Suzy Somerville, Head of Production at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle Under Lyme.

As well as being on Zoom, it was streamed on Facebook and can be viewed here

The PMF’s new Student and Young Members’ Associates introduced themselves, you can read about them here. They also presented their Suggestions Box, which we would encourage everyone to use to submit any ideas.

We talked about the Reset Better Charter, details of which can be found at

A date for your diary, the PMF will be presenting a Forum about Reset Better on Monday 26th April, at 4pm. This will replace our April Town Hall.

The charter is being supported by AAPTLE (the Alliance of Associations and Professionals in Theatre & Live Events) and is partly based on the No More 10 Out of 12s campaign from the US

The PMF is asking its members to sign up to EasyFundraising, to help support your association, and it’s not going to cost you a thing. You can find details and sign up here

We used the Town Hall to launch the PMF Rates of Pay Project, which has long been a PMF ambition. You can find details here,

and we also encourage everyone to complete the first survey, please

There is a vacancy on the PMF Committee, and, as always, we are looking to increase our diversity and the areas of work and regions that we cover. If you are interested and would like to find out more, or would like to suggest someone, please email us [email protected]

David Ripley talked about IR35, the UK’s anti-avoidance tax legislation, designed to tax ‘disguised’ employment.

There is an on-line check that can be used to prove whether or not you are working in a freelance capacity.

Proof of holding public liability insurance can also be used as an indicator.

Mandy Ivory-Castile introduced Viva La Visa, for any passport and visa needs, however large or small.


was recommended to everyone, as were Paddy Dillon’s seminars about it. The next are on April 9 at 9.30am and April 20 at 9.30am. Click on the dates for a zoom link.

The PMF/SiPA 10 Sustainable Wins were also mentioned

Some organisations have started having Green Card Model meetings, as well as white cards.

We mentioned The Big Freelancer Report

and also the SM Nest

and the Events Industry Forum

Finally, there was an informative discussion about the realities of returning to work. Points raised included:

  • We are not ‘match fit’
  • Need to restart gently
  • Consider locking the building after 2 sessions
  • Consider scaling down the ambitions of productions
  • Call staff a day early, just to talk things through, go through the Covid measures, including a tour of the building
  • Flexibility will be required
  • Don’t be British, but keep asking people how they are. People are becoming more open to being honest about this
  • Ask staff for an update about what they are doing – this cannot be to do with work
  • Remember that Covid rules continue during lunchbreaks. WNO are calling staff for 1 session days, so no meal breaks are involved
  • Involving a physio in a production is brilliant. They can look at everything, not just company movement – set, props, get in, driving, and provide exercises
  • The ABTT are looking at specific back to work guidance, but this is urgent. Planning is going on NOW
  • The Latest Consumer Attitudes and Behaviour Trends in the UK Theatre & Leisure Attractions Market from BVA-BDRC. Details here
  • Social Distancing is not going away. It is to do with how far apart people are – One metre plus? Social Contact is about how many people are in a space
  • Don’t think ‘Post-Covid’, think ‘With Covid’
  • Theatres may continue with the same measures after rules are relaxed. Not loosing a show will become the emphasis

Thanks to everyone who came to the Town Hall. The next one will be on Tuesday 25th May at the usual 4pm.