There’s no news yet on the future of this year’s Theatre Royal Christmas panto but, obviously, without real support or detailed guidance from the government, the situation for ALL theatres – closed by the pandemic – gets more precarious day by day.
On that subject, l see that Bath MP, Wera Hobhouse, has coordinated a cross-party letter calling on the Government to make time available to discuss the Creative Sector in Parliament.
The letter was signed by 33 MPs, representing eight different political parties, and was addressed to the Commons Leader Jacob Rees Mogg asking him to make time for a debate about support for the creative sector.
The UK faces a “cultural catastrophe” if the £100bn industry is not supported in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the group of MPs warn.
Wera’s letter has brought together MPs from across the political spectrum. The campaign arises from growing alarm across the sector, where thousands are facing the prospect of months without paid work.
“As we emerge from lockdown our creative industries have been left in the dark. The arts and cultural sector support two million jobs and contribute over £100 billion a year to our economy.
“The Government must provide certainty and security for the hundreds of communities, spanning the UK, who rely on thriving cultural sectors to draw in visitors.
“There are many questions left to answer about the future of these organizations – from how to social distance onstage to when a museum can expect to operate at full capacity once more.’
Meanwhile the Director of the Theatre Royal, Danny Moar told Bath Newseum:
“Although the government guidelines have stated that theatres can re-open from 4 July, the caveat that this is without live performances means that very little has changed for the Theatre Royal Bath, Ustinov Studio and Egg Theatre.
We continue to await further details from the government regarding timescales to go alongside the roadmap which was presented last week, and also what social distancing measures would be required for our audiences, performers and staff at each these stages.
As soon as these restrictions become more detailed, we have a number of plans on standby to be put into place to enable live performances to return to our stages, and for audiences to return to the auditorium at the earliest possible opportunity.
As a predominantly receiving house, we are also reliant on the touring productions, and while we may be able to reopen, if other venues around the country are affected, the touring productions many no longer be able to continue.
We are continually working behind the scenes to ensure that once we have further clarification from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport as to the conditions under which we can recommence performances, we will be able to do so as quickly and safely as possible.”