The National Theater is shelving plans to tour continental Europe productions due to uncertainty about work permits due to Brexit.
Before traveling to work in various EU countries, many of those working in the arts will now need to apply for short-term work permits.
A spokesman for the theater said it had planned to bring its production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the evening. to locations in Europe, but the tour had been postponed as a result of Covid.
“We hope to resume European tours. However, we are currently unable to make firm plans due to Brexit legislation; The potential additional costs of visas and the current uncertainty surrounding social security contributions sadly mean that it is currently not financially viable, ”the spokesperson said.
“We hope that in the future we will go back on tour in Europe. However, that will not be possible until we have more clarity on these points. “
The news follows the release of an open letter signed by stars like Sir Ian McKellen, Julie Walters and Patrick Stewart calling on the government to urgently address the new visa rules.
In the letter from the performing arts union Equity, some of the biggest names in British theater implored Boris Johnson to come back to the negotiating table to secure visa-free work in the EU. The letter states that creative professionals are desperate to work in Europe once the pandemic restrictions are lifted, but “the current Brexit deal is a huge obstacle to that.”
“Before, we could travel to Europe without a visa. Now we have to pay hundreds of pounds, fill out form after form and spend weeks waiting for approval, just to be able to do our job, ”he says.
The news about the National Theater came when Olivier award-winning lighting designer Paule Constable told MPs that she had been told the War Horse show would no longer be touring Europe. Later, the National Theater clarified that it was actually The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, not War Horse, that had been affected.
The committee is currently investigating the impacts of the absence of a UK-EU visa agreement for creative professionals.
Constable, who has lit up War Horse and other hit shows like Follies and the new West End production of Les Misérables, also told the committee that the lack of clarity on the rules was leading British professionals to face “utter chaos. ”.
Responding to comments from the National Theater on Wednesday, a government spokesman said: “It is currently not possible to travel in Europe due to Covid-19 and EU member states have not established plans for when it will be. We are urgently working with the UK creative industries to help ensure they can confidently work in Europe once touring can be safely resumed. “
On Tuesday, the government said that while the EU rejected its proposals for creative professionals to work flexibly, it expected member states to “act on these calls by changing the rules that apply to UK creatives.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism