What does the future hold for the theatre industry?

The majority of theatres across the UK may never reopen.

In 2018, theatres across the country played to 34 million people but since March all theatres have been closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There is no date scheduled when shows will be able to perform in front of packed audiences again and if they do, it is likely it will happen with a reduced capacity because of social distancing measures.

The Birmingham Hippodrome put half of its staff on redundancy notice Credit: ITV News Central

Birmingham Hippodrome put half of its 130 staff on notice of redundancy. The Chief Executive has described its redundancies as heart-breaking.

Fiona Allan says even when theatres are allowed to reopen, possible social distancing restrictions for audiences and performers would make most shows impossible.

Other venues have managed to top-up their grants with donations from patrons. Currently the only public access to the Malvern Theatres complex in Worcestershire is via this virtual tour but its 80 per cent of the way to its £100,000 target.

Despite a £3 million council-funded refurb, the Haymarket went into liquidation last month, just two years after it re-opened.

Two other venues In the East Midlands are still trying to reconnect with their audiences. The Curve in Leicester has been posting previous in-house productions online for free.

The Playhouse in Nottingham is putting on an interactive production - Noah and the Peacock.

The Belgrade Theatre is using other ways to generate income. Credit: Belgrade Theatre

The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry has started a takeaway service from its currently closed café, but acknowledges that all these efforts are short-term fixes.

Read more: