In the first great era of globalisation, from 1890 to 1914, Britain’s export industries included not only manufacturing but the performing arts. Musicals such as A Runaway Girl (1898) and The Silver Slipper (1901) transferred seamlessly from London to Berlin, Vienna, Paris and Budapest. Yet more than a century later, despite the continued vitality of British theatre and music, such cultural exchange risks being choked off.
The cost and bureaucracy of touring the member states of the European Union have increased dramatically since Brexit. Artists, actors and musicians now face a mountain of paperwork that did not previously exist. Touring organisations need to apply for visas for each member of a production or orchestra, and to manage the limits on the number of stops that