September 2020

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30 September - We are still in Act II of a long, three-act play

With new restrictions on the horizon and extensions to the furlough and self-employed schemes looking unlikely, it could be some time before we move to performances under Stage Five of the reopening roadmap

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30 September - National Theatre and RSC awarded share of £2.5m to protect arts learning

Bristol Old Vic, the Royal Shakespeare Company, London’s National Theatre and London’s Unicorn Theatre are among 66 arts organisations to be given emergency funding to safeguard their community and education work during the pandemic.

Read more here

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30 September - 'Panto parade' highlights the plight of arts venues

Dozens of pantomime dames have marched on Westminster, as part of a day of action highlighting the plight of the live events industry.

The parade was organised after the rise in coronavirus cases prompted the cancellation of the 2020 panto season.

Read more here

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30 September - The time has come for theatre to show its teeth

As the government repeatedly shows its disregard for the future of theatre and its workforce, Alistair Smith says venues should turn off the lights and show how soulless city centres around the UK would be without them

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30 September - Performing arts donations from individuals down 63% on 2019 – report

Donations to performing arts organisations in the UK from individuals have fallen by 63% in the last six months, compared to the same period last year, data analysis has revealed.

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29 September - Government accused of 'ripping the heart' out of UK night-time economy

The government has been accused of abandoning the night-time and theatre sectors with its winter economy plan, which critics say will usher in a wave of mass redundancies and venue closures before the end of 2020.

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29 September - Royal Albert Hall announces festive season to protect jobs

The Royal Albert Hall has announced it is to reopen for live performance with a socially distanced festive season in order to protect jobs.

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29 September - The Mousetrap postpones West End return over Covid uncertainty

The Mousetrap has postponed its imminent return to the West End over fears of future Covid restrictions.

Agatha Christie’s whodunnit, which first played in London over 67 years ago, was meant to be presented with no touching and social distancing on stage.

Read more here

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29 September - Improved working conditions would be something to celebrate, not Brexit

If the government wants to recapture the optimism of the 2012 Olympics, says Catherine Kodicek, £120 million towards fairer working structures might be a better gesture than a misguided ’Festival of Brexit’

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28 September - £7m Covid 'lifeline' for Welsh TV and arts freelancers who will be asked for a big favour in return

Freelancers working in the Welsh arts, cultural and TV sectors are to share a £7m fund set up to help those hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Cultural Recovery Fund will provide a safety net following recent reports that over a third of freelancers in the sector do not have enough money to live on.

A separate initiative, a Freelancers’ Pledge, is also being drawn up so that creative types can help redesign hospitals and town centres as Wales recovers from the pandemic.

Read more here

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28 September - Culture Secretary: Reopening of theatres has "stalled" given rise in number of cases

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden was quizzed by Andrew Marr this weekend about the state of the arts during the ongoing pandemic.

Dowden batted away Marr’s points about the fact that a large part of the arts workforce has yet to receive any form of specific aid, having found themselves ineligible for the SEISS initiative to support self-employed workers.

He also went on the defensive about the fact that the regularly trumpeted £1.57bn package has yet to be distributed to either smaller or larger arts organisations, with many of the biggest arts employers unlikely to see any form of financial assistance before December.

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28 September - Only a third of independent companies received emergency funding – survey

Just 34% of independent theatre organisations received emergency Covid-19 funding before July, research from the Independent Theatre has suggested

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28 September - When we rebuild our creative industries, diversity and representation must be key

The UK’s creative industries were already an unequal playing field before Covid-19 struck – with an uncertain future and high levels of self-employment, we must ensure that all stories can be told

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28 September - Empty seats symbolise lost audiences, but also talent leaving theatre forever

The #TakeASeat initiative at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum theatre is a powerful evocation of what theatregoers are missing and a haunting reminder of the freelancers who are being forced out of the industry

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27 September - 'There will be positives': artistic directors on theatre's terrible year

The Observer revisits six theatre bosses appointed in 2019 to discuss the existential threat to their industry, and the fightback

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26 September - 'Theatre isn't optional — it's fundamental': London's theatre leaders on what they need from the government

Months after closing, London’s theatres are still in limbo — the sector’s leaders tell us what they need from the Government now.

