23 July - Lloyd Webber: Without government support now I could be forced to sell my theatres
Andrew Lloyd Webber has warned that the commercial sector does not have “much more petrol in the tank” and will face ruin without government support, with the composer claiming he could be forced to offload his own theatre stock as a result.
22 July - Lloyd Webber working with Equity to pay Cinderella cast during closure
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group is negotiating with union Equity to pay performers from the cast who are currently unable to work, despite a clause allowing producers to avoid payment when a show is suspended.
22 July - Theatre and concert hall decision in NI delayed
A decision on whether to reopen theatres and concert halls has been delayed by the Northern Ireland Executive until next week.
Venues were expected to reopen on 26 July but minsters want more time to consider the health implications.
21 July - Music, performing and visual arts lost 80,000 jobs in pandemic – new data
Music, performing and visual arts has been the creative sector hardest hit by the pandemic – losing 80,000 jobs and an estimated £4 billion in gross value added for the UK economy, according to new data.
21 July - Ambassador Theatre Group Will Require Proof of Vaccination in U.K. Theatres
Ambassador Theatre Group, which owns and operates nearly 60 venues across Britain, the United States, and Germany, will require proof of vaccination in its U.K. theatres.
Following the July 19 lifting of social distancing in U.K. theatres, Ambassador’s priority remains to keep its “audiences, staff, and visiting performers safe whilst we welcome people back into our venues,” according to a statement.
21 July - Latitude 2021: What being a Covid test event means for the festival
Thousands of people will head to Suffolk this week for Latitude Festival, which will be at full capacity as a government test event.
The four-day music and arts festival at Henham Park, near Southwold, begins on Thursday, when it will become the first major event to be held following the lifting of most Covid restrictions in England.
20 July - Funding cuts to go ahead for university arts courses in England despite opposition
Ministers have been accused of “one of the biggest attacks on arts and entertainment in English universities in living memory” after proposals to cut funding for arts and creative subjects in higher education were confirmed by the universities regulator.
20 July - Where is theatre’s promised insurance scheme?
Last winter, as we reeled from another last-minute government policy change, I wrote that the theatre industry felt like Sisyphus – the character from Greek mythology forever cursed to push a boulder up a hill, only for it to roll back down again.
20 July - Theatres set for cautious Freedom Day return as some say they won’t operate at capacity
The full reopening of London’s “world class” arts and heritage sector was hailed on Monday, although some theatres said they would not operate at 100 per cent capacity for the “audience’s peace of mind”.
20 July - Theatres accuse UK government of breaking Covid-19 insurance promise
20 July - Trade bodies warn of multimillion-pound losses as they issue call for insurance
The theatre sector will operate up to 50% below 2019 levels without a government-backed insurance scheme and could lose more than £700 million a year, trade bodies and unions have warned.
20 July - 'Theatre is now on its knees, there’s no way forward': Andrew Lloyd Webber begs Government for help after Cinderella is suspended
20 July - The rules may be relaxing, but that doesn’t mean all theatre audiences are
As the discussion goes on about what the relaxing of Covid restrictions means in practical terms for the industry, it’s easy to overlook the human factor. That people’s comfort levels – where they’re willing to go and what they’re willing to do – tend not to be governed by data.
19 July - Andrew Lloyd Webber slams 'illogical and damaging' isolation guidelines as his £6million Cinderella musical shuts - after just ONE case
19 July - Sam Mendes' Theatre Artists Fund to evolve into two-year bursary programme
19 July - ‘Freedom’ for the fit, worry for disabled audiences – is this what theatre wants?
At The Stage’s recent Future of Theatre conference, I warned against a two-tier cultural reopening that would welcome back the fit and able first, followed sometime later by disabled and ‘vulnerable’ people.
19 July - West End shows introduce Covid status certification at their venues
A variety of venues including major theatre chain ATG has, as of 16 July, introduced plans to check Covid Status Certification as theatres move to stage shows with full capacities from today.
19 July - ‘It all feels very, very fragile’: theatres face summer of risk and chaos
19 July - Theatre has become a money-making machine. We have a chance to change
Social distancing has significant, negative economic consequences for theatre, but we have also seen how it can encourage imaginative ways of working and new spaces – both digital and not – where we can share theatre.
