November 2020

The Stage logo

30 November - We need a government that works with theatre, not against it

Last Thursday’s news of tiers – which are likely to remain in place through the winter – brought little consolation to those who have been working non-stop to bring audiences safely back into theatres. London can stage shows – with severe limitations – but many are not so lucky.

Read more here

The Guardian Logo

29 November - Oh yes they are: drive-in pantomimes salvage Christmas tradition

Hardy theatre companies offer fun in the cold, even as restrictions tighten for manyy.

Read more here

The Telegraph Logo

27 November - No Fringe, no future: why the next Phoebe Waller-Bridge may be quitting British theatre

With no Edinburgh Fringe and no prospects, young theatre-makers are beginning to walk away. Meet lockdown’s talented ‘lost generation’

Read more here

The Stage logo

27 November - Audiences confident to attend venues but sceptical of rapid testing – survey

Returning arts audiences are reporting feeling confident and safe with the measures in place at venues, a new study has claimed.

A survey of nearly 5,000 arts audiences found that 25% had already returned to in-person cultural events since organisations began to reopen earlier in the year, with younger people more likely to have resumed attendance.

Read more here

Evening Standard Logo

26 November - Evening Standard and TikTok join forces for £120k fund to support theatre talent of the future

The Evening Standard has joined forces with TikTok to launch a £120,000 fund to support the next generation of theatre stars, who are struggling under the impact of Covid-19.

High-profile figures including award-winning actress Helen McCrory, theatre supremo Andrew Lloyd Webber and Young Vic boss Kwame Kwei-Armah have joined the panel to help decide who receives the 12 grants, each of £10,000. 

Read more here

The Stage logo

26 November - Tier 3: Theatres respond to continued closure

Cities including Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester have been told they will move into Tier 3 Covid-19 regulations next week, with theatres in those areas forced to remain shut while under such restrictions.

The tiers are due to be reviewed on December 16, with some venues in the highest category hoping they will be allowed to drop down into lighter restrictions and reopen in two weeks’ time.

Read more here

The Telegraph Logo

26 November - Lockdown is killing small arts venues – I see it on my street

The coronavirus lockdown, and constantly changing guidlines, have put small venues like the Bridge House Theatre in an impossible position

Read more here

The Stage logo

26 November - Qdos boss vows to try to save pantos in Tier 3 despite ‘appalling’ government guidance

Pantomime producer Michael Harrison has vowed to try and save the five productions he has lined up that have fallen into Tier 3, as he criticised the government for its lack of leadership.

The producer had 10 pantomimes lined up through his company Qdos across the country, including Pantoland at the Palladium.

Read more here

The Stage logo

26 November - England tiers announced: London to reopen theatres, but Manchester and Sheffield face tougher restrictions

Tiers have been announced for England, which dictate which theatres can reopen in December.

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced that London will be in Tier 2, which means productions scheduled for December – including musical Six and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – will be able to continue with plans to open.

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

26 November - Relief and devastation: Theatres respond to the new tier rule announcement

Venues and thought leaders across England have responded to the new tier rules revealed today.

You can find out more about which tiers different parts of the country have been placed into here.

Under the new rules, the West End will be permitted to reopen with social distancing measures and capacity caps, but other parts of England will be forced to remain closed from 2 December until at least 17 December.

Read more here

The Stage logo

26 November - The West End may be at risk, but history suggests it will recover

From old master paintings recreated by models to real steam trains on stage, academic and author Rohan McWilliam says London’s West End invented the concept of a night out, and, despite the pandemic, its eventful past suggests it will bounce back

Read more here

The Telegraph Logo

25 November - What the tier system means for your Christmas trip to the theatre

The post-lockdown tiers will pile on more uncertainty and economic pain – and the government is frustratingly short on details

Read more here

The Stage logo

24 November - Ever-changing Covid restrictions leave theatres and freelancers in dire straits

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus is cursed to forever push a huge boulder up a hill in Hades. Every time he gets close to the top, straining every sinew in his body to do so, the sheer weight of the boulder sends it rolling back down the hill and Sisyphus has to start again. Ad infinitum.

