Theatre News

Old Vic in talks with 50 organisations to join network halting abuses of power in the workplace

Guardians Network is announced today by the London theatre in the wake of the Kevin Spacey investigation

The Old Vic
The Old Vic
© The Old Vic

The Old Vic in London today launches the Guardians Network, a group of organisations committed to stopping abuses of power in the workplace.

Put together in the wake of the Kevin Spacey investigation, which was launched in October 2017 in response to allegations of inappropriate behaviour from the theatre's ex-artistic director, the network is a collaboration between organisations including English National Ballet, New Adventures, Nottingham Playhouse, Sheffield Theatres and Society Of London Theatre.

The Old Vic launched the Guardians Programme earlier this year which was designed to help an organisations create a safe and secure working environment for all. The Network goes beyond the Old Vic, spanning multiple sectors and will enable organisations to implement their own Guardians Programme.

Kate Varah, executive director at The Old Vic, said: "We devised the Guardians Programme in dialogue with our staff to enshrine our values and workplace culture. The idea is simple and therefore easy for others to implement and benefit. It's heartening that so many have already done just that. And it is incredible to see the commitment in both the arts and other sectors in embracing a solution that helps reframe how our workforces share concerns, escalate issues, and enjoy working together respectfully."

Each of the member organisations appoint internal Guardians, who are trained to 'promote and uphold their respective workplace cultures'. The Guardians act as 'confidential sounding boards' and listen to colleagues confidentially, give neutral support on issues and, where relevant, advise upon which processes and staff may assist.