The arts is suffering a mid pandemic crisis. As arenas for performance fall dark or, at worst, fall into the arms of the administrators, theatres everywhere are thinking creatively about how to produce content, how to stay afloat and how to adapt to the current crisis.
Lists are being produced every day about the best theatre streaming content being made available whilst stages remain dark. From the simple yet elegantly beautiful Caretaker at the Royal Court through to the top end usual suspects, people are turning to the arts to bring a little bit of storytelling into their locked down homes.
The trouble is, an already Londoncentric industry has, strangely, become even more so.
List after list – I don’t need to include examples here as there are many to be found – sees productions that are inevitably staged at London theatres or produced by London companies in London. When you have the world on your browser, why is it that we are still asked to focus on London?
My argument isn’t that these buildings and companies aren’t all struggling one way or another. They are. My argument is simple – theatre is everywhere. It is regional. It is rural. It is poor. Now it is in your front room, it can be from anywhere.
Here is a list of people and places to whet your theatrical whistle beyond the capital, including Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre, Manchester Royal Exchange, Bath’s Rondo Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Newbury’s Watermill Theatre and Sydney Opera House…