Acting Up: Labour plans to address performing arts class gap

Acting Up: Labour plans to address performing arts class gap

Published today. the Labour Party’s ‘Acting Up’ report highlights a widening class gap in the performing arts and suggests that stage, television or film roles are “increasingly dominated by a narrow set of people from well-off backgrounds”.

Figures in the report suggest that just 16 per cent of actors come from a working-class background, whereas 51 per cent have a privileged background. To back this up, the report reveals that 42 per cent of British Bafta winners attended a fee-paying school.

The report states: “In an industry where perception and wealth are so important, recognising and understanding the role class plays is crucial. But at the moment there’s a big C-shaped hole.”

The report is based on two evidence sessions held in parliament and considers over 100 written submissions.

It recommends a revamp of the English baccalaureate in schools, which it says “has led to a systematic marginalisation of arts subjects, particularly drama”.

Other recommendations include a call for drama schools to stop charging audition fees of up to £100.

Among those giving evidence in the report were Michelle Collins, a former EastEnders and Coronation Street actor, who said: “I didn’t go to drama school, I was turned down by every single drama school. In fact, I got a recall for Central but I think they had their quota of chirpy cockney working-class girls.”

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