A new non-profit company launched this week aiming to help 30 young Londoners access drama school.
Open Door, which was founded by actor-writer David Mumeni, is a highly commendable initiative that will offer free tuition and auditions for leading drama schools including RADA, LAMDA and Central. It will also - crucially - offer free theatre trips and advice on how to apply for bursaries.
Entering the theatre profession, never mind sustaining a career within it, has never been harder, particularly for those from poorer backgrounds. And one of the major barriers is the cost of training, which is increasingly seen as a form of social filter for those entering the industry.
Open Door - and the myriad of funding schemes that help young people with their training - is a step in the right direction to break down these barriers. But more still needs to be done.
One obvious limitation of Open Door is the fact it will only help those who are London-based. I sincerely hope similar schemes will be launched for those from other parts of the UK; after all, as well as social inequality theatre is all-too-often accused of under-representing those from outside the capital.
I also hope that the young people it helps will receive support during the crucial early years of their careers. There's little point being helped into drama school only to find yourself economically frozen out of the industry thereafter.
There are other routes into the industry, of course. Some still make it through with no training at all, while the National Youth Theatre offers a low-cost vocational alternative.
Open auditions are also increasingly common, with musicals in particular using them as a way of drawing on a wider pool of talent (as well as generating column inches).
But the fact remains that a drama school training - particularly at the major institutions - is still the gold standard, and the most reliable entry point to the industry.
So we should applaud Open Door, whose patrons include Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Riz Ahmed and David Morrissey, for offering a very direct leg up to the career ladder.
Let's hope it will go some way to helping ensure the theatre profession is an adequate mirror to the society it represents.
- Theo Bosanquet
See Also: Our podcast featuring NYT's Paul RosebyBack to news