The government’s plan for UK theatre is vague and demoralising – here’s what we need

Theatre is one of Britain’s great success stories: an economic growth engine and vital civic force which after the pandemic has so much to offer, fuelling local economies, nurturing our wellbeing, and bringing meaning and dignity to our lives … These stirring words aren’t mine: they have all been used by senior cabinet ministers to describe the theatre industry. Last Friday the government released its “roadmap” for reopening UK theatres. There is just one problem: it’s woefully vague with no dates or hard information – or anything of practical use – and it has demoralised everyone I’ve spoken to in the industry. What good is a road map when you don’t know whether the little fuel you have left in the tank will last the journey? If the government truly believes in the value of the arts to the wellbeing of the nation, then it must get real and urgently replace words with action. Examine the waffle-free facts. At Royal & Derngate in Northampton 90% of our income is earned through ticket sales and bar revenue. Before March we had budgeted to receive more than a million pounds in such revenue a month. Now as the government’s job retention scheme… Read full this story

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