Emmy winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Oscar winner Olivia Colman, both seen in Waller-Bridge's Fleabag series, have teamed up with the show's original producer, Francesca Moody, to launch The Theatre Community Fund. Offering grants up to £3000, the fund aims to provide longer-term support to artists and professionals in the U.K. impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. $500,
The fund, which has received a pledge of £1 million from founder donations, has amassed £500,000 so far. Founding donors include Gillian Anderson, Emilia Clarke, Daniel Radcliffe, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Donors will contribute through initial lump sums and fixed, confidential percentages of their incomes over the next two years.
Grants will be separated into two categories: to help freelancers survive the present by providing hardship grants to those in immediate need; and to ensure a healthy future for the industry by providing innovation and creation grants for artists to produce work.
The Theatre Community Fund will be dispersed and monitored by The Royal Theatrical Fund in partnership with the Fleabag Support Fund. The initiative joins the already existing Theatre Artists Fund, spearheaded by Sam Mendes and supported by Michaela Coel and Emma Thompson, which distributes one-off grants to freelance theatre artists impacted by the pandemic.
Earlier this month, Waller-Bridge was named a vice president for the U.K. charity Acting for Others, which provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers.