Although there is engagement between the public and private sectors is some areas of culture, there has also been a tendency for the two worlds to develop separately. Theatre is one area where the private/commercial theatre has benefitted from interaction with the public sphere.
For many years London’s commercial (West End) theatres have often relied for their programming on productions of new plays first presented in public subsidised theatres. The obvious reason for this symbiotic relationship is a financial one: hitherto, public funding has enabled subsidised companies to be more adventurous in their programmes. Indeed, it is usually one of the requirements for grant-in-aid that companies demonstrate their willingness to present new work, be more experimental, take risks etc. In turn, the subsidised theatre companies (or at least some directors and playwrights etc) have benefited from the commercial transfer and exploitation of their work. There is also a tradition of actors and other performers moving between the subsidised sector, commercial theatre and broadcasting. The importance of the public sector to the commercial theatre is explored in a 2015 report on The Interdependence of Public and Private Finance in British Theatre (see chapter 3.3)