Black Lives Matter

We are devastated by the killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd, another unarmed Black person, at the hands of the police. And we are moved and inspired by global calls for widescale change to the centuries of inequality and oppression faced by Black people around the world, including the UK.

Since March 2020 when theatres were required to close, we have been entirely consumed by our fight for financial survival. All other work, even the important initiatives we had begun around equality and diversity, had stopped. But this brutal event, the unjustness and indignity that it highlights, and the global impetus to accelerate change, has caused us to rethink that decision. Despite everything we are grappling with as in institution, our work on equality and diversity cannot be put on pause.

Before speaking publicly about this, we spoke to our staff and began to hear their thoughts. We agreed there is much more to do working together. A public expression of solidarity is important, but, beyond that, this process for us is about what we do next. To that end, we will continue our internal discussions, and open this up to colleagues in our wider Old Vic community, figuring out what we can learn together; to begin to further understand what needs to change and how we can do more.

This statement is made in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign and is part of our commitment to Black communities in the UK and globally. We commit to undertaking this vital work with renewed energy and dedication.

Matthew Warchus and Kate Varah