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26 September - People are theatre’s biggest asset; it’s time to start valuing them

As the UK’s leaders use the language of business to justify further devastation to theatre, Alice Saville argues that they’re looking for value in the wrong places.

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25 September - The Government seems brazenly willing to discard Britain’s mental health

Theatre has been viable for thousands of years. Yesterday’s announcement from the Chancellor that our industry is not viable (whatever that means) represents an almighty blow and is, frankly, a huge insult to the theatre industry, one of this country’s most financially successful and emotionally essential sectors of the economy.

Read more here

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25 September - Sonia Friedman: The Chancellor's announcement was 'a huge insult to the theatre industry'

Producer Sonia Friedman, responsible for some of the most gargantuan hits in the West End including The Book of Mormon and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, has spoken out against the new employment schemes announced yesterday by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

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24 September - Not 'viable'? Rishi Sunak just told our entire creative industry to get another job

The Chancellor’s Job Support Scheme has left thousands of arts workers with exactly two choices: howl in despair, or leave the profession

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24 September - 'It will not be enough' – the arts sector responds to the Chancellor's new job support scheme

Industry leaders have responded to the Chancellor’s new schemes to help support workers through the coronavirus pandemic after the furlough initiative is dropped at end of October.

The existence of both the newly configured Jobs Support Scheme and amended SEISS (to help the self-employed) were commended, though the policies themselves were far from favourably received, being described as a “devastating blow” and leaving “many hundreds of thousands of workers in events, arts and cultural parts of the economy with a grim future.”

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24 September - SEISS announcement is “woefully inadequate”. Government must do more for the self-employed, especially forgotten freelancers who face “dark winter ahead”

IPSE has responded to the announcement that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is being extended at 20 per cent of earnings. IPSE has said that although it is right to extend the scheme, in its current form it is “woefully inadequate”, particularly as it still excludes one in three self-employed people, such as limited company directors and the newly self-employed.

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24 September - Chancellor accused of neglecting arts community in latest round of Covid support

The chancellor has been accused of neglecting theatre and the arts in the new support schemes announced today, with industry figures claiming government has “once again overlooked their needs”

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24 September - Robust action by government needed now to prevent culture sector from collapse

The DCMS Committee is urging the government to take immediate action to enable the cultural and sporting sectors to recover from the impact of Covid-19.

It is calling on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to use the pause created by the latest Covid-19 restrictions, to implement a number of recommendations that would enable venues and stadiums, to plan a return of audiences to capacity when it is safe to do so.

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23 September - Creative industries' recovery must not focus solely on London, researchers warn

The arts sector’s emergence from the pandemic must include UK-wide investment to help rebuild the creative industries, the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre has argued

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23 September - ATG suspends all 2020 pantomimes until next year

Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has suspended all of its pantomime productions until 2021, it has been confirmed.

The group owns a large number of venues across the UK, often some of the biggest in their respective cities.

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23 September - MIF pledges to help 10,000 unemployed young people into creative industries

Nearly 10,000 unemployed young people are set to benefit from training and workshops with cultural organisations, under plans announced by Manchester International Festival

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23 September - Royal Ballet announces October comeback with 100 dancers

One of the largest dance performances to happen anywhere in the world since the coronavirus pandemic began has been announced featuring the full company of the Royal Ballet – and while it will be socially distanced, there will be dance duets thanks to couples in bubbles.

Read more here

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23 September - Theatre risks losing a generation of writers – we had to try something new

Artistic director Kate Wasserberg explains how Out of Joint has questioned its purpose in the face of the Covid crisis and responded with Stockroom, a radical restructure designed to be put artists at the heart of its organisation

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22 September - A further six months without audiences could be the final nail in the coffin

Bectu has responded to the Prime Minister’s statement on changes to the COVID guidance.

Read more here

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22 September - Live theatre able to continue with social distancing, though measures expected for six months

Venues will remain open with social distancing in place, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced with further confirmation by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

In a statement to the House of Commons, Johnson stated that, despite new restrictions being put in place from Thursday, rules are “by no means a return to the full lockdown from March.”