18 July - The show can’t go on: Covid tracking app crippling theatres and venues
West End theatre and venue managers across Britain are calling on the government to let them rely on regular Covid testing of cast and crew to avoid the “crippling” isolation rules that are shutting shows.
16 July - A re-opening for everyone
Caution is evident among those across society who have been impacted most by the pandemic, including disabled people and the clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV). Their representatives tell us they are feeling frightened about revisiting creative and cultural spaces or returning to work in the sector as restrictions are removed.
16 July - Equity is calling on UK Gov to bring forward rule changes to self-isolation for the entertainment industries in England.
Equity are calling on the Government to bring forward rule changes to self-isolation for the performing arts and entertainment sectors in England.
This would mean – from the earlier date of 19 July, rather than the current planned date of 16 August – workers who come into close contact with someone who has Covid-19 do not have to self-isolate unless they test positive themselves.
16 July - 83% of UK organisations to return in person by September – survey
Eight out of 10 performing arts organisations in the UK are planning to return to in-person performances by September, well ahead of levels in the US and Canada, according to new analysis.
15 July - ‘Creativity crisis’ looms for English schools due to arts cuts, says Labour
Schools in England face a “creativity crisis” with the number of creative arts students and teachers down by as much as a fifth in some subjects after a decade of underinvestment, Labour has warned.
15 July - Six criticised for transferring to West End theatre without disabled access
West End musical Six has come under heavy criticism after announcing its transfer to the Vaudeville Theatre, which lacks accessible facilities for people with disabilities. Fans of the show have said they are “heartbroken” about the move, with disability activists describing it as “deeply disappointing”.
15 July - Government issues guidance for live events including strong recommendation that audiences wear facemasks
15 July - Liverpool's Royal Court to offer socially distanced seating areas until October
Liverpool’s Royal Court will make sections of its auditorium socially distanced until late October, it has announced, as it lays out its plans for audience safety after restrictions lift next week.
15 July - Elton John's Agent Accuses No.10 Of Blocking Progress On Post-Brexit European Touring
A leading music promoter who is pushing the government to renegotiate post-Brexit arrangements for the UK’s touring performers says there is a refusal to do so at “the highest level,” pointing the finger of blame at Downing Street.
15 July - Compulsory masks in theatres would give audiences the confidence to return
Two years ago, the suggestion that the recovery of our multi-million pound industry could, in no small part, rest upon a face mask, would have sounded laughable.
However, as the theatre industry looks toward full reopening without social distancing, the requirement that theatres adopt their own policy regarding audiences wearing masks risks becoming divisive.
15 July - Allyship is the arts’ best defence against online voices of hate
Artistic leaders are facing increasing levels of online racist abuse. Inc Arts Uk founder and director Amanda Parker says we must stand together to tell this vocal minority that they cannot interrupt the progress made towards inclusivity
14 July - Wales and Scotland confirm Covid rule relaxations for theatres
14 July - Masks or no masks? For the culture industry, Freedom Day brings nothing but confusion
14 July - Theatre owner criticises Boris Johnson after football fans inflict 'significant damage' to his buildings
14 July - New Diorama's free rehearsal complex to offer all spaces via lottery
14 July - Theatres deserve better treatment from government, says Sir Cameron Mackintosh
13 July - Theatre 'faces existential threat' despite July 19 relaxation
The theatre industry’s recovery faces a growing threat from “debilitating” self-isolation rules and lack of cancellation insurance, leading voices have argued as the government confirmed the end of all legal Covid restrictions on July 19.
13 July - Entertainment sector welcomes news vaccine passports will not be mandatory
13 July - Leading with inclusivity and kindness will result in a better theatre industry for all
After a year that has decimated the arts, seen artists lose income and opportunity, producers ‘un-producing’ and venues lit by ghost light, we all look eagerly ahead to rebuilding the industry we love.
12 July - Prime Minister reveals facemasks and Covid Pass app to be encouraged in full-capacity English theatres
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has elaborated on the confirmed plans to move to step four in the government roadmap to reopening.
Speaking to the public, Johnson said that: “We expect people to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces”, with the government set to encourage venues to promote the general wearing of masks.
