In a bid to save the UK theatre industry from collapse during the Coronavirus crisis, the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham has joined theatres across the UK in calling on the government for help.
The Gloucestershire venue has teamed up with theatres, producers, professionals and governing bodies from all over the UK to sign an open letter to the prime minister Boris Johnson, chancellor Rishi Sunak and culture secretary Oliver Dowden, urging them to invest in the country’s theatre industry and save it from total collapse.
Theatres were forced to closed when lockdown began in March 2020 and there is still no clear guidance on how or when they can reopen safely.
The open letter published on Wednesday 17 June 2020 cites UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre research, which predicts that 70 per cent of the country’s theatres will run out of money by the end of 2020, and a report from Oxford University that says as many as 400,000 jobs could be lost.
Everyman Theatre chief executive, Mark Goucher, said: ‘The theatre will do everything possible to protect jobs here in Cheltenham. The Everyman employs over 100 staff and will continue to support them for as long as possible. British theatre will be greatly impacted by this crisis for a very long time.
‘Even with the recent announcement of the lifting of certain restrictions, and the reduction in distancing guidelines, theatres are still quite some way from returning to business.
‘I would like to thank our customers for their support during this time and we look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible.’
During its closure, the Everyman Theatre has streamed a number of shows online; it has been running virtual Zoom shows, including An Evening In of Deception with the Everyman Theatre it has rescheduled cancelled performances wherever possible; and has announced brand new shows including Oti Mabuse: I Am Here at Everyman Theatre for April 2021.
This week, the venue took its first steps towards reopening as The Everyman Café Bar opened for takeaways on Tuesday 23 June 2020.
For more information, and to support Everyman Theatre, visit everymantheatre.org.uk.
Wednesday 24 June 2020
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