Equality & Diversity Policy

Innovation and new voices are at the heart of what the Royal Court is for. Opening access, being representative, and diversifying talent are core strategic aims led by the Artistic Director and Executive Producer, with Board support. All of our core processes and policies are driven by the aspiration for the Court to be a proven place of opportunity for all with diverse and brilliant plays on stage and renewed and inclusive public engagement.

Artistically, our mission is to actively seek out, mentor, nurture and place on our stages writers and artists from the widest possible pool of talent and ensure that their work reaches audiences across London, nationally and internationally.

Operationally, as a London theatre working in an international context our mission is for a staff team that represents the city and the globe; encompassing diversity in race, ethnicity, faith, disability, gender, class and economic disadvantage.

Diversity will be an item on every meeting agenda, from Board meetings to Town Hall meetings – to which all staff, including part time and casual staff are invited.

Diversity will be a key consideration in artistic and organisational planning and all staff are encouraged to take responsibility for furthering the aims defined in this document within their own areas and departments.

We are asking all our artists, stakeholders and staff to sign up to this ethos, as individuals and as an organisation and to commit to furthering diversity within our company and beyond it into the wider theatre and arts arena.

This document outlines our guiding principles with regard to diversity and representation within and for our organisation. In addition to this, and in order to ensure we achieve our aspirations, we will create an Equality Action Plan which is created in discussion with the staff and key stakeholders. This is a live document which is reviewed and updated regularly and shared with the whole staff team.

Creative Case for Diversity

  • We are outward-looking, inclusive, long-term, and development-focused – future-proofing ourselves by drawing the most brilliant talent not from the small proportion whose contacts, social mobility, opportunity, and class ease them into a professional career in theatre, but from the widest possible proportion of people for whom a theatre career may seem a distant or unimagined ambition.
  • In the commissioning and development of writers, the appointment of creative teams, and in the casting process we will never allow an all-white project to be produced at the Royal Court and we communicate this to visiting directors at the start of a production process.
  • We test our decisions throughout the process to ask if we have made enough active choices and fulfilled every opportunity across the project to be as representative, open and diverse in the talent as we can be.
  • We regularly audit creative artists working with us and foster relationships with practitioners who can bring new perspectives and new methods of working.
  • A culture of learning and progression is supported by rigorous and constructive evaluation for each project and an ongoing review process for organisational and operational systems which support the work.

Equal Opportunities

  • The ESC is an equal opportunities employer. It aims to ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex, race, colour, nationality, disability, ethnic or national origins, class, marital status, civil status, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, age, trade union activity, political or religious belief.  Applications from Deaf and disabled people are welcome.  Selection criteria and procedures will be kept under review to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted and treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities.  Improved advertising style and recruitment methods are reviewed regularly.
  • The General Manager is responsible for promoting the company’s approach to continually improving all aspects of diversity in regards to both staff and audiences. However it is the responsibility of all managers, members of staff and people employed by the ESC to ensure this policy is upheld. The composition of the workforce is reviewed on a regular basis by each Head of Department.

Leadership and Workforce Diversity

  • We embrace diversity of experience and thought, and we seek to cultivate leaders, as well as entry level and training opportunities.
  • We look outside of theatre to encourage applicants from the visual arts, dance, opera and the fringe whose perspectives and systems can help change us and make us better.
  • We identify key national and international talent that might enrich us.
  • Through trainee and apprentice schemes we create entry level opportunities to mentor and develop the best and the brightest talent from the widest pool, encouraging those for whom opportunities in theatre may have been hard to come by and supporting them across all departments to fulfil their potential.
  • We will review, refresh and revise our recruitment procedures and practices to ensure we are reaching, attracting and appointing a workforce who will bring to us a diversity of background and experience alongside their work based skills.

Audience Development and public engagement

  • Each campaign for each show will be seen through the prism of diversity
  • We will foster a culture of simultaneously attracting new audiences and encouraging repeat attendance and loyalty.
  • We will seek to broaden our local, national and international reach, using digital strategies alongside traditional marketing and personal contact, reaching out to all sections of our society.
  • We will be rigorous in collecting and analysing data and get to know our audiences.
  • We will strive to make our building and our performances as accessible as possible and audit this regularly, internally and externally. We want to be open, friendly and welcoming and provide an environment in which audiences, artists and staff come together to make and experience the best theatre.

Partnerships and Collaborations

  • We are committed to a culture of collaboration; embracing partnerships and working relationships which enrich both our artistic programme and our operational approach.

Governance and Board Development

  • We will work with our chair over the next 3 years to create a Board which is skilled, supportive and engaged as well as diverse, enshrining a rotation system for board membership in the constitution to ensure we can harness new voices and energies

We are committed to diversifying our funding base to support the broadest range of work.