All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Theatre

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Theatre  was  founded in July 2019  to support the resilience and relevance of theatre in the UK for audiences, its workforce and society. 

The APPG’s Statement of Purpose is to:

  • Support the resilience and relevance of theatre in the UK for audiences, society and the industry.
  • Identify and debate potential opportunities and issues for theatre in the UK.
  • Support parliamentarians’ understanding of the theatre and performing arts industry at a national and local level.

Theatre is a vital part of the UK’s creative industries, one of the fastest growing parts of the UK economy, generating £108 billion in economic value in 2021 alone. Research by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) & UK Theatre suggests that the UK theatre sector generates £2.39 billion in GVA, supports nearly 205,000 workers and generates a total turnover of £4.44 billion.

The cross-party group is chaired by Giles Watling, Conservative MP for Clacton. SOLT & UK Theatre are the secretariat of the APPG for Theatre, providing staff time and administrative and strategic support.

If you are a SOLT or UK Theatre member and would like to write to your MP to introduce them to the APPG and see if they are interested in becoming involved, please contact for further advice and support.

This is not an official website of Parliament. It has not been approved by either House. APPGs are informal groups of Parliamentarians with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed are those of the group.

Current APPG for Theatre Officers
Chair & Registered ContactGiles WatlingConservative
Vice-ChairKerry McCarthyLabour
Vice-ChairAndrew Lewer MBEConservative
Vice-ChairBarbara KeeleyLabour

Other members:

Simon Baynes MP (CON)

Baroness Blower (LAB)

Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury (LD)

Kevin Brennan MP (LAB)

The Earl of Clancarty (CB)

Theo Clarke MP (CON)

Dame Caroline Dinenage MP (CON)

The Rt Hon. Nigel Evans MP (CON)

Jo Gideon MP (CON)

Lord Gold (CON)

Baroness Golding (LAB)

Lord Hall of Birkenhead (CB)

Baroness Hamwee (LD)

Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town (LAB)

Christine Jardine MP (LD)

Pauline Latham MP (CON)

Baroness Lister of Burtersett CBE (LAB)

Lord Livingston of Parkhead (CON)

Lord Lucas (CON)

Rachael Maskell MP (LAB)

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall (LAB)

Lord Mendoza (CON)

Stephen Metcalfe MP (CON)

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (CON)

Taiwo Owatemi MP (LAB)

Henry Smith MP (CON)

The Rt Hon. Lord Smith of Finsbury (NA)

Alex Sobel MP (LAB)

Lord Storey (LD)

Sir Robert Syms MP (CON)

Lord Taylor of Warwick (NA)

Lord Truscott (NA)

Lord Watts (LAB)

The Rt Hon. Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB)

Heather Wheeler MP (CON)

Baroness Whitaker (LAB)

The Rt Hon. Shailesh Vara MP (CON)

What is an APPG?

All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. They are run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords, though many choose to involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities.  

To find out more about how they work, please visit the UK Parliament Website.  

Meetings in 2024

APPG for Theatre AGM 


Income and Expenditure Statement

Meeting minutes

AGM speakers were:

  • Hannah Essex, co-CEO, SOLT & UK Theatre.  
  • Patrick Gracey, Producer & General Manager, Patrick Gracey Productions (Chair of the Policy, Research and Advocacy Committee for SOLT & UK Theatre).  
  • Jon Gilchrist, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Birmingham Hippodrome (Joint President, UK Theatre).  

Registered Contact: 

Giles Watling MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA


Previous meetings (2019-2023)

The APPG for Theatre holds regular meetings to discuss priorities and to hear from expert speakers. A list of meetings from previous years is below.

DateMeeting detailsFurther information
19 September 2023APPG for Theatre: Manifesto Priorities for the Theatre Sector (Informal meeting)Manifesto priorities
21 February 2023APPG for Theatre AGM
6 September 2022APPG for Theatre Meeting: Panel Discussion on Levelling Up
5 July 2022APPG for Theatre Meeting: Panel Discussion on International TouringMinutes
20 April 2022APPG for Theatre Meeting: Panel Discussion on Skills Gaps and the Future of the Workforce
18 January 2022APPG for Theatre AGMMinutes
20 July 2021APPG for Theatre Meeting: Theatres, Sustainability and the Green Agenda
8 June 2021APPG for Theatre Meeting: How Local Authorities and theatres can help each other recover from COVID-19Minutes
26 January 2021APPG for Theatre Meeting: Impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s Theatre Sector
12 January 2021APPG for Theatre AGMMinutes
8 December 2020APPG for Theatre: Officer MeetingMinutes
15 September 2020Joint Performing Arts APPGs (Theatre, Dance and Classical Music) virtual parliamentary ‘drop-in’ sessionMinutes
16 July 2020APPG for Theatre EGM: Impact of COVID on theatreMinutes
4 March 2020APPG for Theatre Meeting: How Theatre Works in 2020Minutes
14 January 2020APPG for Theatre Inaugural MeetingMinutes
16 October 2019APPG for Theatre Launch event (Informal meeting)
16 July 2019APPG for Theatre MeetingMinutes
1 July 2019APPG for Theatre AGMMinutes
Contact Us

The secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Theatre is provided by the Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre. 

Please contact the Public Affairs team for more information:


Download the Theatre APPG’s latest finance information here.