Theatre & Live Events

'Theatre and Live Events' covers a very large part of the cultural and creative sector in the UK employing 1000s of people around the country. It includes the following sub-sectors:

∙  London theatres (eg the Palladium)

∙  Regional theatres (eg Newcastle Theatre Royal)

∙  National Houses (eg the Royal Opera House)

∙  Concert halls (eg Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham)

∙  Arts centres (eg Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal)

 Arenas (eg O2 and Birmingham NEC)

 Festivals (eg Glastonbury)

Types of work include stage technicians, production (costume), front of house, design (lighting, sound etc.), administration, management. There are some great careers in the sector but there are also many short-term casual contracts and a growing proportion of freelance work in all sub-sectors.

Advice and support

If you ever feel like you might benefit from a helping hand, it's good to know there's a wealth of advice. Much of the time there will be individual professionals who are happy to give you the benefit of their experience - so never be afraid to ask! We've rounded up some of the main places to get help from below. 

  • BECTU 
    On 1 January 2017 BECTU (the Broadcasting Entertainment Communications and Theatre Union) became of a sector of Prospect. BECTU continues to support staff and freelancers working across the entertainment industries.
  • Musicians Union (MU)
    Represents over 30,000 musicians working in all sectors of the music business.
  • Equity
    Equity is the UK trade union for professional performers and creative practitioners.
  • Stage Management Association 
    The SMA works for stage managers and stage management in the UK.  
  • Association of British Theatre Technicians
    The ABTT is a charity and company  that campaigns to ensure the theatre industry's legislation and regulations are appropriate and enforced. 
  • Arts Council (England)  Arts Council (N. Ireland) Arts Council (Wales)
    The Arts Council supports and develops activities across the arts, museums and libraries including theatre, digital art, dance, music and more. 
  • Creative Scotland
    Public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland.
  • Creative & Cultural Skills
    Campaigning organisation championing youth employment and fair access to creative sectors, including its Creative Choices programme for those wanting to start a career in the creative industry.
  • Drama UK
    Drama UK links theatre, media and broadcast industries and drama training providers in the UK to offer a public voice, help and advice to drama students. 

Journals and other online resources

If you're serious about a career in theatre and live events, you need to know the industry inside and out. The below news and magazine sites are a great way to get to grips with everything that's going on.


Employers, employers associations and trade associations

National Houses


Pic: Ian Muttoo / Flickr