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Modern Slavery Statement

Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Statement
For the Royal National Theatre Group
Year ending March 2023



The National Theatre is an extraordinary creative hub where we make theatre for everyone. Brilliant plays are nurtured and staged by exceptional theatre-makers and shared with audiences around the world on stages, in cinemas, in schools and online. Freelance theatre-makers are commissioned to create inspiring and challenging work. We ignite the creativity of young people with our nationwide learning programmes and we build sustainable partnerships with theatres across the UK, supporting local projects to create lasting communities.

The National Theatre aspires to be a world-leading values led organisation where all our people are invested in and cared for, united by shared goals and common belief, inclusive and sustainable. We are committed to delivering the inspiring theatrical experiences for everyone and believe that lives are improved and enhanced through the stories we tell. The exploitation of people through modern slavery goes against all that the National Theatre stands for. The National Theatre and its subsidiaries are fully committed to running our organisation and operations responsibly and to identifying, addressing and preventing modern slavery in our operations and supply chains.

This statement is published on behalf of the Royal National Theatre (National Theatre) and its wholly owned subsidiaries, National Theatre Productions Ltd, National Theatre Enterprises, National Theatre Live, National Theatre Staging and National Theatre North America, in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Our structure, business and supply chains

The National Theatre is an incorporated registered charity based on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. As a charity, we are governed by our board of trustees. National Theatre is engaged in all aspects of theatre-making from developing new work and supporting artists and other theatre producers through our New Work Studio, creating costumes and sets on site, producing and staging work on our three stages; the Olivier, Lyttelton and Dorfman Theatres, filming our productions and those of other theatre companies to reach wider audiences through cinemas and online, and providing a broad range of outreach and education projects for communities of all ages and backgrounds and for state schools across the UK.

Each of our subsidiaries is incorporated and has its own independent board of directors. All the shares in our subsidiaries are owned by the National Theatre and any profits made are gifted to the National Theatre.

  • National Theatre Enterprises is our trading subsidiary which raises funds to support National Theatre through our food and drink offering, sponsorships, retail, and costume hires.
  • National Theatre Productions takes our productions out to the wider world through West End and Broadway transfers as well as UK and international touring.
  • National Theatre Staging, National Theatre North America and National Theatre Live are theatre and film production companies.

Our colleagues include permanent and fixed-term employees, freelancers and people working at National Theatre on behalf of our suppliers including those in film making, security, maintenance, and catering.

Our supply chains include manufacturers of raw materials used by our making departments, suppliers of the food and drink services at the South Bank, suppliers of digital services and technical hardware and software, theatrical equipment suppliers, film-makers and film equipment suppliers, digital transmission and distribution partners, professional and support service suppliers (accounting, tax, legal, security, maintenance, building support, software and technology), theatrical book publishers and other suppliers to our retail activities, providers of leasehold properties, online and high street retailers for a variety of adhoc supplies (such as items for props, costumes, stationary and office supplies). We do not categorise those who provide creative services to the National Theatre (such as scripts, designs, music and lyrics, direction and performance) as suppliers, considering them instead as freelance colleagues.

Our operations

Our vision is for a world where theatre is thriving and vital. To achieve our vision, the National Theatre is focused on four key objectives:

  1. Be sustainable: economically, environmentally, socially, with the right culture that takes care of our people and the world around us.
  2. Attract the best collaborators: offer unparalleled resources and the best environment to attract leading theatre-makers to create and enable world class productions.
  3. Innovate to expand our audience: offer unparalleled opportunities for work to be made, shared and celebrated live and digitally for the widest audience reach and impact.
  4. Inspire creativity and boost skills: work at scale, and with schools and communities across the UK, to fire imagination and inspire creativity, and in depth to develop skills, open career pathways and access to training in theatre.

Our values represent the expectations we have for ourselves and each other, and guide our day-to-day decisions.

  • Make a positive impact, striving to make the world a better place through theatre.
  • Bring your passion, applying energy and expertise to achieve the highest standards.
  • Collaborate to create, bringing ideas to life through teamwork and forging connection.
  • Empower each other, working to build and uphold an inclusive and equitable culture.
  • Act with confidence, with the courage to make clear, intentional decisions that support our shared vision.

Our policies and procedures reflect our Vision, Objectives and Values and accordingly the National Theatre’s commitment to ensuring there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. Our Anti-Modern Slavery Policy, in particular, details our practices and procedures intended to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chain and to make reporting any concerns regarding modern slavery easy and effective.

Steps we have taken

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic we have made some changes to our supply chain. By way of example, our cleaning was previously supplied via a cleaning agency. During the pandemic, we brought our cleaning services in-house which reduces the risk of modern slavery in our supply chain. Conversely, we now engage third parties for our food and beverage offering. To ensure that this does not increase the risk of modern slavery in our catering supplies, we have selected our suppliers with the utmost care, ensuring that our suppliers (and their suppliers) have an active approach to preventing modern slavery and effective anti-slavery policies and processes in place. We have also sought to create a unified team relationship between the National Theatre staff and those who work with us on site for our food and beverage suppliers, known as the NT Food & Drink team. We believe the collegiate atmosphere between all those who work for the National Theatre (directly or indirectly) will guard against any risk of exploitation within those areas of our supply chain.
Before entering any new arrangement where we perceive there may be any risk of modern slavery (for example due to the sector or geographical location of our supplier) we ensure the contract contains anti-slavery provisions and ask suppliers to complete a detailed questionnaire to enable us to assess the level of risk.

We have also evaluated the nature and extent of National Theatre’s exposure to the risk of modern slavery occurring in our supply chain by asking our heads of Department; those who actually know and have regular contact with our suppliers. Each was asked to consider their key suppliers and individuals with whom they have contact through work for the indicators of modern slavery. They were asked if they had any concerns in relation to any supplier or individual. No risk factors or concerns were identified.

Further action

Heads of Department were also asked to consider any risk areas or further actions that we could take to combat modern slavery in the next financial year (2023-2024). As a result, the National Theatre will focus its efforts in areas that our people believe will have most impact. We will make training on the indicators of modern slavery and ways to report concerns available to all staff. We will further raise awareness via staff meetings and a poster campaign. We will also carry out a supplier audit to update our supplier data which we shall interrogate to identify any further steps we can take to tackle slavery and human trafficking.

This statement is made in accordance with section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes the National Theatre and its subsidiaries’ slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year commencing April 2022 and ending March 2023.
This statement was recommended by the National Theatre Finance & Audit Committee on 25 September 2023 and approved by the National Theatre Board on 3 October 2023.

Damon Buffini
Chair of Royal National Theatre
3 October 2023