Theatre Gibbon

Tories announce a £100 million bailout… for zoos!

In Features, Native, News, Opinion, Quotes by Phil Willmott

No news of government help for theatre as Tories announce a £100 million bailout… for zoos! Yes, that’s right. You couldn’t make it up!

MPs and peers warned Boris Johnson of ‘innumerable zoo closures’ without a bailout worth tens of millions. Heart-warmingly he has listened, helping out the beleaguered leisure parks with buckets of free money.

Meanwhile, MPs and peers have also warned Boris Johnson that the entire theatre industry is on the brink of collapse, shutting a cornerstone of Britain’s cultural life for the foreseeable future and plunging thousands into unemployment.

Alas, in stark contrast with the Zootopia bonanza, Johnson has announced zero help for the arts beyond appointing wind-bag Oliver Dowden to make bombastic speeches announcing the vaguest of plans and empty promises, in his role as “culture secretary”.

Perhaps they’re cooking up something really big to save theatre and just keeping quiet about if for now so as not to spoil the surprise.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day. Perhaps they’ll announce a £100 million rescue package for the arts at the next press conference.

Let me make it absolutely clear that I am fully supportive of measures to ensure the conservation work of major zoos can continue, so that Johnson and Dowden can watch animals staring at the wall, picking faeces out of their fur.

I just wish they wanted to watch actors, dancers, singers and musicians as well. Then I could afford to go to the zoo.

I leave you with cheery zoological gossip as reported in the Daily Telegraph

“A spokesman said: At London Zoo, our pygmy goats will be delighted at all the extra fuss, as they’ve definitely been missing our visitors — as has Jimmy the gibbon, who has been spotted by keepers displaying his swing skills for the public walking past the Zoo’s perimeter fence in Regent’s Park”.

Aw, bless him!

Read the full article on LondonBoxOffice.com
Phil Willmott on Twitter
Phil Willmott
Phil Willmott is a multi-award winning director, playwright, composer, librettist, teacher, dramaturg, arts journalist and actor and currently the editor and chief theatre critic for the commercial ticketing website. LONDONBOXOFFICE.COM.

As a theatre maker he has worked in theatres across the world on everything from the classics, musicals and family shows to cabaret and cutting edge new writing. He is the founding artistic director of several multi-award-winning theatre companies including the Finborough Theatre, the Phil Willmott Company, which presents the annual Essential Classics at the Union Theatre; and Gods & Monsters, which, for 15 years, presented the annual London Free Theatre Festival at The Scoop amphitheatre adjacent to London's City Hall. Find out more about Phil at philwillmott.org and on Twitter at @PhilWillmott.

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Phil Willmott on Twitter
Phil Willmott
Phil Willmott is a multi-award winning director, playwright, composer, librettist, teacher, dramaturg, arts journalist and actor and currently the editor and chief theatre critic for the commercial ticketing website. LONDONBOXOFFICE.COM.

As a theatre maker he has worked in theatres across the world on everything from the classics, musicals and family shows to cabaret and cutting edge new writing. He is the founding artistic director of several multi-award-winning theatre companies including the Finborough Theatre, the Phil Willmott Company, which presents the annual Essential Classics at the Union Theatre; and Gods & Monsters, which, for 15 years, presented the annual London Free Theatre Festival at The Scoop amphitheatre adjacent to London's City Hall. Find out more about Phil at philwillmott.org and on Twitter at @PhilWillmott.