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30 July - MPs enjoy free tickets worth £100k during Covid large event pilots

MPs enjoyed a bonanza of free tickets this summer worth more than £100,000 from gambling, drinks and sporting companies as they took advantage of the government’s Covid pilot scheme for large events.

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30 July - Equity: Employers should not require workers to be double-jabbed

Equity has argued that employers should not make full vaccination a requirement for people to be able to work, warning that this would “run counter to the pursuit of equality in our workplaces”.

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30 July - Broadway Will Require Workforce to Be Vaccinated

When Broadway returns in the fall, theater industry workers will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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30 July - Relaxing of tourist quarantine rules hailed as ‘next step’ in theatre’s recovery

Plans to allow fully vaccinated tourists from the EU and the US to come to England without needing to quarantine have been hailed as “the next step on our industry’s long road to recovery”.

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29 July - Sunday shows in London

Theatre is #BackOnStage and we’ve been thrilled to see so many of you back in our venues. Because we want to make theatre accessible to as many people as possible, the industry has come together to amend its traditional programming schedule. Many of your favourite West End shows in London are now offering performances on Sunday.

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29 July - City of Culture: Low ticket sales see shows cut for weekend gig

Coventry City of Culture organisers have blamed the so-called “pingdemic” and audience anxiety about returning to venues as they struggle with ticket sales for one of its key events.

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29 July - Finally, tourists can return to the West End – and Theatreland can flex its economic muscle

The UK reopening to visitors from the US and Europe will breathe new life into our world-beating theatres – if the Government sees sense

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29 July - Theatre Artists Fund & Sam Mendes recognised at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards

We are delighted to share that last week, in recognition of his work in spearheading Theatre Artists Fund, Sam Mendes received the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts During the Pandemic for an Individual.

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29 July - Delfont Mackintosh introduces Covid status certification for West End venues

Covid status certification will be introduced at a further series of venues across the West End, it has been announced.

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29 July - Finborough and Lawrence Batley among theatres sharing £70k upgrade fund

London’s Finborough Theatre, the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield and the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre are among 14 recipients of grants totalling £69,000 to support venues post-pandemic.

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27 July - Executive agrees on theatre and concert reopening

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed that theatres and concert venues can reopen from 18:00 on Tuesday.

Ministers met earlier after delaying the decision, saying they wanted more information about risks.

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26 July - Visitors migrate back to London's West End as venues throw open their doors

Visitors are beginning to migrate back to London’s tourism spots like the West End, as last week’s ‘Freedom Day’ meant theatres and clubs could throw open their doors for the first time in over a year.

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26 July - Stitched up: Commercial producers need to work with designers to avoid a costume crash

Timing is everything and the commercial sector is heading for a costume crash if it isn’t careful. We’re already seeing overwork and burnout as a result of every West End show opening in the same three months. With everyone signing a one-year contract, next year will be the same unless producers plan now.

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26 July - Executive to consider theatre and concert reopening

The Northern Ireland Executive is meeting to consider whether theatres and concert venues can reopen.

Ministers delayed taking a decision last Thursday saying they wanted more information about the risks.

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The Stage logo

26 July - Rules have been relaxed but the crisis for theatre still has a long way to go

This is a heart-in-the-mouth moment for British theatre. Welcoming back audiences should be joyous after the shutdown of the past 16 months – a time that has highlighted the resilience of those who work in theatre but also how fragile its infrastructure is.

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25 July - How the government's coronavirus curtain-raiser triggered a week of chaos for the arts industry

Despite the government lifting all legal restrictions in England for performance venues, many of them fell victim to the “pingdemic” – leaving casts and audiences confined to their homes.

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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.

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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.

Read more here

BBC News logo

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.

Read more here

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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.

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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.

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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.

Read more here

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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.

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The Stage logo

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.

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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”.

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20 July - Theatres accuse UK government of breaking Covid-19 insurance promise

Theatre unions and trade bodies claim the UK government has “let down a vital industry” by failing to back a Covid-19 insurance scheme to help their beleaguered sector.

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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.

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20 July - 'Theatre is now on its knees, there’s no way forward': Andrew Lloyd Webber begs Government for help after Cinderella is suspended

Exasperated and borderline tearful composer says theatre is close to the end after positive Covid test shuts down his new musical

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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.

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20 July - Freedom of speech? Not these days, if you’re an artist in Britain

Following two chilling actions against artworks, the right is revealing a disturbing autocratic tendency

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19 July - Andrew Lloyd Webber slams 'illogical and damaging' isolation guidelines as his £6million Cinderella musical shuts - after just ONE case

A devastated Andrew Lloyd Webber has blamed the Government’s ‘illogical and damaging’ isolation guidelines for the indefinite closure of his £6million musical Cinderella.

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The Stage logo

19 July - Sam Mendes' Theatre Artists Fund to evolve into two-year bursary programme

Sam Mendes has announced that the Theatre Artists Fund is to be developed into a two-year pilot bursary programme to provide long-term support to theatre freelancers.

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19 July - The Musical Theatre Academy to close down

The Musical Theatre Academy, first founded in 2009, will close down at the end of this academic year.

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The Stage logo

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.

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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.

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19 July - ‘It all feels very, very fragile’: theatres face summer of risk and chaos

After weeks of Covid-related cancellations, the industry is braced for what could be its most challenging period. Theatres in Glasgow, Manchester and London give their view

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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.

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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.

Read more here

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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.

Read more here

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16 July - National Theatre to return to full capacities from July 26

The National Theatre will return to full-capacity audiences later this month, it has confirmed.

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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.

Read more here

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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.

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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.

Read more here

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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”.

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15 July - Government issues guidance for live events including strong recommendation that audiences wear facemasks

The UK government has issued further guidance for live events as venues prepare to stage performances at full capacity.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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14 July - Wales and Scotland confirm Covid rule relaxations for theatres

Theatres in Wales are set to be allowed to operate at full capacity from August 7, the government has announced, although face coverings will remain a legal requirement.

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14 July - Masks or no masks? For the culture industry, Freedom Day brings nothing but confusion

Theatres want Covid passports; clubs and cinemas don’t. Some theatres will keep social distancing; some won’t. Confused? You’re not alone

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14 July - Theatre owner criticises Boris Johnson after football fans inflict 'significant damage' to his buildings

Photos on social media show people scaling the Wyndham’s Theatre, just off Leicester Square, as fans prepared for the Euro 2020 final at Wembley later on that evening.

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14 July - New Diorama's free rehearsal complex to offer all spaces via lottery

New Diorama Theatre’s free rehearsal and development complex will make all spaces available via a lottery when it opens in central London next month.

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14 July - Theatres deserve better treatment from government, says Sir Cameron Mackintosh

Sir Cameron Mackintosh has lambasted the government after the West End was “subjected to chaos” during Sunday’s football match and one of his theatres was damaged.

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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.

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13 July - Entertainment sector welcomes news vaccine passports will not be mandatory

The Government’s decision not to make domestic vaccine passports mandatory at live events has been welcomed by the entertainment industry.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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12 July - Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre release guidance for venues from 19 July

A plethora of rules will be removed when English theatres hit step four in the roadmap to reopening, in line with SOLT and UK Theatre guidance.

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