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

24 November - New tier rules explained – how they might affect English theatres

Given all the questions surrounding the new lockdown rules, we thought we’d provide a succinct guide to what’s going on, what needs to be confirmed and how best to go forwards if you’re a ticket holder.

Read more here

The Stage logo

23 November - Theatres warn tougher restrictions will have 'major financial impact' on sector

Theatres have criticised new restrictions planned for December, claiming they are “more onerous” than previous ones and will have major financial ramifications for the sector.

Read more here

Official london Theatre.com icon

23 November - Theatres within Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas to reopen and those within Tier 3 to remain closed

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson today announced the new restrictions under the new three-tier system that will be imposed as of 2nd December.

Theatres within Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas can reopen with social distancing and limited audiences, while those within Tier 3 will remain closed.

Read more here

The Stage logo

23 November - Theatres in Tier 3 areas forced to close under 'tougher' Covid-19 regulations

Indoor entertainment venues including theatres will have to close in areas placed in Tier 3 of the government’s localised system of Covid-19 restrictions.

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

23 November - Theatres in England to reopen in tier one and two areas in December – tier three venues to remain closed

Theatres in select parts of England will be able to reopen from 2 December in line with new tier guidance set out by the UK government.

Largely described as a “tougher” version of the tier system seen earlier this autumn, any venue placed in “tier three” (the very high alert band) will not be able to stage shows in front of live audiences (though live-streamed productions will be permitted, as has been the case throughout November).

Read more here

The Stage logo

23 November - More than just face masks: Covid-safe working means putting people first

As one of the creators of the Costume in Theatre Association’s Covid-safe guidelines, I felt well prepared to implement safe protocols when I worked in-between the lockdowns. But it was still a steep learning curve to put the principles into practice.

Read more here

The Stage logo

23 November - Freelancers have been overlooked and underpaid for too long

Food banks in Manchester have called upon the city’s huge football clubs – Manchester City and Manchester United – to pay their staff a real living wage, saying many are struggling to put food on the table. These are Premier League teams worth millions, who pay footballers, managers and executives vast sums, but whose cleaners and other workers earn so little that many rely on food banks to feed their families.

Read more here

The Guardian Logo

22 November - Judi Dench and Ian McKellen head cast for Zoom show in aid of UK theatre workers

Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Maggie Smith are among some of the biggest names in British theatre who will join forces for a one-off Zoom performance in aid of the struggling arts industry.

Read more here

The Guardian Logo

22 November -Manchester theatre staff use skills to upgrade homes after Covid layoffs

A number of theatre workers who lost their jobs when the coronavirus crisis forced live venues to close are retraining to insulate and upgrade homes as part of the fight against climate breakdown.

Read more here

New York Times Logo

21 November -Met Opera Seeks Pay Cuts in Exchange for Pandemic Paychecks

The Metropolitan Opera has offered to start paying many employees who have been furloughed without pay since April up to $1,500 a week in exchange for new union contracts that include long-term pay cuts, the company’s general manager said in a meeting with staff on Friday.

Read more here

The Stage logo

20 November -Government urged to appoint commissioner to support freelancers

The government is being urged to appoint an official who would support the freelance workforce to become more resilient after Covid-19, in a letter from the Creative Industries Federation.

Read more here

The Guardian Logo

20 November -'Tis the season for solo pantos: Cinderella and co are going it alone

From Polly Lister playing a dozen characters in Scarborough’s Snow Queen to Tom Binns’s solitary Buttons, one is fun for 2020’s pantomimes

Read more here

The Stage logo

20 November -Purists look away, but Covid may have ended the stage/screen divide for good

With vaccines on the horizon and widespread distribution anticipated by the spring of next year, there’s every reason to hope that live performances will grow ever more prevalent as 2021 progresses. Producers will initiate new projects, companies and audiences will gather, and marquees will relight. What relief, what pleasure.

