October 2020

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31 October - Entertainment venues forced to shut again as government tightens restrictions

Theatres in England will be forced to close again next week under plans announced by the government, as the UK moves back into tougher national measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.

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31 October - National Theatre cancels Death of England: Delroy performances from 5 November

The National Theatre has announced it will cancel performances of its ongoing production of Death of England: Delroy from 5 November to 28 November.

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31 October - Second lockdown is a 'body blow' for the arts - Equity

Equity general secretary Paul W Fleming has described news of a second lockdown as “a body blow” for the entertainment sector, warning there will be a “flood” of lost talent in the industry without targeted support.

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31 October - 10 things you can do to help theatres during the pandemic

As it is repeatedly said, these are unprecedented times both for society and our industry. In March theatres across the nation went dark – and, once again from Thursday, will have to do the same again for at least four weeks.

Even with the government’s support package, many will be scrambling to make ends meet over the coming months, which in turn will have a drastic impact on artists, freelancers, makers, technicians, and anyone working behind-the-scenes on stages across the nation. Here are a selection of ways to help.

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30 October - Performers join week of arts funding protests at Parliament Square

Theatre and opera workers have joined the latest in a series of performing arts demonstrations outside the Houses of Parliament, calling for targeted support for the sector and more recognition for its contribution to the economy.

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30 October - The coronavirus keeps most London theaters dark, while performers stock grocery shelves

LONDON — At the gilded playhouses in the world’s most popular theater district, most of the marquee lights are still dark.

Since the government ordered London’s stages closed seven months ago, only a handful of theaters have dared to announce reopening plans — with limited runs, limited casts and socially distanced audiences scattered in the seats. Producers say ticket sales will barely cover the electricity bill.

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30 October - Unions call for targeted government support as UK enters second Covid-19 wave

Organisations representing about 350,000 creative workers in the UK have written a joint letter to the government calling for targeted support.

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30 October - Online audiences would pay to watch again even after venues reopen – poll

Most of the people who watched theatre online during the pandemic would pay to watch shows digitally again, even when theatres are open, according to a new study.

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30 October - Widening access to arts careers at all levels is more vital than ever

The pandemic has exacerbated the lack of diversity in the theatre sector, says Suzann McLean – concerted action is needed for our workforce to become representative of everyone in our society

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29 October - Theatre’s adaptability is key – let’s not take it for granted

We should celebrate the industry’s resourcefulness during the pandemic, says Alistair Smith, but we must not forget that many of our best problem-solvers are freelancers who are struggling to survive

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28 October - Tier three restrictions explained – what do they mean for English theatres?

As an increasing number of English theatres come into contact with the new “tier three” restrictions (with these now in place in Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington and parts of Yorkshire), we thought we’d run down what it means for audiences.

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28 October - Death of England: Delroy designer Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey: ‘We’re seeing it as two metres together’

London’s National Theatre has reopened with a socially distant Olivier in-the-round for its first show, Death of England: Delroy. Designer Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey explains how the space is being used

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28 October - Pitlochry Festival Theatre reveals plans to open second space by May 2021

She went from rave diva with Nomad to winning her third Olivier award on Sunday for Death of a Salesman. Yet the London actor isn’t immune to the storms battering theatre

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28 October - Olivier winner Sharon D Clarke: 'Not a penny came in until June. I thanked God for a voiceover job'

She went from rave diva with Nomad to winning her third Olivier award on Sunday for Death of a Salesman. Yet the London actor isn’t immune to the storms battering theatre

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27 October - 20 theatres given share of £81,000 to help with reopening costs

Wilton’s Music Hall, Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Corn Exchange in Newbury are among the recipients of grants totalling £81,000 from a new fund set up to help venues reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic.

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27 October - Ballet dancers protest outside parliament in call for more support

More than 100 dancers gathered in Parliament Square yesterday to highlight the plight of the entertainment sector during Covid-19, and demand more support from the government.

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26 October - Set design in the Covid era: how theatre's creatives are adapting to socially distanced spaces

With more theatres starting to reopen, Natasha Tripney talks to stage and costume designers about how they are making allowances for a new set of considerations and restrictions amid Covid-19’s ever-changing landscape.

