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9 May 2013

Out of Joint and Shared Experienced awarded funding through Arts Council England “Catalyst” scheme

Two of Britain’s foremost touring theatre companies have been selected by a new scheme designed to develop organisations’ abilities to fund-raise. Press release: Catalyst SE OOJ press release


29 Nov 2012

Full text of Max’s letter in today’s Evening Standard

The theatre needs champions at the best of times and this is clearly becoming the worst of times for the theatre, which needs its champions more than ever. I salute Nick Hytner for his leadership and Danny Boyle and Stephen Fry for their passionate advocacy in the face of slurs from ‘sources in Whitehall’ which have derided their criticism of government cuts as ‘ridiculous and infantile’. This in a week where the Culture Secretary suggests the theatre ‘must get better at asking’.

At the same time Newcastle City Council is proposing to cut all funding to the arts in the area (£1.6 million). Yet Live Theatre Newcastle which has been a regional and national leader in theatre under the inspired leadership of Max Roberts (PITMEN PAINTERS and A WALK ON PART are just two of their recent successes) calculates that for every pound invested in the arts in Newcastle and Gateshead £4 is generated for the local economy.

And Michael Gove is proposing to downgrade dance, music and drama by removing it from the English baccalaureate. We’re about to be whitewashed by the Southern hemisphere nations. If we’re no longer a manufacturing country nor a power in the rugby world, let us for God’s sake defend and celebrate the one field in which we are undisputed world leaders.


31 March 2011

“Yesterday, Out of Joint was told it would have its Arts Council England (ACE) funding cut by 27.9%, which means we will have £138,218 less from 2012. Liz Forgan says there is a clear intellectual framework and rationale behind the cuts. I must say it is hard to see that from our perspective. We are commended for excellence, yet condemned to mediocrity by removing the structure that makes excellence possible.

“We are determined to survive, and not to substantially change the work we do. What makes Out of Joint’s work special is the ambition and scope of the plays we produce, by some of the country’s leading and most exciting writers, and the resources we have been able to focus on creating them.

“We pay our writers fairly (we guarantee a minimum of £20,000 for a produced play). We pay our actors slightly over the equity minimum, which enables us to attract established actors to tour with us, to deepen and dignify the work.

“If the Arts Council is genuinely committed to touring it needs to support tours of this scale and ambition. Our own cut, combined with cuts to the theatres to which we tour (such as the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, and Exeter’s Northcott Theatre), will restrict the reach of our work.

“This has provoked a crisis for Out of Joint, but it’s also a crucial point for the Arts Council itself. Does it really wish to destroy one of the few companies which can create important new plays that find a place in the national – and international – repertoire, and which performs that work at the same high quality in venues ranging from major London theatres to playhouses and community centres throughout the UK?”

Max Stafford-Clark, Director, Out of Joint
Out of Joint
7 Thane Works, Thane Villas, London N7 7NU
020 7609 0207

Press enquiries: Jon Bradfield
020 7609 0207  |  07968 762 339  |




Out of Joint is a theatre company acclaimed for producing and touring the UK’s sharpest new writing. Founded and directed by Max Stafford-Clark following his artistic directorship of the Royal Court, it has premiered plays by David Hare, Caryl Churchill, Sebastian Barry, Timberlake Wertenbaker and many more, and launched the careers of such talents as Mark Ravenhill and Stella Feehily.

Out of Joint’s projects for the first half of 2011 include

  • A Dish of Tea with Dr Johnson, adapted from the writings of James Boswell, currently on tour.
  • The return of Richard Bean’s 2010 play The Big Fellah which will tour to Dublin, Cork, Liverpool and Newcastle in April and May. This reprisal of Out of Joint and the Lyric Hammersmith’s world premiere will again feature Finbar Lynch in the role of Costello, the ‘big fellah’.
  • A co-production of Top Girls by Caryl Churchill with Chichester Festival Theatre
  • A new play by Stella Feehily about humanitarian aid workers
  • Supporting a new play to be directed by Des Kennedy, the recipient of Out of Joint’s Arts Council-funded Associate Director bursary scheme

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