After Oliver Dowden’s roadmap for England’s theatres was published last night, I want to share a statement in response from Jon Morgan, director of The Theatres Trust, a national advisory public body for theatres.
The Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden’s announcement of a five-step roadmap for reopening of theatres is a move in the right direction, but critically it does not offer any timescales for stages 3 to 5, the stages when audiences will be admitted to performances. Without this detail, theatres will still be unable to plan effectively for their reopening. The impact of this uncertainty is devastating for the theatre industry. Each day there is news of another theatre making large-scale redundancies and, for every day of delay, there is the grave danger of more theatres closing permanently. The government must urgently confirm ‘no earlier than’ dates for stages 3 to 5 and respond to the sector’s calls for a financial rescue package to protect our world class theatre. Without this critical support, we face a cultural catastrophe.