Read more here

The Stage logo

19 November - Theatre managements face tough choices in Lockdown 2.0

The industry’s big employers are grappling with impossible decisions during the second lockdown, says Alistair Smith – but the least they can do is communicate sensitively with their workers

Read more here

The Stage logo

19 November - Wearied theatremakers must take ferocious care of each other

With the news of a second national lockdown, the industry must reinvent itself and make new plans, says deputy artistic director Erica Whyman. But this time, creatives are tired and will need to stand together to find a way through

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

19 November - Soho Theatre to partner with Amazon Prime Video for three-series deal

Soho Theatre in central London has signed a multi-series deal with Amazon Prime video to present and broadcast shows in the UK, created on its stages.

Launching next month with season one (featuring 11 existing shows), further series will be unveiled over the course of 2021, each of which will be filmed at the capital’s theatre

Read more here

The Stage logo

19 November - Theatre must redouble efforts to look after its workforce’s mental health

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted our sector’s many inequalities, says producer Richard Jordan – let’s use this moment to reflect on how best to build a fairer industry as we look to reopening

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

19 November - Shakespeare's Globe to stream Sandi Toksvig Christmas show on-demand next month

Sandi Toksvig’s festive romp Christmas at the (Snow) Globe will be presented on-demand online from 21 December to 5 January.

Filmed on-stage at the London venue, the show runs for 45 minutes and has direction by Pip Broughton.

Read more here

The Stage logo

18 November - UK will miss out on EU cultural funding boost to aid Covid recovery

The European Union has agreed to bolster its financial provision for culture by a third more than planned over the next seven years to help its member states rebuild and support their arts sectors following Covid-19.

Creative Europe, to which the UK will lose access from January, is one of 10 EU programmes given an uplift in funding alongside the EU’s final financial budget for 2021 to 2027.

Read more here

Sky News Logo

18 November - ‘2020 was meant to be my year’: How COVID-19 is impacting emerging performers

The arts industry has been hit hard by COVID-19.

It is worth £10.8bn a year to the UK economy, but the lockdown has caused venues to close, events to be cancelled, and left thousands of jobs at risk. 

Read more here

The Stage logo

17 November - Forensic research is needed to count cost to society of shuttering theatre

At the beginning of this year, I spent a day with artists and researchers to help shape the research agenda of the new Centre for Cultural Value based at the University of Leeds.

Countless scientific studies have proved that structured, participatory group activities are the most impactful forms of arts engagement. They nourish the mind, body and soul through active movement and togetherness.

Read more here

Byline Times logo

17 November - Brexit’s Toll On Britain’s Creative IndustriesThe Sadness & Madness that Awaits

Composer Howard Goodall sets out what performers will need to know in a post-Brexit world and reflects on the sorrow of the Government’s desire to erect barriers, when the job of creatives is to tear them down

Read more here

The Guardian Logo

17 November - Arts After Brexit study warns of two-year cultural hiatus in UK

Cultural organisations in the UK could face a two-year artistic hiatus triggered by Brexit in which they become more inward looking and less international, according to a report on the consequences of leaving the EU.

Read more here

The Stage logo

16 November - ACE refines terms for recovery grants to avoid 'double funding' of companies

Arts organisations that have been awarded money from the Culture Recovery Fund will only be allowed to apply for the newly extended furlough scheme if those staff costs are not covered by the rescue grant, it has been confirmed.

Read more here

The Stage logo

16 November - Ambassador Theatre Group to bring 2,500 casual staff back on to furlough scheme

Ambassador Theatre Group is to invite 2,500 of its casual and zero-hours workers on to the government’s furlough scheme. The announcement follows earlier indications that the company would not place casual workers back on to the scheme, which drew criticism from staff.

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

16 November - Cancelled theatre shows and rescheduled dates – a rolling list of what's happening during the second lockdown

This is a rolling, non-exhaustive list (we’ve tried our best!), so please check back in or check venue websites. We want to really emphasise this, be patient – a lot of venues, in conjunction with producers, are still trying to work through the current guidance and get plans ready.

Read more here

The Stage logo

13 November - Welsh theatre closures 'unjustifiable', government warned

Theatres in Wales have attacked “unfair and unjustifiable” Covid-19 restrictions that are keeping them closed while other leisure and entertainment venues can reopen.

