We are delighted to be taking part in the Freelance Task Force, spearheaded by Fuel Theatre.
Approximately 70% of the theatre workforce is made up of freelancers and self-employed workers. As a producing venue we are heavily reliant on this workforce and we are aware that they are particularly vulnerable at this challenging time.
One of the ways we have decided to support this community is by signing up to the taskforce, the purpose of which is to strengthen the influence of self-employed people within the industry and amplify their voices.
We are thrilled to be sponsoring two local freelancers who work regularly with the Octagon: Ibby Ismail and Phil Harland. Ibby and Phil are freelance support workers who frequently work with our creative engagement team, assisting facilitation and providing pastoral support to our groups and projects.
Due to the short time frame between us receiving the details of the task force and the deadline for appointing, we decided to gather recommendations for candidates, rather than do an open call out.
Thanks to Fuel, we were made aware that there were some freelance disciplines which were under-represented on the task force; as a result, we have selected two candidates (who will take on this role as a job-share) from the under-represented discipline of creative engagement facilitation. It was also important to us to appoint freelancers who are local and who we are confident will communicate further information which arises from the task force to the rest of our local freelance community.
Ibby Ismail comments: "I am happy for the opportunity to connect with other freelance individuals to ensure that we can not only survive but thrive going into the future."
Phil Harland comments: "I am grateful for the Octagon Theatre for choosing me to work with the Freelance Task Force. I will be representing my age group and fellow graduates from university, who are currently progressing into the theatre industry during the current economic climate."
Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham comments on the Task force: “I’m really pleased that the Octagon is sponsoring Ibby and Phil to join the new Freelance Task Force. This is not only an opportunity for the Octagon to support two local freelancers whose work we really value, it’s also a way of us declaring solidarity with our entire local freelance community, without whom we wouldn’t be able to put on shows or carry out our creative engagement work. I’m confident that Ibby and Phil will make a really valuable contribution to the task force and do an excellent job of representing the concerns of Bolton’s freelancers at these important national discussions about the future of our sector.”