Read more here

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22 September - Ambassador Theatre Group Suspends All Performances Through 27 November

As a result of ongoing social distancing restrictions, Ambassador Theatre Group has now suspended all performances at its UK venues until Friday 27 November 2020.

If you have made a booking that is affected by this suspension, you do not need to do anything. ATG is currently contacting customers whose original tickets were for performances up to 18 October. Customers booked for remaining performances will be contacted in the week commencing 5 October.

Read more here

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22 September - Amateur theatre and choirs no longer exempt from rule of six in England, Culture Secretary reveals

Amateur theatre productions and choirs will not be allowed if they have more than six individuals involved under new Covid restrictions, it has been announced.

These groups had previously been exempt from “the rule of six” brought in in England by the UK government to limit social gatherings. From Thursday however, they will have to abide by these rules, as amateur sports teams are set to do.

Read more here

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22 September - Third of British musicians may quit industry amid pandemic

Musicians’ Union, whose survey also finds one-third of professional musicians can’t access emergency support, criticises DCMS and Treasury over ‘lack of understanding’

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21 September - ATG lays off further 500 staff as it prepares for 2021 reopenings

Ambassador Theatre Group is to lay off a further 500 members of staff, as it prepares for the reality of not reopening its venues until next year

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21 September - Garfield Weston Foundation launches £25m Covid culture fund

The foundation has established a £25 million fund to support the cultural sector through the coronavirus crisis, with organisations able to bid for up to £2 million each

Read more here

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21 September - Salford's Lowry theatre to stage real-life legal dramas as makeshift court

Two theatres in The Lowry arts centre in Salford are being converted into makeshift courtrooms to help clear the current backlog of cases.

It’s one of the latest venues to be taken over as a so-called Nightingale Court by the Ministry of Justice.

Read more here

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21 September - Creatives including Shelley Maxwell set up production company

With many freelancers contemplating leaving the industry, funders must seize this moment for change and support individual artists or risk losing them forever

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21 September - The next act: how the pandemic is shaping online theatre's future

The explosion of digital productions of all sizes has shown great creativity and made hit shows more accessible – but is it all financially sustainable?

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21 September - This crisis is a chance to reset theatre subsidy and support artists directly

With many freelancers contemplating leaving the industry, funders must seize this moment for change and support individual artists or risk losing them forever

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20 September - What to expect at a socially distanced night at the theatre

It has been six months since actors trod the boards of theatres across the country but finally the curtains are ready to go up.

A growing number of shows have been announced both in London and around the country. But how does a socially distanced night out at the theatre work? And if theatres can’t fit as many people in as they did pre-pandemic, does that mean tickets are more expensive?

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18 September - Panto dames to march on Westminster in call for action to save theatre

Pantomime dames will march through London on September 30, as they join fellow creatives in highlighting the plight facing the theatre industry and its workers

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18 September - Most UK arts organisations hope to present in-person shows by December – report

Almost three quarters of UK arts organisations expect to return to in-person performances by the end of the year, a news study by TRG Arts has revealed

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18 September - Westminster Council reveals plans for open-air festival featuring West End shows, ENO and more

Westminster City Council has revealed plans to host a series of arts experiences for visitors in early October.

As part of their “Inside Out” festival, the area will mount open-air performances from West End musicals, the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, and the Royal Philharmonic Brass Ensemble, as well as an open-air gallery on the National Gallery’s north terrace on Trafalgar Square.

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17 September - Pay freeze and lay-off clause in Covid-19 contract changes for backstage workers

Backstage workers will see their pay frozen and have contracts that provide for lay-offs in relation to further Covid-19 restrictions, under temporary contract changes aimed at getting the industry “back on its feet”

Read more here

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17 September - Nuffield Southampton Theatres venue to reopen following takeover by Mayflower Theatres Trust

The Nuffield Southampton Theatres’ city venue will reopen under new management and with a new name, it has been revealed.

The Studio 144 building, which houses a variety of spaces, will look to welcome visitors from next spring after a takeover was approved this week.

Read more here

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17 September - Post-Covid, resilient critics can prove their worth in the theatre ecology

Reviewers have always performed the function of providing a physical link between a potential attendee and a show. Andrzej Lukowski says that now, with audiences stuck at home, these strange times still need documenting

Read more here

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17 September - The Mousetrap announces West End casts for socially distanced run

The Mousetrap, the world’s longest-running show, has announced a cast for its return to the West End.

Agatha Christie’s whodunnit, which first played in London over 67 years ago, will be presented with no touching and social distancing on stage. The theatre will take additional COVID-19 precuations backstage and in the St Martin’s Theatre auditorium, where every other row will be removed to accommodate socially distanced audiences of 200. The measures are in accordance with stage four of the Government’s Road Map for the return of live theatre and music.

Read more here

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17 September - National Theatre announces plans for reopening, including a pantomime

The National Theatre have announced they will be reopening to audiences on the 21 October, with Death Of England: Delroy and for one year only, a pantomime will be taking the stage, oh yes it is (sorry!).

In preparation for their reopening, the Olivier theatre is to be significantly remodelled in order to stage a season of performances in-the-round, which will achieve an audience capacity of almost 500 while maintaining social distancing for audiences.

Read more here

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17 September - Operation Moonshot raises further questions for theatre reopenings

Boris Johnson’s Operation Moonshot raises more questions for theatre than it answers, says producer Richard Jordan

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16 September - Cameron Mackintosh: Support commercial sector to power industry's recovery

Cameron Mackintosh has said more government support should be made available for the large-scale commercial sector, claiming this would be more beneficial for theatre’s recovery than rescuing companies that are struggling

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16 September - Actor Cox in appeal to save 'inspirational' King's Theatre

Award-winning actor Brian Cox has appealed to the first minister to help save the Edinburgh theatre that was “the catalyst” for his career.

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16 September - The West End is inching back to life – but it still needs government support

The reopening of West End theatres is cause for celebration, but producers need more help from the government to insure against the risks of putting on shows

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16 September - Touring companies warn of threat to future as they unite for nationwide project

Headlong, Graeae, Slung Low, Kneehigh and Paines Plough are among dozens of touring organisations that will collectively tour to locations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland this October and November

Read more here

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15 September - Stop throwing money at the wrong theatres, Sir Cameron Mackintosh warns government

Sir Cameron Mackintosh has said it is “barmy” that government money is being used to rescue failing performing arts companies while the juggernauts of the West End are forced to remain “dark”.

The theatre owner and producer said it would be the “major West End” shows that would put the country’s “lights back on” by drawing back tourists, providing jobs across the country through regional tours, and putting money into the exchequer.

Read more here

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15 September - Liam Neeson says £33m arts funding 'a lifeline'

Actor Liam Neeson has told the Northern Ireland Executive that £33m in support funding for theatres and venues is a “lifeline”.

In July, NI received £33m as part of a UK government package for theatres, arts and music venues and museums.

Read more here

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15 September - Arts workers march to DCMS in protest over job cuts

Arts and culture workers have marched to Whitehall in protest against the mass redundancies taking place in the sector.

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15 September - Diary of a socially distanced director: how I staged a play in Tokyo – from London

When Lindsay Posner was asked to direct a production of Twelve Angry Men from his home in the UK, with a Japanese cast in Tokyo, he took a giant leap into the unknown

Read more here

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15 September - Nimax chief Nica Burns reveals further West End reopening plans

Nimax chief executive Nica Burns has outlined details of plans to reopen her six West End venues, as she reiterates calls for a government-backed insurance scheme for theatre

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14 September - West End Shows Announce a Return, Even as U.K. Coronavirus Cases Rise

“Six,” the hit musical, will start an 11-week run in November, with other shows including “The Mousetrap” also slated to resume soon.

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14 September - West End musicals: Socially-distanced shows reveal reopening plans

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Six will become the first musicals back in the West End in mid-November, eight months after the curtain came down.

They will hit the stage three weeks after a string of non-musical shows reopen London’s theatre district.

The Play That Goes Wrong, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap and Adam Kay’s This Is Going To Hurt will all admit socially distant audiences in October.

Read more here

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14 September - Royal Court to open with new socially distanced live performance from November

From Thursday 12 November 2020 the Royal Court Theatre will present six weekly editions of a living newspaper, each edition created and edited by a collective of writers.

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14 September - Andrew Lloyd Webber: ‘We can’t give up — the world is looking to see what we are doing’

Andrew Lloyd Webber is almost alone in his quest to bring back theatre. Why does he bother? ‘The trouble is I’m a fighter,’ he tells Andrew Billen

Read more here

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14 September - Edgy and elated: how theatre workers feel about curtain-up during Covid

As more venues begin to welcome back audiences, casts and crew are returning to live performance but many are considering leaving the stage industry

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14 September - Theatre needs to rock the boat and hold the government to account

If theatre wants to be seen as an art form that is radical, political and on the side of equality and social justice, then pointing out the government’s inadequate response to this pandemic is crucial, says Lyn Gardner

Read more here

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13 September - Nimax to reopen six West End venues with social distancing

Nimax Theatres will reopen all six of its West End venues from October for a season of socially distanced shows.

The company’s venues, which include the Apollo, Palace and Vaudeville theatres, will host reduced audience numbers and therefore run at a loss.

Read more here

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11 September - Leeds Playhouse and Opera North pool resources for reopening project

Leeds Playhouse will reopen its theatre next month with Connecting Voices – a joint programme with Opera North that aims to find innovative ways to reintroduce audiences safely to live performance

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11 September - We mustn’t let the Covid ‘fear factor’ doom Britain’s arts

Our cultural scene was shuttered by Government edict – but the real issue might be the nation’s psychological damage

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11 September - Kwame Kwei-Armah backs Seat Out to Help Out calls

Young Vic artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah has supported proposals for a Seat Out to Help Out scheme

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11 September - Fauci: We won't be able to sit in theaters until a year after an effective coronavirus vaccine is created

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the (US) nation’s top expert on infectious disease, said on Wednesday we likely won’t be able to safely sit down in theaters for at least another year, if not more.

Fauci made his prediction in a 30-minute interview with actress Jennifer Garner on Instagram Live, discussing the coming flu season, vaccines, and lockdowns.

Read more here

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10 September - 18-month study to 'uncover true impact of pandemic on freelancers'

The effects of Covid-19 on freelance theatre workers in the UK are to be investigated as part of a new research project

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10 September - In our rush to return, let’s not accept sub-standard working conditions

Stage manager Katie Jackson says differing advice from BECTU and Equity leaves backstage workers at risk from poor working conditions – now is the time to unite

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09 September - One in three central London venues haven't reopened since lockdown

One in three central London hospitality venues yet to reopen from lockdown won’t do so until footfall drastically improves, it was estimated today as pub giants called for more government support.

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09 September - Stage shows will not be affected by new government rules except where audience groups are above six

New changes to lockdown rules, meaning social gatherings of more than six individuals are illegal, will not affect theatre programming in England.

As long as shows are put on within organised and Covid-secure event spaces, such as theatres, these new rules should not impact any scheduled performances. According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson there is only one difference – “there must not be individual groups of more than six” (though single households with more than six individuals are exempt).

Read more here

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09 September - MPs call for U-turn on targeted furlough extension to avoid jobs disaster

MPs are calling on the government to change course and offer targeted extensions to the furlough scheme to save sectors such as theatre

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09 September - Prime Minister reveals plans for indoor and outdoor events utilising rapid Covid tests in Salford

Boris Johnson has announced tentative plans to trial mass rapid Covid testing for indoor and outdoor events next month.

According to the Prime Minister’s speech this afternoon, “new types of test…will become available, that can turn around results in 90 or even 20 minutes.” Johnson hopes that these tests will eventually be deployed “on a scale no other country has achieved”.

Read more here

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9 September - BECTU urges government to subsidise theatre instead of waiting for mass testing

bectu has urged the government to explore subsidising socially distanced performances, warning it is “not good enough” to wait for a new mass testing regime.

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8 September - Andrew Lloyd Webber tells MPs the air in his theatres is 'purer than outside' as he calls for help for industry

Speaking at a meeting about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the arts, the composer and theatre impresario said the industry is “at the point of no return” and that it would be economically “impossible” to run venues with social distancing.

Read more here

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8 September - Theatre-goers and sport spectators could get 24-hour 'Covid passes' if they test negative allowing them to cram back into venues knowing they are safe

A ‘Covid pass’ giving spectators a 24-hour window to return to sports arenas and theatres could be on the cards, Matt Hancock has suggested.

The Health Secretary revealed the government has thrown its weight behind new rapid tests that will allow people to mix with others in close proximity, safe in the knowledge they are virus-free at the time. 

Fans of various forms of live entertainment could return to venues without social distancing within weeks, it was reported yesterday, as officials are ordered to move at ‘extreme pace’ to encourage crowds to attend events.

Read more here

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8 September - Andrew Lloyd Webber warns the arts are at 'point of no return'

The arts are at the “point of no return” following damage from the coronavirus pandemic, Lord Lloyd-Webber has said.
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The composer and theatre impresario told MPs it would be economically “impossible” to run theatres with social distancing.

Read more here

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8 September - 'This Is No Pantomime' campaign launched to highlight plight of the arts

A brand new campaign set up by Scene Change is responding to the Culture Secretary’s so-called “Operation Sleeping Beauty”.

 

Titled “This Is No Pantomime”, the scheme said today: “This is an urgent wake-up call. It’s about theatre and the communities it entertains. It’s about cancellation and closures. Without our government providing ongoing sector-specific support, we are witnessing the collapse of our world-leading culture industry. Built up over centuries, killed off in a matter of months.”

Read more here

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8 September - To Rebuild and Reimagine the United States Post-Pandemic, We Must Put Creative Workers to Work

To thrive post-pandemic, the United States must leverage our creative power, putting creative workers to work rebuilding, reimagining, unifying, and healing communities in every state and territory, as well as within tribal lands. Below, we propose 15 specific actions that the next Administration can take to activate the creative economy within a comprehensive national recovery strategy.

Read more here

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7 September - The Government is finally waking up – London will feel like a morgue until theatres reopen

It’s taken months for Whitehall to recognise that theatres are no minor sideshow – reopening them is crucial for the UK’s rehabilitation

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7 September - MPs urge chancellor to extend furlough scheme for the arts sector

Julian Knight, chair of the cross-party committee, has written to Rishi Sunak claiming that the government’s current approach renders its support for culture “highly inflexible”

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7 September - Theatre gives cautious welcome to Oliver Dowden’s reopening plans

The culture secretary’s suggestion that theatres could be reopened by Christmas has been met with cautious optimism by industry figures including producer Nica Burns and bodies including Equity

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7 September - Stop treating performing arts like Cinderella

Theatres and musicians have been patient while government makes illogical rules on the hoof. The shows must go on

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7 September - Devolve arts funding to end pro-London bias, says thinktank

Community art projects in London have received more than twice the lottery funding of those in the rest of England, a thinktank has calculated, as it called for the devolution of culture subsidies.

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7 September - Independent work is beginning to go mainstream, but will it last?

Covid is forcing British theatre to embrace groundbreaking work, says Lyn Gardner, but the mainstream needs to stop acting like a magpie and nurture artists instead

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7 September - Side hustle essential: how Covid brought dancers to their knees

Most people in dance work freelance on punishingly low pay – and now lockdown has made things even worse. No wonder they’re taking jobs elsewhere

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6 September - UK theatres could reopen without social distancing within weeks

Two recent articles published in The Sunday Times and The Mail on Sunday tell us that West End and UK theatres could open their doors without social distancing in as early as just a few weeks. In a new “move at extreme pace” ordered by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, crowds may be encouraged to return to large venues very soon thanks in large part to rapid-result COVID tests and a new cut-price ticket scheme.

Read more here

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6 September - Oliver Dowden: 'I want theatres fully open by Christmas'

The culture secretary has suggested that theatres may be able to reopen fully by Christmas, with mass testing for audiences meaning social distancing rules could be dropped.

