Coronavirus & The ALD

ALD Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)


The ALD is well aware that this is an extremely difficult time for all our members of any category.


As shows and events are closing or being postponed around the world we are seeing our work and income streams being cut. Freelancers could find this a huge strain. I’d like to make you aware that the ALD are talking to SOLT, UK Theatres, Equity and BECTU to find out how best to help our members. 


I would like all our members and non-members to know the ALD are here, listening, and offering advice where we are able to. Please contact and also remember your unions have helplines that are available especially in these trying times. We have included various links to information below. There is always someone at the end of a phone or email, including myself, and we’re open to anyone.


On the whole we all have fantastic jobs working in live performance and entertainment industries. We allow others relax, have fun, and escape from the concerns of the every day. However, we also run careers and businesses and are therefore understandably thinking through and are concerned for the commercial impact of what is happening. Many members will be worried and angry that they’ll be out of pocket. For now, focus on getting home, because we can all revisit those topics at some point in the future once we’ve had the chance to get back up, dust ourselves down and assess the impact of what has occurred. The show can wait, you and your families’ wellbeing cannot.


May we all feel more motivated to share our love and kindness to one another at this time, and to even share our loo roll!

Johanna Town

Chair - The ALD


ALD Coronavirus Financial Survival Guide

It’s unprecedented: our industry has been brought to an abrupt, dramatic stop by the coronavirus and the measures being put in place to help control its spread. Running shows have been suspended. Events have been cancelled. Upcoming theatre shows have been ‘postponed’, though it’s not hard to imagine those postponements quickly becoming cancellations. Those in jobs are suddenly finding themselves without jobs; those who are self-employed, suddenly finding themselves without work.

The important thing: you are not alone. Everyone in our industry is in the same position. Many beyond our industry too.

We thought it might be helpful to pull together a quick ‘financial survival guide’ - things that you can and should do to help see you through these difficult times.

The latest version is available from the resources page of this website:


2020/21 Membership Subscriptions

In light of the UK government advice on the evening of Monday 16th March about increasing social isolation, and the resulting news of theatres across the country closing, the ALD is obviously aware that financial times for our Professional and Affiliate members working in the industry are going to become very acute.


For that reason we have taken the decision that if you are a freelance or self-employed member in these categories we will be able to offer you a payment holiday of your 2020/21 subscriptions until the 1st July 2020.  In such cases you should contact the ALD office to inform us that you wish to take up this option.




From now until May 15, ETC is offering all their LearningStage classes FREE. Log into MyETC and access here:


Vectorworks have made their Essentials Training Seminars. free to attend. Click here and register through the eventbrite links for Architect, Landmark and Spotlight sessions taking place throughout each month. 


Drafty LX + Drafty AV have further extended their free trial again. This means all new subscriptions to the LX and AV plans this month get three months free rather than the usual 30 days. Students can apply for more. For more information please click here.


Strand are  currently offering a range of free training courses via the following link -

The following sessions EMEA sessions are scheduled:

13 May 08:00 - 09:00 BST Strand Dimming and Power Distribution (60 mins)
14 May 08:00 - 09:00 BST VisionNet Overview (60 mins)
18 May 08:00 - 09:00 BST Theatre Systems Design Basics (60 mins)
19 May 08:00 – 09:00 BST Theatre Systems Specifications and Commissioning (60 mins)
20 May 08:00 - 09:00 BST Strand Dimming and Power Distribution (60 mins)
21 May 08:00 - 09:00 BST VisionNet Overview (60 mins)


Chroma Q have made their Vista training videos available for free on their Youtube channel. To subscribe to their channel and view the videos please click here.


ALD Member Mark Doubleday is generously offering free half-hour Vectorworks training tutorials to allow fellow professionals to pick up some new skills during this enforced down time. Members can sign up for a session of their choice and submit a specific topic that they would like to learn about which Mark will tailor the lesson to. For more information please click here.


ALD Member James Simpson has added to his collection of WYSIWYG training videos on his Youtube channel. To subscribe to James' channel please click here.


To support teachers & students during social distancing, anyone with an educational email address can have a free temporary QLab 4 Pro Bundle license starting now and expiring on June 1. To get yours, create an account at and email


If you feel you could offer any kind of remote or online professional development and training to fellow members, then please do let us know so we can investigate how to facilitate it. We will update this page as we learn of more opportunities.

Live Performance Streaming

In these times of closed theatres and cancelled events, there are a number of companies utilising the internet to broadcast past and even current work for people to watch in the interim.


Theatre publications and websites including The Stage, What's On Stage and Culture Whisper have created comprehensive lists of streamed performances, which they are updating daily:


BBC Arts have launched Culture in Quarantine, which has a wide range of resources including streamed performances, creative classes, virtual gallery tours, games and more:


And Set & Costume Designer Alisa Kalyanova has also created this thorough spreadsheet of available streaming options:




Please follow the links below to the relevant advice that members of the industry have made available.  If you are a member of a Union, please contact them in the first instance but note the request for specific information or advice rather than discussing ‘what if’ scenarios.  They will be very busy advising other members, so you may need to be patient.


Public Health England:



Equity specific advice for Creative Teams:




Arts Council England:

Creative Scotland:

Arts Council of Wales:


Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre:

Independent Theatre Council:


National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA):

Little Theatre Guild:


UK Theatre Industry Coronavirus Support Facebook Group​: