The theatre industry is once again in limbo after the announcement of the latest lockdown in England.
The boss of one theatre group has urged Rishi Sunak to “put the concerns of the self-employed and freelancers at rest by swiftly reinstating the same support for them as you did for lockdown one”.
Reacting to news of a one-month national lockdown for England from Thursday, Nica Burns, chief executive of Nimax Theatres which owns six West End venues, said: “Thank you Rishi Sunak for announcing so quickly the return of furlough alongside lockdown two. We would be grateful if you could put the concerns of the self-employed and freelancers at rest by swiftly reinstating the same support for them as you did for lockdown one”.
“Nimax will be reopening our six West End theatres in sequence with social distancing and preventative measures from December 3 following the end of the current lockdown on December 2.
“Ticket sales for all our shows have been excellent: our first show to open, Adam Kay at the Apollo, had to add additional performances to fulfil audience demand. Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Miserables staged concerts at the Sondheim Theatre sold out in 24 hours and if you want tickets for producer Michael Harrison’s pantomime at the London Palladium, move quickly!
“Audience feedback re our social distancing and preventative measures has been very positive and their safety continues to be a priority for all venue operators.
“The Government has said they want to preserve Christmas. Going to the theatre at Christmas is a tradition for many. Every theatre that will be open looks forward to welcoming our audiences back safely from December 3 after lockdown ends, and giving them a great night out.”