They are warning that the rules could have severe consequences on the sector and its workforce, and that could perpetuate an idea that theatres are not safe for audiences.

Read more here

The Stage logo

13 November - All Battersea Arts Centre events to be pay-what-you-can from spring 2021

All future events at Battersea Arts Centre are to be pay-what-you-can or free from spring 2021, artistic director and chief executive Tarek Iskander has revealed.

The plans were outlined during a panel discussion on how arts organisations put a value on audience engagement as part of the Achates Philanthropy Foundation’s Art, Audiences, Money conference on November 12.

Read more here

The Stage logo

12 November - The Show Must Go On campaign raises £500k for theatre charities

The Theatre Support Fund, which created The Show Must Go On merchandise, has raised more than half a million pounds for performing arts charities during the pandemic.

Set up six months ago by Chris Marcus and Damien Stanton to help theatre workers affected by Covid-19, the Theatre Support Fund has taken more than 40,000 orders for its The Show Must Go On! merchandise and raised more than £500,000.

Read more here

The Stage logo

12 November - Covid impact on arts philanthropy worsening, with 35% decline in 2020 – study

Performing arts organisations in the UK are experiencing a 35% year-on-year drop in the number of donations they have received in 2020, according to new research that reveals a worsening picture of the pandemic’s impact on cultural philanthropy.

Read more here

BBC News logo

12 November - Covid restrictions 'unfair' on theatres, sector says

Coronavirus rules are not fair on theatres, a group representing the sector in Wales has said.

Cinemas, bingo halls, casinos and museums are able to reopen after the 17-day firebreak ended, but theatres are not on that list.

Creu Cymru, which represents theatres in Wales, said they were “devastated” and it was “unjustifiable”.

Read more here

The Stage logo

11 November - ATG accused of ‘lack of care’ for not putting casual workers back on furlough

Ambassador Theatre Group has been accused of showing a “complete lack of care” for not placing its zero-hours and casual workers back on the government’s furlough scheme.

Read more here

The Stage logo

11 November - Neil Mendoza: Arts sector struggles to quantify its value to Treasury

The government’s commissioner for cultural recovery and renewal, Neil Mendoza, has urged arts organisations to demonstrate how they can contribute to the nationwide recovery from the pandemic, arguing that the sector “finds it very hard to quantify” the positive impact it has on communities when making its case to the Treasury.

Read more here

The Stage logo

11 November - Inc Arts launches fund to support people affected by racism in the arts

A fund has been launched to provide free support to people who have been affected by racism in the arts.

Inc Arts, which campaigns for greater inclusion in the cultural sector, set up the fund following its recent anti-racism conference, Speak – Listen – Reset – Heal.

Read more here

The Stage logo

11 November - Welsh arts recovery package given £10m boost from government

The Welsh Government is allocating an additional £10.7 million to its arts recovery package “in recognition of how hard the sector has been hit” by Covid-19.

It will go towards supporting the large number of applications from organisations needing financial help, and will be used to open a third phase of Wales’ freelancer fund.

Read more here

The Stage logo

11 November - Amateur dramatics and Covid: ‘We keep going against the odds’

As with their professional counterparts, amateur theatres around the country have been hit hard by Covid, but the pandemic has not curbed their desire to produce work and connect with communities. Amateur theatremakers tell Dave Hollander how they are staying afloat and harnessing technology in lockdown

Read more here

British Vogue Icon

10 November - Emilia Clarke & Jude Law On Their Dream Role & Why Theatre Is Important

In a timely reminder that we not only need to celebrate this country’s unique theatre landscape, but to protect it, British Vogue gathered 10 of the London stage’s finest performers to find out what they love most about going to the theatre. From Jude Law to Emilia Clarke, Paapa Essiedu to Lily James, Sophie Okonedo to Andrew Scott, as well as Arinze Kene, Rosalie Craig, Sheila Atim and Indira Varma, find out how Britain’s starriest thespians learn their lines and the productions they regret missing out on.

