Monthly Archives: December 2018

Ai Weiwei designs Flag for Human Rights

A nationwide campaign jointly led by arts and human rights organisations launched today with the unveiling of a human rights flag by artist Ai Weiwei.

Marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the new flag was commissioned as part of Fly The Flag for Human Rights. Confronted by the real and present dangers of a world changing at break-neck speed, the initiative aims to offer hope and to educate generations to come about the absolute importance of universal human rights.

Sadler’s Wells is among the co-producers of the project alongside Fuel, Amnesty, Donmar Warehouse, Human Rights Watch, Liberty, National Theatre and Tate Art Galleries – with many other institutions from across the UK supporting as advocates.

Forest Gate Community School pupils holding the flag

Held at Forest Gate Community School in Newham, east London, the launch saw pupils reveal the flag and ended with an invitation to schools, libraries, offices and community centres across the country to come together  for a week of action on 24-30 June 2019 – to Fly The Flag in any way they like and celebrate that human rights are for everyone, every day.

Artist Ai Weiwei with the human rights flag. Image: Camilla Greenwell

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to design a flag for the 70th anniversary for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said Ai Weiwei. “As we all come to learn, human rights are the precious result from generation after generation’s understanding of the human struggle. I am proud to be a part of this force.”

Our Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding speaks at the launch

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets out basic freedoms that every one of us is entitled to, such as freedom of thought, speech, religion and belief. However, not everyone may know what these rights are and how they are currently protected in UK law,” commented our Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding. “Today, it is time to remind ourselves of our human rights and how to uphold them in our lives – at work, at school, in our communities – to fight any kind of discrimination. This project aims to raise awareness of our fundamental rights and of how we can all take action to seek equal dignity, equal justice and equal opportunity.”

Education packs have been produced and made available on the Fly The Flag website for schools, to encourage discussion on human rights in the classroom. You can watch a video of Ai Weiwei discussing the concept behind his flag design here.

Participants watch a video with Ai Weiwei

The human rights flag design







For more information and to sign up, visit or follow @FlyTheFlag70 on social media.

Sadler’s Wells backs plan to increase diversity of theatre workforce

Sadler’s Wells joined a group of nearly 100 UK theatres in signing up to an innovative action plan designed to increase diversity among theatre professionals working offstage.

Developed by BECTU, the UK’s media and entertainment trade union, the Theatre Diversity Action Plan aims to encourage greater diversity within the sector’s staff working in non-performance roles, and particularly to address the under-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people. The plan includes practical guidance as to how to improve the recruitment process, set realistic goals and avoid discrimination.

“Here in London we recognise that our diversity isn’t a weakness, but one of our greatest strengths,” said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at the launch of the plan, held at the English National Opera last week. “It isn’t a challenge to be managed, but an asset to be unlocked.”

Young Vic artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah speaking at the launch

Sadler’s Wells is among the leading London venues supporting the initiative, alongside the National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Old Vic and Young Vic, as well as commercial groups including Ambassador Theatre Group and Lloyd Webber Theatres.

“We’re delighted to be among over 90 theatres across England and Scotland supporting BECTU’s Theatre Diversity Action Plan,” said our Chief Operating Officer Britannia Morton, who is responsible for overseeing Sadler’s Wells’ Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy. “We firmly believe a diverse workforce is more creative and resilient – better at understanding and responding to audiences’ needs, problem-solving and driving innovation. This is why we are committed to improve and celebrate the representation of diverse talent among our staff.”

Find out more about BECTU’s Theatre Diversity Action Plan at

Top gift ideas for dance fans

Struggling to find the perfect gift? In all the excitement of festive lights, decorating trees, singing carols and filling stockings, we know Christmas shopping can be overwhelming. To make life a little easier, we’ve handpicked our top gift picks for the dance fan or culture-curious friend in your life. Happy shopping!

1. Sadler’s Wells Gift Membership

Featuring benefits including priority booking, exclusive brochures and discounts, our gift memberships offer backstage insight and allow a friend or family member to see more whilst saving 20%.
Gift memberships start at just £60 and come packaged up in our stylish membership packs – the perfect wrapping for a year’s access to world-class dance. Buy here.

2. Sadler’s Wells Keep Cup

Lightweight and eco-friendly – the Sadler’s Wells keep cup is a stylish way to enjoy a hot bevvy on the go whilst reducing your environmental footprint, for just £15. Buy here.

3. Sadler’s Wells Dance House Book

Discover how Sadler’s Wells shaped the world of dance with exclusive interviews with artists including Matthew Bourne, Sylvie Guillem, Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant, Wayne McGregor and Hofesh Shechter, online price just £15. Buy here.

4. DVDs and CDs

From Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! to Pina Bausch’s Orpheus and Eurydike and Akram Khans’ DESH our range of DVDs and CDs let the dance fan in your house enjoy some of the most iconic pieces we’ve presented again and again. From £5. Buy here.

5. Tickets to San Francisco Ballet

Tickets are an obvious choice for any dance lover, but if you’re overwhelmed with choice at our jam-packed spring 2019 season, here’s something that is sure to be a winner. The acclaimed San Francisco Ballet bring their whopper of a programme to Sadler’s Wells in 2019, with four triple bills to choose from. Their work spans classical to contemporary, with new works by world-famous choreographers like Alexei Ratmansky, and music ranging from Björk to Phillip Glass! From £15. Buy here.