Rhinegold Mercury Theatre’s musical director Dan De Cruz with his son and childminder Vicky Smith

Rebecca Pizzey

Editorial assistant

Mercury Theatre provides crèche

12:45, 22nd August 2017

The Mercury Theatre of Colchester, Essex, has responded to feedback about accessibility for auditionees with caring responsibilities. In June, the Mercury’s artistic director Daniel Buckroyd and producer Tracey Childs met 44 theatre professionals, 14 of whom had responded to a query asking if they required crèche facilities at the time of their audition. Ultimately, six people used the crèche, which was run by former Mercury employee and registered childminder Vicky Smith for two four-hour sessions.

‘We want people from all walks of life to work with us – to create outstanding theatre with our support, and to continually challenge us as an organisation,’ said Buckroyd. ‘We’re really sharpening our focus on talent development under a new brand, Make It. As a member of the Parents in Performing Arts (PIPA) Consortium, we’re working particularly hard to remove barriers for parents or anyone with caring responsibilities. Running a crèche is one practical way of opening our doors to a wider range of talent.’

The Mercury has been one of 18 theatre organisations working with PIPA, joining in October 2016 on a Best Practice Action Research Project. PIPA, which campaigns for equal opportunities, supported the theatre in funding the hire of the audition space, the crèche, staffing and administrative costs.

Further information about Make It can be found at www.mercurytheatre.co.uk/make-it

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