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BECTU Launch Safer Theatres Charter

The Anything Doesn’t Go campaign aims to tackle anti-social behaviour in UK theatres, calling on venue management to take a more proactive approach via the new Charter.

Published: 11 April 2023 | 4:25 PM
Out of focus back of seated audience members head, watching a play on stage.
The MU has already signed the Charter. Image credit: Shutterstock.

Last week The Broadcasting, Entertrainment, Communications and Theatre Union (BECTU) launched a new campaign, Anything Doesn’t Go, which seeks to tackle Anti-social behaviour in UK theatres.

As part of the campaign, following a survey of over 1500 theatre workers which looked at audience behaviours across the UK, BECTU have also launched the ‘Safer Theatres Charter’, which calls on venue management to take a more proactive approach to tackling anti-social behaviour.

Bectu’s survey found that 80% had experienced “acts of bullying, violence, intimidation, harassment, or abuse” while at work.

Many reported that this problem has become worse since the Covid-19 pandemic, and that audience behaviour is becoming more extreme and violent. From West End musicals to opera houses, pantos and ballet performances, theatre workers shared their experiences of regular brawls, vandalism, assault, racial abuse and more. No one should have to put up with this at work.

Read more about the Anything Doesn’t Go campaign.

About the Charter

MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl has signed the Charter and you can also add your signature via BECTU's online form.

The Charter calls on venue management to take a more proactive, thorough and zero-tolerance approach to tackling this sort of behaviour and calls for them to:

  • Publish consistent and prominent announcements, both verbal and written, prior to shows, on tickets and in publicity materials stressing the high standards of behaviour expected from audiences.
  • Recognise that high levels of alcohol consumption can create an unsafe environment for audiences and staff.
  • Enforce a zero-tolerance policy towards anti-social behaviour, including intoxication, violent, abusive or discriminatory behaviour towards other members of the audience or staff.
  • Commit to applying all policies, procedures and risk assessments consistently, equip workers with the necessary training, and ensure adequate and safe staffing levels.
  • Ensure sufficient resources and security staff to apply policies on admission, alcohol sales/consumption, and unacceptable behaviour.

Read the full Charter, and sign it via BECTU's online form.

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