Friday, October 30

Blogs

Theatre Cash Injection – A Wise Investment?
Blogs

Theatre Cash Injection – A Wise Investment?

Given we made two appeals for government support for theatres to survive beyond the pandemic it would be churlish not to welcome the government’s £1.57 billion cash injection to protect our world leading cultural sector. Now it’s true that money has to go a long way across theatres, museums and live venues, but considering yesterday we had no support this is a significant acknowledgement that many big and small theatres were on the brink of going under. And, make no mistake, once they went dark the reality was they would never come back like the Nuffield in Southampton. You can’t help but think the National Theatre’s decision to lay off its front of house staff, or the announcement by regional powerhouse the Royal Exchange of potential redundancies must have focused the government’s...
From Page to Stage is a Leap
Blogs

From Page to Stage is a Leap

Today I received an email from a publisher saying that while the theatres are dark it’s an ideal time to start giving reading playscripts a go, as it creates the same experience you’re missing while you’re not able to see a play. Now, a publisher’s primary responsibility is to sell books, so I understand where they’re coming from in making the best of the situation to create a market for books which probably don’t sell that well to people who don’t work within theatre, but I do think it’s very important to point out that reading a playscript absolutely does not create the same experience we’re missing out on while our theatres sit empty during this crisis. Obviously, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t read playscripts. Reading scripts can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience,...
Investing in our theatres is not a handout
Blogs

Investing in our theatres is not a handout

Our Yorkshire Editor Paul Clarke welcomes the theatre world asking for short term government support, not handouts. The news that Leicester Haymarket is the latest venue forced into liquidation, and a stark warning from legendary producer Sonia Friedman writing in the Telegraph that British theatre is on the ‘brink of total collapse’ has forced the industry to unite in calling for short term government support. Thankfully the narrative from the theatres is they’re not asking for a bailout, and instead calling for significant investment in a key part of our nation’s cultural offer that normally generates billions in tax revenues. Friedman points out that more than 1000 of our theatres of varying sizes may permanently close their doors as it may be this time next year before they c...
Streaming shows is no substitute for the real thing
Blogs

Streaming shows is no substitute for the real thing

Our Yorkshire Editor Paul Clarke applauds the streaming of shows but decides it an unsatisfying experience compared to the real thing. As I sat in my home office watching the free steam of M6 Theatre Company’s A Tiger’s Tale it struck me that it was absolutely no substitute for the real thing. It makes total sense that companies have closed their doors rather than incubate the virus and are sharing their greatest hits online. They need to make some much needed cash, or just keep their work in the public consciousness, for when they return to the stage. I support streaming work as a concept, but watching three top class performers on my laptop got me thinking there’s a number of reasons that makes it such an unsatisfying experience, and here’s why: Anticipation There is some...
Theatres need government support to survive
Blogs

Theatres need government support to survive

The news that Nuffield Southampton Theatres has gone into administration could be the harbinger of many more to come as venues and companies grimly hang on as the lockdown decimates their income. After 50 years Nuffield are the second venue to go under after Halifax’s Square Chapel, who shut their doors just as the full scale of the pandemic was becoming clear forcing theatres to close their doors to keep punters and creatives alike safe. Like most theatres Nuffield was faced with the double whammy of having no customers as well having to refund tickets with no significant income to replace it. But the virus closedown has only revealed the struggle our big and small theatres have been having before COVID-19 to keep going, especially if they’re putting on new or challenging work. ...