The final hearing of the House of Commons Culture Media & Sport Select
Committee in its Theatres Inquiry were held in Parliament today with
Cllr Colin Ablitt and Paul Everitt (Artistic Director of the Lichfield
Garrick Theatre) in attendance. Witnesses cross-examined by Michael
Fabricant and other members of the Committee included Minister for the
Arts, Estelle Morris; the Chairman of the Arts Council for England, Sir
Christopher Frayling, together with his Chief Executive and other
officers; and Equity, the actor’s union.
"I raised both with the Arts Minister and with Sir Christopher Frayling
how new and innovative theatres like the Lichfield Garrick can attract
the sort of funding needed to launch new productions." says Michael
Fabricant. "Assurances were given, but the evidence presented to the
Committee by Cllr Colin Ablitt and Paul Everitt when we held a formal
Parliamentary hearing in Birmingham, following the Committee’s visit to
the Lichfield Garrick the previous day, made it clear that Lichfield has
not been getting its fair share.
"But the Lichfield Garrick has been put firmly on the national theatres
map by this Parliamentary inquiry. The evidence presented by the
Lichfield Garrick was highly persuasive when the Garrick gave evidence
alongside Dame Judi Dench and the Royal Shakespeare Company. The
Lichfield Garrick has now become a national voice for smaller theatres
and we can all be proud of that. I expect the Parliamentary Report to
be published by the Committee will reflect this" adds Michael.
The Report is likely to be published later in March.