It’s now been nine weeks since CPT closed its doors to the public – something we couldn’t have dreamt of at the turn of the year. It was devastating to postpone so many wonderful productions and commissions. But we’ve been overwhelmed by the support, positivity and goodwill of our audiences, artists and staff.
With several staff on furlough, our slimmed-down team is now working hard to safeguard the future of CPT, the artists without whom we couldn’t exist – and our community, who need our support more than ever. As we do so, we remain as committed as ever to creative risk-taking, championing marginalised voices and celebrating radical, socially engaged performance.
While our doors are closed to the public, we are far from quiet. Here’s how we’ve responded to the crisis so far:
Artists are at the heart of everything CPT does. We have worked hard to share as much information as possible with artists, via the ‘Artist Resources’ page on our website and through regular personal emails. Thanks to the generosity of ticket-holders and other artists, we were able to offer financial support to every artist in our spring/summer season. We’ve also honoured all of our commissions for the upcoming year, and continued our 2020 Starting Blocks programme – cut off in its prime – online.
“[Your support] is above & beyond what’s expected… That solidarity & support offers us strength & optimism” – High Rise Theatre
We’re now working on a new package of artist support and commissions tailored to the new, lockdown-era realities. Watch this space – or get in touch if you’d like to input into our plans.
As Chair of the STAMP (Supporting Theatre Artists and Makers of Performance) network, CPT has also driven valuable conversations with network partners about artist support during and beyond Covid-19. STAMP will have a bigger role to play over the coming months, and is committed to placing artists front and centre as the sector plans for re-opening. In April, STAMP hosted its first online event – on self-producing – featuring a panel of awesome artists including Natasha Brown, Paula Varjack and This Egg. Notes from the event are available here and stay tuned for further online events over the summer.
Supporting our community
Within the first week of the closure, our incredible Camden Youth Theatre team digitised the whole programme, ensuring that 60 young people can connect and tap into their creativity weekly throughout the lockdown. This has been hugely important for participants and we’re delighted we can continue to work with them. Check out the latest CYT film here, created in February during the performances of their latest show Chords of Protest.
After the huge success of ‘A Day in the Life’ in March, we’ve since worked with Remix Dance to get their weekly sessions online – allowing children and families on our local Regent’s Park estate to stay active and connected. The sessions have been an absolute joy so far!
We’ve been honoured to support our local Third Age Project with the initiatives they’re continuing to run. This includes a ‘CPT recommends’ listings page promoting free cultural activities for local people to engage with. Members of the CPT staff have used their furlough to volunteer on flyering shifts to promote TAP’s extraordinary local offer.
CPT has also supported the brilliant Counterpoints Arts to get the ‘No Direction Home’ standup programme online. Comedian Tom Parry has delivered a series of online standup workshops with a host of participants, leading to two live online gigs in April. Plans are afoot for more gigs in the coming months: watch this space for info.