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Black Friday: the chance to treat yourself, treat your friends, buy that TV you've always wanted. But for small business and the environment, it's not all it's cracked up to be. Here's why we're Black Friday Rebels – and why we're supporting The Fleabag Fund in partnership with the Royal Theatrical Fund 💙

Why we're anti Black Friday

Firstly, it's all a bit of a sham. A flash sale is one thing, but artificially boosting prices only to slash them on the day is a trick that customers are fast cottoning on to. 

But most importantly for us, Black Friday is bad news for small business. 

We want to keep our experiences well priced. We want our teachers and the companies who partner alongside us to flourish.

We don’t want our prices to fluctuate, we want them to be fair all year round, so that everyone is happy for the full twelve months.

So last year at The Indytute we decided to take a stand against Black Friday. Instead of slashing the prices of our experiences, we wanted to use the weekend to become charity and not price-based. So with other like minded companies we are the Black Friday Rebels.

For every gift that you purchase from us over Black Friday and Cyber Weekend, we will be donating £5 to charity. This year we have chosen The Fleabag Support Fund in partnership with the Royal Theatrical Fund.

What is The Fleabag Support Fund?

This is a fund that is very close to the hearts of The Indy founders, as we both started our careers in the heady world of stage management. Forty years apart, it has to be said, but although the technical aspects have moved on dramatically during the time frame the principles are the same. Somehow the show must go on.

Actors take the accolades at every performance and it is easy to forget that there is an army backstage. The costume department, hair and makeup, painters and prop makers, the lighting team, riggers, carpenters, fly and stage crew, the list goes on and on. Each one is a clog that helps to suspend the audience's imagination. 

These individuals are highly skilled and masters of their craft. Without them the show might go on, but it could also become decidedly lack lustre.

These creatives are usually self employed. In the best of times, it is not a career that promises huge financial rewards or a pension fund.

The best you can hope for is a living, which is compensated for by the fact that the theatre is a very special place. The home of live performance.

A home that now needs to shelter both performers and backstage crew from financial misery brought on by the Covid epidemic – and remember performers come in all shapes. Dancers, comedians, cabaret performers as well as classical actors all add to the extraordinary richness of our performing arts. 

They need to pay their bills and the theatres are shut. They have also by and large fallen through the gap in bail out funds.

The theatre industry is now rallying around those in need. Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her Fleabag producer Francesca Moody have recently set up 'The Fleabag Support Fund', which they work in partnership with The Royal Theatrical Fund which was founded in 1839 by Charles Dickens.

They knew that their stellar success with Fleabag could only help to raise funds and draw more attention to an industry that was closed overnight. 

They knew that their stellar success with Fleabag could only help to raise funds and draw more attention to an industry that was closed overnight. 

The objective of the fund is to provide a small crisis grant for all those who have been in active work within the UK theatre industry within the last year and have had contracts cancelled.

They are assessing every application with great care, indeed if you have an amount in savings of over £3,000 then you will not be eligible. 

The theatre and all those who work in it are now in the worst of times. Please help us to help our performing arts – we really couldn't survive without them. 

 

x  Calypso (Head of Everything)

FURTHER READING: Don't know what experience to buy? Try one of our fabulous stay-home party kits

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