Chris Smith, the M.P. who was Secretary of State for Culture, has warned the theatre world - at a meeting of the National Campaign for the Arts - of the need to continue to lobby the government for funding.
This is particularly important at the moment as the Treasury is setting spending limits for a three year period beginning in 2003.
Smith, who was appointed to the board of the National Theatre last year, was a Culture Secretary who was deeply committed to London theatre and continues, both at the National and on a wider stage, to argue the case for the importance and value of the theatre industry.
His case re Treasury funding is that government support for the arts cannot be taken for granted and needs to be lobbied as a continual process - it is not a case of seemingly convincing the government and then resting on your laurels. Given the continual process, and need for forward planning, involved in running a major theatre these days, this should be a lesson that the theatre world has already learned, of course.
—by Paul Webb Theatrenow