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4 September - Theatres must reopen to curb job losses, says West End star Paul Whitehouse

Cast and crew members from one of the West End’s most boisterous musicals have stood in silence outside their still-closed theatre, pleading for a date when they can reopen to full audiences.

The 15-minute silent stand by dozens of people involved in Only Fools and Horses: the Musical was, organisers said, a show of solidarity with those in theatre who have lost their jobs and income, and also an appeal for guidance and clarity.

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3 September - Every production should appoint a 'Covid monitor', guidance suggests

Every theatre production should appoint a “Covid monitor” who is dedicated to managing health and safety protocols, new guidance released by the Stage Management Association recommends

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3 September - Online arts map to engage public support for Covid-hit companies

A nationwide campaign dedicated to protecting the UK’s cultural life has created an online map to help members of the public find and support theatres and arts companies near them, as the sector attempts to recover from Covid-19

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3 September - We need an inclusive recovery – that means an end to ableism

Coronavirus has shone a light on inequalities within the creative industries and it’s crucial that as theatres reopen they support those who are most vulnerable, argues the government’s disability champion Andrew Miller

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2 September - Revive London's West End with culture vouchers, urges thinktank

Measures proposed to help area hard-hit by Covid include empty shops being offered to chefs and artists

Discount vouchers, outdoor performances and reduced rent for artist residencies are some of the measures being proposed to kickstart the economic recovery and stem job losses in London’s West End amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more here

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2 September - How have other island nations’ arts sectors coped with Covid-19?

Nick Awde discovers how the island nations of Taiwan, Singapore and New Zealand have managed the pandemic’s effect on their performing arts sectors

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2 September - Opposition leader Kier Starmer calls for extension to furlough scheme for 'sectors that desperately need it'

During today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, opposition leader Kier Starmer asked the Prime Minister to extend the furlough scheme for sectors and workers that “desperately need it”.

The ONS (Office of National Statistics) said that the arts and entertainment sectors had been hit far harder during the pandemic than others, with over 50 per cent of employees furloughed and reserves dwindling.

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2 September - Sleepless producer: ‘Rich producers need to get off their arses’

Producer Michael Rose has urged “extraordinarily rich producers” to “get off their arses” and do more to bring live shows back to audiences

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2 September - Though their skills are extraordinary, this is ordinary people losing their jobs

I may have screamed in terror when I saw the West End long-runner The Woman in Black, but at all other times I’m something of a sceptic. Yet walking past the National Theatre one night last week, I saw ghosts.

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1 September - There’ll Be a Theater Season. But How and Where and When?

Announcing stage productions, and timing, has become a matter of wishful thinking, guesswork and experimentation. Case in point: the no-show plan.

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1 September - Vanessa Redgrave calls on businesses to help UK's Covid-hit arts sector

Vanessa Redgrave has urged businesses and entrepreneurs to give money to help restore Britain’s coronavirus-threatened arts infrastructure.

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1 September - London's West End could lose 50,000 retail staff amid £10bn-a-year shortfall after plunge in foreign visitors and office workers (as restaurants lie empty 24-hours after end of Rishi's meal deals)

London‘s West End faces losing £10billion a year and 50,000 jobs because visitors are staying away from the city hotspot, local politicians and experts have warned as pictures show the area deserted today. 

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1 September - Coronavirus in Ireland: Gigs and theatre can return if we can manage exits, ministers tell arts

The arts sector has been asked to come up with plans to ensure people can enter and leave events safely as the government steps up its push to reopen Ireland’s cultural life.

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1 September - Parks, pubs and pitches: where to watch UK theatre in September

Shakespeare at a cricket ground, a festival in a bombed-out church and park-bench drama – plus more socially distanced shows to enjoy this month

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1 September - More protests over NT and Southbank job cuts as workers call for fairer terms

Hundreds of arts workers have returned to London’s South Bank to protest against about 1,000 planned job cuts at major institutions including the National Theatre and the Southbank Centre

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<— August 2020

October 2020 —>