On Monday Boris Johnson announced his (apparently irreversible) plans to take us out of lockdown forever. He even provided a detailed timetable of dates when each stage should be implemented.
Theatres will reopen subject to social distancing rules in May 2021, the Government has announced, but with no likelihood of operating at full capacity before late June at the earliest.
Setting a timetable requires Johnson to be a clairvoyant, predicting the future way of a virus that, to be honest, is only really getting started. Yes, vaccines are being done fast (I got my first dose on Saturday), but lifting the lid on Pandora’s box too quickly — by setting a timetable for reopening — won’t benefit anyone’s mental health, if it simply exacerbates the virus and leads to the necessity to shut down again.
Nearly one year after theatres were forced to close by the onset of the Covid pandemic, prime minister Boris Johnson has delivered the first indication that auditoria could reopen.
It won’t be until the vaccine programme has been fully and successfully rolled out throughout the nation, and any necessary tweaks established for mutant strains, that there may be enough confidence to begin to even think about going indoors again to sit amongst strangers.
Though I’ve spent most of the last nine months really missing the real theatre that has fuelled my life for the last 40 or so years since I started going compulsively from the age of around 16, I’ve spent more time than I’d have liked in a different kind of theatre — an operating one, when I had three spinal surgeries in the space of 15 days in September. And I’ve become particularly obsessed by another kind of theatre, too: political theatre.
When England moves back into a Tier system at 12.01am on 2 December 2020, indoor theatre performances will be allowed in Tiers 1 and 2 with an audience of 1,000 socially distanced people or 50% occupancy, whichever is smaller. However, in Tier 3 such events will not be allowed.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has confirmed via social media that rehearsals can go ahead at arts venues during the forthcoming four-week Coronavirus lockdown from 5 November to 2 December 2020 as they are regarded as ‘places of work’. Live-streamed performances are also allowed but audiences are not permitted.
Scores of productions devised to comply with social distancing have become casualties of the national lockdown that will run for one month from 5 November to 2 December 2020 in response to the continuing Coronavirus crisis.
There was a blow to any producers planning socially distanced indoor performances from 1 August 2020 when prime minister Boris Johnson announced that the easing of restrictions on theatre and music venues, amongst others, had been delayed to 15 August.
In a candid self-penned article in the Evening Standard, producer Cameron Mackintosh has revealed that he and Andrew Lloyd Webber have been forced to “sadly permanently shut down” the iconic West End production of The Phantom of the Opera as a consequence of the Coronavirus crisis.
Following on from the news that open air venue productions could go ahead earlier this month, culture secretary Oliver Dowden and prime minister Boris Johnson have announced plans for a limited return of indoor socially-distanced theatre productions from 1 August 2020 subject to the success of previously planned pilot performances.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has bowed to pressure from the arts world and unveiled a £1.57 billion lifeline for the UK’s theatres, venues and museums struggling to stay afloat in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In light of the continued coronavirus emergency and advice from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that people should avoid “pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues” during the pandemic, SOLT and UK Theatre has announced that member venues will close from the evening of Monday 16 March 2020.
Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk.
Full disclosure, I was not excited about seeing a show about Boris Johnson. Frankly I’m feeling a tad Boris-ed out these days, but fortunately, given a lively and plentiful audience, not everyone seems to be turned off by the subject matter.
Following Boris Johnson’s promotion to prime minister, the trailer for satire Boris Rex has taken on new levels of meaning. Have a watch, and take a look at images from the show, then book your tickets.
Soon after he might have been crowned the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and his rise to power will be satirised Shakespearean style on the London stage, when Brighton Fringe hit Boris Rex comes to the Tristan Bates Theatre. Book your tickets now!
Journalist and playwright Jonathan Maitland will be kept on his toes rewriting his latest play, The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson, nightly to ensure it keeps up with the politician’s ever-changing world.
London’s Park Theatre has announced its new January to June 2019 season featuring seven world and four UK/European premieres.
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