Read more here

The Stage logo

10 November - £1.4m fund to support community activities promoting well-being

A new £1.4 million social-prescribing fund has been launched to support community activities that promote well-being.

Groups of organisations will be able to apply to the Thriving Communities Fund, launched by Arts Council England and the National Academy for Social Prescribing, for grants of £25,000 to £50,000. The money will be used to enable them to carry out activities in areas including arts and culture, physical activity, financial well-being, and nature and the environment.

Read more here

The Guardian Logo

10 November - Waiting in the wings: how a second lockdown halted theatre's comeback

New shows from Manchester’s Hope Mill, London’s National Theatre and the Red Ladder touring company have all been cut short by Covid as venues close their doors once more

Read more here

The Telegraph Logo

10 November - The vaccine will help theatre heal, but the scars will take an age to fade

Science may have finally made theatre ‘viable’ again. But no need to jump for joy just yet e

Read more here

The Stage logo

09 November - Oliver Dowden: ‘I will fight to ensure lockdown restrictions end on time’

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has vowed to fight hard for current lockdown restrictions to be lifted as soon as possible, claiming the creative industries will be “at the heart of our national recovery”.

Read more here

The Stage logo

09 November - West End’s MP vows to secure more clarity for theatres post-lockdown

Westminster MP Nickie Aiken has argued that despite the second lockdown there are “green shoots” for the West End and London’s theatre industry, but has pledged to push for more clarity on the details of how the sector can emerge next month.

Read more here

The Stage logo

09 November - Creatives will work through lockdown to get venues ready, but should they?

So here we go again, Lockdown 2: The Sequel. If our argument was that we deserved government support because we were still shut down while everyone else had returned to work, their solution of shutting everyone else back down to match us was perhaps not quite the answer we’d hoped for.

Read more here

The Stage logo

08 November - Director Caroline Wilkes: It’s time to change theatre's working practices to support carers

Theatre’s working patterns make it almost impossible for carers to participate in a meaningful way. Caroline Wilkes argues that the industry would benefit from enabling directors and creatives to job-share

Read more here

The Stage logo

07 November - Opera North and the Lowry among latest Culture Recovery Fund recipients

Opera North, the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and the Lowry in Salford are among arts organisations receiving a share of £18 million in the latest tranche of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund

Read more here

Arts Council England Logo

07 November - Culture Recovery Fund: Lifeline for culture organisations across the country

Over £18 million in funding will go to eight arts and cultural organisations around the country in the second round of Culture Recovery Fund grants between £1 million and £3 million we’re awarding on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This funding builds on £75 million in grants over £1 million for iconic venues like Shakespeare’s Globe and the Sheffield Crucible last month.

Read more here

The Times Logo

07 November - Saving the arts is vital for rebuilding a healthy society

Imagine a lockdown with no books, art, films, music, plays or architecture. That is to imagine a world without arts. During lockdown, culture keeps many of us engaged, rooted and sane.

Read more here

The Stage logo

06 November - More than 200 Scottish arts organisations awarded £11.75 million

More than 200 arts organisations and venues in Scotland have been awarded a share of £11.75 million, in the first tranche of the Scottish government’s recovery fund.

The Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund is administered by Creative Scotland and aimed at organisations that “contribute to the rich and diverse cultural life of Scotland (and) have been significantly impacted by Covid-19”.

Read more here

The Guardian Logo

06 November - Rufus Norris on the National Theatre's new films, saving panto and the UK arts crisis

The NT’s artistic director says a forthcoming Romeo and Juliet film will be unlike any other production – and reveals his plan B for a lockdown Dick Whittington

Read more here

The Stage logo

06 November - Keep the faith – together we can pave the way for theatre’s recovery

The latest lockdown presents a colossal challenge for the industry, but if we support each other the show will go on again, says producer Richard Jordan

Read more here

BBC News logo

05 November - More calls for help for arts freelancers who 'face using food banks'

The government has been urged to do more to help performers and other arts freelancers as venues are shut again during lockdowns in England and Wales.

Labour MP Chris Elmore told the House of Commons there were “growing numbers of freelancers, musicians, performance artists who are excluded” from support.

