Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre to be wrapped in colourful barrier tape as it remains closed

Royal Exchange Theatre Credit: PA

Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre will join others across the UK in a project by stage designers group Scene Change.

The buildings will be wrapped in colourful messages of hope as they remain closed due to the coronavirus crisis.

On Wednesday, the Royal Exchange Theatre announced it has been forced to make the 'painful' decision to consult with staff over the loss of up to 65% of its permanent roles redundant to try to protect the Royal Exchange for the future.

The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Lyric Belfast, and the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff will also take part on Friday, while others throughout London's West End will join  in on Saturday.

The National Theatre on London's South Bank will be wrapped in bright pink barrier tape reading "Missing Live Theatre".

Theatres have been devastated by the closures caused by the pandemic, and it has been warned that 70% of performing arts companies will close by Christmas if there is no government rescue package.

Scene Change said: "As businesses begin to reopen, the doors of theatres remain firmly shut whilst we navigate a way back to live performance.

Today, as we launch #MissingLiveTheatre, we want to bring joy and colour to theatres across the UK and Ireland, whilst highlighting the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and what we as an industry and local communities are missing.

Scene Change

"This is a moment of reset in our industry and we believe the design community can be an essential part of the transformation that will see theatre buildings being reopened and the ways in which theatre can be re-imagined.

"As shapers of theatrical space through the use of people and place, our work is pivotal in connecting an entire ecosystem within the theatre industry. We are ideally positioned to be at the heart of any discussions about how theatre operates in the future."

The tape will remain in place for up to a week before being removed and reused by Scene Change to envelop another theatre.

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