12 July - Theatres gear up for reopening following 19 July Roadmap announcement
Following today’s official Government confirmation that remaining Covid restrictions will be lifted from 19 July in England, we look forward to being able to welcome full audiences back into our theatres.
12 July - Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre release guidance for venues from 19 July
12 July - How can we support freelancers? Give them salaries and a seat at the table
On Friday, I’m chairing an online discussion organised by In Good Company, as part of the annual Departure Lounge Festival at Derby Theatre. Along with Devoted and Disgruntled, Departure Lounge is always one of my favourite moments in the year, because it is a place where performance and discussion meet and those just starting out gather with the more experienced on equal terms. The conversation is often honest, sometimes painful and always generous.
10 July - Covid: Can the arts lead the green recovery from the pandemic?
As the arts and culture sector attempts to recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic, some creatives are making eye-catching attempts to prevent another crisis – this one environmental.
The likes of artists and musicians certainly have the power to influence others’ behaviour. And some of them are finding that climate action is actually making their work more marketable too.
09 July - Arts venues might lose out by mandating masks and other Covid-19 mitigations but it's the only socially responsible option.
This week’s announcement that venues can soon operate at full capacity gave me flashbacks.
It echoed the early days of the lockdown, when Boris Johnson told audiences not to go to theatres but had not issued an order to close, leaving them to hedge their bets or fight with their insurers for cover.
09 July - Closure of five South Bank arts venues resulted in £330 million loss to economy
The UK economy lost £330 million in the last financial year as a result of the closure of five cultural institutions on London’s South Bank due to the pandemic, according to a new report.
08 July - Sonia Friedman: Commercial sector is weeks from collapse and needs support now
Sonia Friedman has warned that the commercial sector is on its “last legs” and is just weeks from collapse, as she calls on the government to urgently introduce a bespoke scheme to help producers and theatres bypass current isolation rules.
08 July - Application details for third round of Culture Recovery Fund revealed
Arts Council England has released details of how organisations can apply for emergency funding totalling £20 million as part of round three of the Cultural Recovery Fund.
This is the first part of the Cultural Recovery Fund’s third round, with a continuity support funding strand to be announced later in the year.
08 July - Theatre company reveals digital output reduced carbon emissions by 98%
A theatre company has shown how staging digital shows resulted in a 98% reduction in its carbon emissions compared to in-person productions.
Creation Theatre found that a reduction in carbon emissions resulted from a combination of the removal of audience travel to and from venues and the minimised impact of the artistic team as a result of primarily working from home.
08 July - Theatre runs on optimism but at the moment it's hard to muster
In the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love, Rose Theatre impresario Philip Henslowe, played by Geoffrey Rush, faces theatrical crisis after crisis – yet he believes it will all turn out well. When asked the reason for his optimism he replies: “I don’t know. It’s a mystery.”
07 July - SOLT boss calls for testing system for theatre as alternative to isolation
Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre chief executive Julian Bird has called on the government to introduce a testing regime for theatre, which would allow productions to continue without having to follow self-isolation guidelines.
07 July - Theatre producers call on government to change isolation rules immediately after show cancellations
Theatre producers are calling for a change to Covid isolation rules given the precarious nature of reopening.
From 19 July, social distancing restrictions and mask wearing will no longer be mandated in almost all environments – meaning theatres can play to full capacity once more.
06 July - 'WHAT IS THERE TO BE PROUD OF AT THE MOMENT, GIVEN THIS MESS?': DAME SARAH CONNOLLY ON BREXIT
06 July - Theatre still faces serious challenges despite July 19 plans
I fear this could get worse for theatre, before it gets better.
Of course, the news that social-distancing restrictions are likely to be removed from July 19 is welcome. The fact that theatres will soon be able to sell at full capacity will mean the difference between closure and survival for the vast majority of productions. Many will focus on this announcement, but there is another story this week that is equally important for the short-term future of the UK theatre industry.
06 July - Theatre exec welcomes 'lifeline' planned lifting of restrictions on July 19
A theatre boss said the planned lifting of Covid lockdown restrictions on July 19 was “a lifeline” for the industry.
Julian Bird, chief executive of Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, said he welcomed confirmation of the date meaning that theatres can open to full audiences for the first time in 16 months.”