Read more here

The Stage logo

05 November - Cancel £120m Brexit festival, theatremakers urge government in open letter

More than 20 artists and theatre companies have signed an open letter calling for the cancellation of the government-backed £120 million ’Brexit festival’.

Former prime minister Theresa May raised the idea of a post-Brexit festival of Britain and Northern Ireland in 2018 as an initiative aiming to “strengthen our precious union”.

Read more here

The Guardian Logo

05 November - Rishi Sunak's UK furlough extension 'major step forward' for theatres, says Nica Burns

Leading theatre producer Nica Burns has praised chancellor Rishi Sunak’s extension of the furlough scheme until March as a “major step forward” for England’s theatres. Her venues have “been given their mojo back”, she said, despite a lockdown that will keep them dark until at least the first week of December.

Read more here

The Stage logo

05 November - 'Furlough extension welcome, but it's too late for many' – theatre figures react

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed further extensions of the furlough and self-employed support schemes, amid ongoing warnings that there are still “gaping holes” in the help offered to the creative industries’ workforce.

Read more here

ArtNet News logo

05 November - Voters in Jersey City Just Approved a New Tax in Support of the Arts, Setting the Stage for Other Cities to Follow

Taxpayers have approved a measure to seed a trust fund that will support the city’s culture initiatives.

Read more here

The Stage logo

05 November - Theatre in Scotland making 'significant' strides towards gender parity – report

Female representation in Scottish theatre has improved across 10 key areas of work over the past five years, meaning the sector reached “near gender parity” prior to the pandemic, according to a new report.

Read more here

The Guardian Logo

05 November - Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dance to watch online

From live-streams of new plays to classics from the archive, here are some of the top shows online now or coming soon

Read more here

The Stage logo

05 November - Spotlight's 'no disabled' tick box was a symptom of an industry-wide problem

As many in the theatre industry have been saying, institutions are slow to change, particularly towards freelancers and especially if they come from the margins. My hope has always been to increase disability in mainstream theatre, something everyone said needed to be done. Until this week.

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

04 November - Performers appeal to UK Chancellor with "Big Spender" number

Four performers came together to give a musical appeal to UK chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Performing, fittingly, “Big Spender” from Sweet Charity – the drag performers (Velma Celli (Rent, Eastenders), Karla Bear (Kinky Boots, Wicked), Coco Vadose (The Book of Mormon, Dreamgirls), Portia De Fosse (Priscilla, La Cage)) appeared in the film, created by MommaLionFilms.

Read more here

The Stage logo

04 November - Nica Burns: We remain committed to getting our six West End theatres open

Nica Burns is standing firm in the face of a second lockdown, as she commits to working to get her six West End theatres open together.

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

04 November - Eleanor Lloyd becomes new President of Society of London Theatre

Producer Eleanor Lloyd has been appointed the new President of Society of London Theatre.

Lloyd has served on the board at SOLT for six years, and her recent productions include the three-time Olivier Award-winning Emilia and Witness for the Prosecution at London’s County Hall.

Read more here

The Stage logo

04 November - Spotlight accused of enabling discrimination with tick box to refuse disabled performers

Spotlight has been heavily criticised for introducing an option that allows castings to opt out of receiving interest from D/deaf and disabled performers.

The site has been accused of enabling discrimination and of causing “very deep offence”.

Read more here

The Stage logo

04 November - Theatre’s fighting spirit can carry us through these closures

Our industry feels like the underdog battling the latest lockdown, says Alistair Smith – but, like Rocky, we must refuse to be beaten and keep creating work against the odds

Read more here

The Stage logo

04 November - Before second lockdown, the safest I felt was at a show

It wasn’t quite like old times, but I was lucky enough to see live theatre again in those few weeks since the lifting of what we must now (sadly) call the first lockdown.

Of course, what we didn’t get was a return to performances being bookended by happily crammed foyers alive with the meeting and mingling of strangers and friends. But that aside, seeing shows has been a vivid, vital reminder of what has been so horribly missing from even the best online performances.

