According to Helen Mirren, up for a Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar: “The huge success of recent British films like The Queen would not have been possible without the many wonderful actors who have become as good as they are through long experience in the theatre…. My own career has included many productions with companies like the RSC and the National, and I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m back on the stage.” Her Best Actress competitor Judi Dench, who won this year’s Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Actress for Hay Fever, added: “Our theatre is envied and respected by almost every country worldwide, and we are only in this position because of the subsidy we receive…. Being trained in the theatre is a necessity. The health of our film industry depends on the health of our theatre.”
From the writer’s perspective Patrick Marber - Oscar nominated for best adapted screenplay and best known to theatregoers for the likes of Closer, Dealer’s Choice and, just seen at the Donmar Warehouse, Don Juan in Soho - believes: “The success of British film is an international phenomenon, and it would not be so without the creative energy it borrows from those who have trained and continue to work in the theatre…. Receiving an Academy nomination for screenwriting is an honour, and I’m thrilled to be part of this year’s British success story. But I owe it all to the years I spent learning and developing as a writer in the subsidised theatre.” Stephen Frears noted that, as most of Britain’s successful filmmakers had worked in the subsidised arts and “have benefited from the wise decision of the Government to support the arts properly. Why on earth would anybody change that policy when it’s paid off so handsomely?” Why indeed.