Image description: David is smiling. He is a white man with brown eyes, short brown hair and a close-trimmed beard. He is wearing a blue shirt with no collar.

David Ralf, CEO of Theatre Deli: 

I would first like to thank our audiences, colleagues, and artistic community for their patience whilst we awaited the report of an impartial investigation into the allegations of racism which Theatre Deli received upon Nathan Geering’s resignation. We were working to retain Nathan within the organisation right up until the day of his resignation, and regret the outcome of these events. 

Theatre Deli commissioned this investigation to discover and identify any organisational issues present. The report was undertaken by Peninsula Face2Face, an HR consultancy service, who considered the available evidence impartially. Nathan contributed to the investigation alongside current and previous employees, and members of the Board of Trustees, allowing for consideration of further information and evidence in relation to the allegations made. We have provided Nathan with a copy of the full report.

The investigation found there to be no evidence to substantiate that Nathan was discriminated against by the organisation because of his race.

The recommendations of the report were as follows:

  • It is recommended there is no case to answer in respect of racism within the organisation, as there is no evidence to substantiate the allegations that any of the concerns raised by Nathan are linked to his race.
  • It is recommended that there are elements of this case that could have been approached in a different manner, specifically treating the concerns raised by Nathan as a formal grievance, regardless of whether he chose to raise one formally, or not. As such, it is recommended that the employer conduct training on Investigation, Disciplinary & Grievance.
  • It is recommended to conduct training on Managing Behaviours in the Workplace.

Before the end of the year, Theatre Deli will conduct training on Investigation, Disciplinary & Grievance, and Managing Behaviours in the Workplace to avoid a similar situation arising in the future. In addition to the recommendations of the report, we will work with new and current partners to expand our existing training programmes with a specific emphasis on Race and Allyship, and review our policies and procedures to ensure we are prioritising all aspects of diversity and inclusion in our organisation. 

Our mission is to have a working culture that is creative, collaborative, and egalitarian. Irrespective of the findings of the report, our colleague’s experience of Theatre Deli was distressing. We hope that learnings from this time, and upcoming grievance training, will ensure this experience does not occur again. We know that racism is pernicious, and there is work to do to ensure working cultures are actively anti-racist.

We also understand that many watching this situation unfold will have had their trust in Theatre Deli damaged. We hope that our response to this incident will help to improve us organisationally and we will work to rebuild your trust in us. We understand that may take time, and we are committed to that process. We will go above and beyond the recommendations of the report to ensure that all people feel welcomed, valued, and safe in our organisation.

Image description: Pam is a Black Woman with brown skin. Pam wears glasses. She has collar length black hair that is worn loose. Pam is standing, addressing an audience. Photograph by Sheila Burnett.

Pam Fraser Solomon, Chair of the Board of Trustees:

I would like to thank Peninsula Face2Face for their impartial and confident investigation into this difficult situation. The Board of Trustees have read and accepted the findings of the report, and the recommendations will be fulfilled swiftly by Theatre Deli. The organisation – trustees and staff alike – will go further, by taking part in Race and Allyship training and reviewing our policies and procedures.

Recently, the Sheffield Race Equality Commission found that there was endemic racism in the city. Racism exists in our culture, and as a systemic issue it must remain an organisational responsibility for all of us to tackle head on. We are, of course, not perfect, and we are committed to becoming an anti-racist organisation, taking conscious and intentional action against any form of prejudice. We hope to rebuild any trust broken over this time with our colleagues, our artists, our sector, and our audiences.

Operating from Sheffield and London, Theatre Deli has been a driving force within the arts since 2008, taking over empty spaces in city centres, and creating hubs that support emerging artists, companies, and communities whose identities, backgrounds, disciplines, or work are underrepresented in theatre. Our ambition is to support a richly creative environment where everyone can collaborate and thrive. 

If you have any questions or require more information about the above statement, please contact [email protected].