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

03 November - Christmas tree delivery company set up to help out-of-work entertainers and musicians

A new company, Green Elf Trees, is employing out-of-work musicians and members of the entertainment industry to deliver Christmas trees this festive season.

As emphasised on the company’s website – no artist should ever, ever, have to retrain – their craft is the result of years, often decades, of training and dedicated practice. But in terms of a quick seasonal income fix with some fairy-lit joy, delivering Christmas trees might be a nice way to make some money.

Read more here

The Times Logo

03 November - ‘Devastating gaps’ in aid for self-employed

The self-employed are to be given extra help to survive the second Covid-19 lockdown, Rishi Sunak has said.

The chancellor has extended the self-employed income support scheme, which provides a grant calculated on a proportion of people’s average profit, and has made it more generous.

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

03 November - HOME Manchester to live-stream all shows due to be staged in November

In light of the UK government’s announcement that entertainment venues have to close from Thursday but, as clarified by the culture secretary last night, they can be treated as places of work by creatives, HOME Manchester has revealed it will now live-stream all shows due to be on its stage in November.

Read more here

The Stage logo

03 November - Despite the latest lockdown, we must act where we can

Making theatre is what we were built for, says National Theatre director Rufus Norris – and it’s clear that audiences are desperate to return as soon as venues can open their doors again

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

02 November - Culture Secretary: Arts venues can open for rehearsals and streamed performances

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has provided information on whether or not theatres will be able to rehearse shows over the coming weeks, in light of the government’s recent lockdown announcement.

Read more here

The Stage logo

02 November - Increase to freelancer scheme will not help thousands of arts workers, unions warn

Performing arts bodies have warned that thousands of people working in creative careers will continue to be excluded from government support, despite the announcement that the self-employed income support scheme will be increased in line with the return of furlough.

Read more here

The Stage logo

02 November - This new lockdown hurts like hell – but theatre will survive this latest blow

Live theatre will be back. Just not yet. The government’s leaked, then bungled announcement – who starts a show almost three hours late, and without a crack stage management team to ensure it runs smoothly and the visuals are intelligible to the audience? – of a new lockdown brings down the curtain on live performance. Again.

Read more here

The Guardian Logo

02 November - Old Vic to livestream full production of A Christmas Carol

The Old Vic is planning to stage the most ambitious and complicated piece of livestreamed UK theatre yet attempted during the pandemic with a socially distanced but full production of A Christmas Carol starring Andrew Lincoln as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Read more here

The Stage logo

02 November - ‘A huge blow’ – producers and theatres warn of ‘devastating’ cost of second lockdown

Theatres and producers have warned of the artistic and financial devastation they are facing because of the forthcoming second lockdown.

Following prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement at the weekend that the country will enter lockdown from November 5, venues and theatre owners, including the National Theatre and Nimax Theatres, confirmed the cancellation of shows that were due to take place this month.

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

01 November - Theatres Trust: 'We are seeking urgent clarification whether theatre rehearsals can continue'

Umbrella organisation and campaigning body the Theatres Trust has responded to the upcoming plans for a second English lockdown, revealed last night by the UK government.

In a statement, Jon Morgan, director of the group, said: “While we understand the absolute necessity of protecting lives at this critical time, Theatres Trust is disappointed that theatres will have to close for a further month during the November lockdown. Many theatres were only just managing to reopen or were preparing to reopen with Christmas shows and this news will come as a further blow to an already struggling sector.

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

01 November - Nimax Theatres closes West End venues from 5 November until 2 December

Nimax Theatres, owners of six locations across the West End, have said they will cancel performances from 5 November to 2 December.

The venue was set to host a plethora of one-off concerts as well as full productions of the likes of Six the Musical and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, plus Adam Kay’s solo show This Is Going to Hurt.

Read more here

Whats On Stage logo

01 November - Performers create special The Greatest Showman video in front of London's theatres

A group of dancers performed a rousing number across London as theatres prepared for a second lockdown.

Overseen by director/choreographer Cameron MacDonald with assistant direction from Tom Keeling and Fabio Santos (as well as videography by Santos).

Read more here

<— October