People turn to Twitter to expose the catastrophic collapse of theatre and arts during coronavirus‪‬

24 June 2020, 17:29

Realities of lockdown for theatres
Realities of lockdown for theatres. Picture: Twitter/James Graham

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

For many working in the performing arts sector, the past three months have been a period of desperate financial uncertainty. Now, there’s growing concern that some theatres won’t make it.

In desperate times for the arts world, writers, actors, musicians and theatre-lovers are taking to Twitter to make themselves heard.

The social platform is telling of mass redundancies, theatres closing until 2021, and the catastrophic impact of allowing venues to reopen – but banning live performances. Here are just some of the realities facing the industry.

  1. Rumours of the ‘Phantom’ cast being fired overnight

    This week, an inside source on the West End’s Phantom of the Opera whispered that the entire cast, along with front-of-house staff, stage hands and the orchestra, had been let go by producer Cameron Mackintosh – so John Barrowman spoke out.

    Read more: When will theatres and music venues reopen in the UK? >

  2. Mass redundancies coming to Theatre Royal Plymouth

    Writer James Graham warned “our world-beating cultural landscape is in collapse” as he revealed 100 staff at the Theatre Royal Plymouth would be made redundant. The venue has been in dire straits since losing 91 percent of its income during lockdown.

  3. Birmingham Hippodrome to lay off half its staff

    The Birmingham Hippodrome, which houses touring West End shows and is the home stage of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, faces having to make 60 of its 130 full-time staff redundant. A travesty for our Midlands arts landscape.

  4. 250 jobs at risk at the Wales Millennium Centre

    Bad news for the arts in Wales as Cardiff’s Millennium Centre announces its closure until 2021. 85 permanent staff members are reported to be at risk of redundancy.

  5. Anger over regional theatres being neglected

    There’s been plenty of focus on the West End. But ‘what about regional theatres?’, many are crying.

  6. David Schneider on the financial contribution of the arts sector

    The actor reminds us that the creative industries are one of the UK’s biggest success stories.

  7. A warning of communities losing out

    Many are also warning that social distancing in theatres will not be workable.

  8. Frustration over double standards

    Are music halls and theatres being treated differently to other social venues?

  9. And a couple of creative suggestions on how theatres’ doors can be reopened...