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26 October - Digital must not become live theatre’s poorer cousin – audiences need both formats

When Tinuke Craig’s revival of Crave, by Sarah Kane, opens at Chichester Festival Theatre later this week it will have two audiences at the same time: one will be the socially distanced audience inside the theatre and the other will be a global digital audience who will be able to watch a crack cast – Erin Doherty, Alfred Enoch, Wendy Kweh and Jonathan Slinger –from their living rooms wherever they are in the world.

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26 October - Olivier Awards winner Sam Tutty still feels blessed, despite missing that red carpet walk

“It was my first year in the industry so I didn’t have the tax [returns]. I have had to use my savings to get by. It has been very tough. My friend Lucy [Anderson], who plays Zoe [Evan’s love-interest], is in the same position. And it has been much the same with everyone. I haven’t met another actor who said ‘I’m fine’. 

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26 October - Creatives have proven their mettle this year – who we are isn’t being erased

Surrounded by burnt-out buildings and burning barrels, our group walks through the desolate, post-apocalyptic landscape. Ash-covered, hungry and in artfully ripped but uncreased clothes. “Soon night will fall,” says the handsome one. “We need to build a shelter, gather food, purify water…”

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25 October - Rishi Sunak job support leaves 500,000 self-employed ‘in the lurch’, claims Labour

Half a million self-employed people have been “left in the lurch” by chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new coronavirus support package, according to a new analysis by Labour’s Ed Miliband

The workers, in sectors which have either been shut down or severely restricted by measures to control Covid-19, will see their monthly support cut in half from next weekend.

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24 October - 35 arts venues receive more than £1 million each in new Cultural Recovery Fund grants

Thirty-five major arts venues across England have received grants of between £1 million and £3 million in the latest batch of Cultural Recovery Fund announcements.

Among the organisations are English National Ballet, Sadler’s Wells and the Old Vic in London.

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24 October - Culture recovery fund: Royal Exchange theatre, Design Museum and Fabric to get at least £1m

The Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester, the Design Museum and Fabric nightclub in London are among the cultural institutions to receive at least £1m in the latest round of grants from the government’s £1.57bn cultural recovery fund.

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24 October - £500,000 lifeline for Edinburgh's Capital Theatres

Capital Theatres in Edinburgh has been thrown a £500,000 lifeline from the Scottish government.

It is one of three cultural flagship venues to receive emergency Covid-19 support direct from the government.

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24 October - Shakespeare's Globe among venues to get slice of Culture Recovery Fund

Shakespeare’s Globe, the Sage Gateshead and the company behind the Lady Boys of Bangkok are among the latest recipients of emergency government arts funding.

The replica Elizabethan theatre in London will receive almost £3m from the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.

The Birmingham Hippodrome, London’s Old Vic theatre and the English National Ballet will all get the maximum £3m.

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23 October - Arcola Theatre reveals new outdoor venue with plans to open in 2021

The Arcola Theatre has revealed plans for a new venue, the Arcola Outside, set to open next summer.

Overseen by designer Jo Bausor (Bat Out of Hell), the space is scheduled to open for a series of trial performances in December 2020. The venue will be the epicentre of a festival of outdoor performance, Today I’m Wiser, which Arcola plans to produce in 2021. Full details are to be revealed in due course.

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22 October - 'Nobody realised the extent of their vulnerability': Arts figures on what the government needs to do for freelancers

Money from the Culture Recovery Fund is starting to trickle through to institutions, but what about the freelancers who make the work that goes into them?

As employment opportunities have vanished, many have found themselves ineligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and hard-pressed to find alternative income.

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22 October - Full list of Wales' Cultural Recovery Fund recipients

Arts organisations across Wales have been granted money from the country’s Cultural Recovery Fund, across two strands. The capital fund will help companies make the necessary changes to their venues to facilitate social distancing and other Covid-19 safety measures, while the revenue fund offers support for organisations with “urgent financial difficulties” and to help protect jobs.

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22 October - Chancellor announces changes to Job Support Scheme with more funds going to freelance workers

The scheme will see extra funds go to qualifying freelancers and more money for companies with full-time workers returning part-time

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