06 July - Theatres to keep safety measures in place once restrictions are lifted
Theatres are planning to continue with safety measures introduced during the pandemic once venues can reopen fully, as prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed all legal restrictions will be removed once Step 4 of the roadmap is reached.
This includes the need for face masks and social distancing, with Johnson claiming the country is on track for a full reopening on July 19. However, a final decision will not be taken until July 12.
06 July - Stages of grief: how theatre is helping communities say goodbye
05 July - Prime Minister: English theatres set to open at full capacity from 19 July
Boris Johnson has confirmed that “Step Four” on the roadmap to reopening will take place on 19 July.
In a statement delivered to the nation this afternoon, Johnson stated that the government will remove social distancing measures from 19 July, while also removing a mandate to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor spaces. Test and Trace will no longer be in operation, meaning venues do not need to collect attendance data for each visitor.
05 July - West End's Hairspray and Royal Court hit by isolation shutdowns
The West End production of Hairspray and Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner at the Royal Court have become the latest shows forced to cancel performances amid ongoing turmoil caused by Covid-19.
05 July - Critics should get a dressing down for overlooking costume designers
In Ivo van Hove’s unforgettable 2014 reinvention of A View from the Bridge, with set and costume design by long-time collaborator Jan Versweyveld, the character of Catherine – the niece with whom Eddie Carbone becomes increasingly obsessed – goes on a journey that is mirrored by what she’s wearing. As she breaks away from the control of her jealous uncle and becomes more independent, her clothes become brighter, contrasting with the subdued pastels she wore earlier in the play.
05 July - Never mind July 19, Covid cancellations are already ruining theatre’s grand return
04 July - I absolutely cannot stand the fact that football is being prioritised over everything else. The hypocrisy is palpable
This evening, I, along with millions of other people, will watch the eagerly anticipated England vs Ukraine quarter-final. However, I can’t help but feel a burning sense of injustice when pictures of excited fans, wildly hugging, erratically dancing and drinking like sailors, flood the television screen.
03 July - Music fans' confusion over insurance cover
Confusion surrounds the extent to which insurance covers people affected by Covid who have bought tickets to gigs and other major events, says Which?.
The consumer group said ticket insurance had become more attractive to people owing to the uncertainty created by the pandemic
02 July - Hackney Empire – 'If we don’t get the information we need, our future becomes perilous'
In the latest in our series looking at how UK venues are reopening, after closure due to the pandemic, Hackney Empire’s artistic director Yamin Choudury tells Chris Bartlett about making tough financial decisions and why the industry needs to reflect
02 July - National Theatre increased charitable spending by £10m last year
The National Theatre managed to increase its spending on charitable activities by £10m in 2019/20, despite subsequently having to make 150 redundancies as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to its latest accounts for the year to the end of March 2020, the charity completed a restructure in October last year that resulted in 150 staff being made redundant as it looked to save £6m because of the theatre being closed during the pandemic.
02 July - Government working on insurance to aid full theatre reopening – Oliver Dowden
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has indicated the government will step in to support the sector with a government-backed insurance scheme after July 19 – the date theatres are due to reopen fully.
Dowden told the House of Commons earlier this week that the government was likely to provide an insurance scheme should commercial providers be unable to offer any to the theatre sector.
02 July - Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth: 'Brexit has destroyed any hope for young musicians'
“I think the Brexit thing, it’s destroyed any hopes of chances for young musicians that are trying to make it,” Gillespie tells the BBC.
“I think Brexit is completely destructive to creative arts. But what do you expect?”
01 July - Australia - ‘Traumatic’: Hamilton and Come From Away musical cast and crew stood down without pay
Sydney’s lockdown has forced prominent shows including Hamilton and Come From Away to stand down their casts and crews without pay for the duration, as Live Performance Australia continues their call for a business interruption fund to cover the performing arts.
01 July - Arts organisations link up to stamp out ‘horrifying’ incidents of bullying
01 July - Deliveroo and Uber? Theatre marketing could use a shake-up post-Covid
Last week, an advert for Les Misérables: The Staged Concert jumped out at me from the pages of the Evening Standard. Over the past month, since some theatres have resumed socially distanced performances, it is one of the few productions that has regularly run full-page newspaper advertisements.