More tales from Arts Council's cutting floor
– London Review of Books did not apply for renewed funding after being warned it would not get.
– Fellow-publishers were amazed at £40,000 for ‘not-for-profit’ Faber and Faber.
– Poetry Book Society, which manages the T S Eliot prize, was scrapped altogether. ‘I’ve not idea what they’re trying to tell us,’ said PBS chief Chris Holifield. Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy called it ‘a disgusting decision’.
– Southwest England got left out again. And again. And again.
– Southwest London also also screwed. Sir Peter Hall’s Rose Theatre at Kingston was turned down. Its artistic director Stephen Unwin told The Stage:
“With cuts announced for the Waterman’s in Hounslow, the Orange Tree in Richmond, the Battersea Arts Centre in Wandsworth and Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, the funding situation in south west London is now worse than ever and the contrast with east London – especially the Olympic Boroughs – is stark. It’s clear that a large part of the Mayor of London’s cultural strategy has been ignored.”
Ockham’s Razor at the Rose
– Hampstead Theatre was saved at the very last minute, after a majority wanted to cut it off for being too Hampstead, meaning too white and middle-class. Hampstead is run by Ed Hall, Sir Peter’s son.
– The Almeida Theatre, also in prosperous north London, was penalised by 39 percent, partly (I am told) due to bad blood between its director Michael Attenborough and ACE officials. ACE chief Alan Davey said: ‘they can do the same on less money.’
– Debate was suppressed on Welsh National Opera, which receives most of its funding from England. Why? Just don’t ask.
– Information about the cuts was released with what appeared to be deliberate disorganisation, avoiding a simple alphabetical catalogue and burying some of the biggest changes in small print. It may not, of course, have been deliberate. Never rule out incompetence as a factor at the ACE.