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Latest episode - Off Script: Mental health in the performing arts

Late nights, precarious work, performance anxiety, constant knocks to your ego and bank balance – the pressures of working in the performing arts can take its toll on anyone’s mental health. Claire Cordeaux (British Association for Performing Arts Medicine) joins Jackie Clune for a timely conversation about the impact an arts career can have on your mental health – and how you can seek support. They’re joined by actor and researcher Alice Brockway. Equity members also share their own personal experiences and Policy Officer Liam Budd shares news of Equity’s upcoming mental health commission. 

If you would like a full transcript of this episode email 

How to get help

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this episode or need support with your mental health, there is support available:

Safe Spaces

Too often, creative workers - especially women - experience harassment at work or on their commutes. What do recent moves to safeguard workers in the night time economy do to help protect Equity members from harassment? Is the problem actually more pressing in the workplace? Jackie Clune talks to Equity members and staff about their experiences of the issues - and what can be done to make the industry safer. We also hear about Equity's current campaigns including the Safe Spaces campaign amidst recent calls to make work safer - for everyone. 

With guests:

  • Charlotte Bence, Equity's Industrial Official - Theatre
  • Maureen Beattie, Equity President
  • Elaine Stirrat, actor, co-founder of Persistent and Nasty and Equity Glasgow General Branch Chair​
  • Zainab Hasan, actor and activist
  • ​Dame Harriet Walter, actor​
  • Hywel Morgan, actor and activist

Contains strong language.

Download a full PDF transcript of the podcast

Getting help

Rape Crisis provides a support service for women who have experienced sexual violence. Survivors UK supports men who have experienced rape and sexual abuse.

If anything at all makes you feel uneasy at work, talk to a specialist member of staff at Equity on 020 7379 6000. We're here to help. If you, or someone else, are in immediate danger call 999.

Further useful links

If you have feedback, questions or ideas for future podcast episodes contact Zoe Ellsmore on

Are the creative industries the preserve of the posh white man?

​It's often said that to get anywhere in acting, you need to come from the right school, have money behind you, and speak with the right accent. In the second episode of our podcast, host Jackie Clune talks to guests about the issues surrounding class in the performing and creative industries. What challenges do working class performers and artists face building - and sustaining - a career?

With guests:

  • Louise McMullan, Equity's Deputy for the General Secretary
  • Stephanie Greer, founder of Equity's Class Network
  • Valerie Edmond, actor and activist

Download a full transcript of the episode (pdf)

Part 2 of our episode asking whether the creative industries are still the preserve of the posh white man?

Host Jackie Clune talks to audio councillor David John and green activist Paul Valentine about the issues surrounding class in the creative industries, from education to funding to juggling jobs. We hear how Equity's class network is working to improve opportunities for all.

If you're interested in joining the Equity class network contact Lottie Stables on

Download a full transcript of the episode

Useful links