I also wonder if you have spoken to your European counterparts about protecting the arts from economic ruin. I am well aware that you are part of a Brexit-driven government that relies on the myth of British exceptionalism. But it is surely worth noting that the German government has pledged €1bn to support the arts in crisis and that the French have, among other measures, created a fund of €7bn for small businesses, including those that have had to cancel shows and film shoots. By comparison our £160m Arts Council emergency package looks like very small beer. … [Read more...] about Dear Oliver Dowden, have you even begun to grasp the scale of our arts crisis?
Pantomime, Worthington stresses, is at the heart of the theatre ecology. He quotes the title of a book about Salisbury Playhouse: Putting on Panto to Pay for the Pinter. The Christmas box-office bounty enables regional theatres to stage a variety of other work. Those venues are themselves inseparable from the more prominent, better-funded organisations in bigger towns on the UK theatre map. Snobbery about panto and regional theatre persists. Small, rural theatres such as the Civic are often thought of as a “poor relative to the larger venues”, says Knight, but are a “breeding ground for talent. Without us, many of the stars of the West End wouldn’t be where they are today. We are equally as professional as larger venues but on a more modest budget and with more modest ambition.” … [Read more...] about Not just for Christmas: panto cancellations threaten theatres’ future
Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust, said that because the vast majority of venues would now have to cancel their Christmas shows, more theatres will need to be supported through the government’s rescue package. “We urge funding bodies to consider and prioritise the circumstances of theatres that rely on pantomime for a significant proportion of their turnover,” he said. In some cases, Morgan said, this was as much as 40%. “If the funds do not reach enough of these theatres, particularly with the furlough scheme ending in October, we will see more theatres closing their doors permanently.” … [Read more...] about Wait for date to fully reopen theatres spells disaster for panto season
Meanwhile, France has warned the progress in the fight against coronavirus has been "erased", with officials from the health ministry saying: "We have returned to levels comparable with those at the end of the lockdown period. … [Read more...] about Heathrow boss calls for returning holidaymakers to be tested at airports to slash quarantine time
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden condemned XR’s actions as “idiotic”, while Cabinet colleagues, including Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, urged people to buy a paper to support the industry, which has been badly hit by a decline in advertising revenue during the pandemic. … [Read more...] about Tories ‘planning to classify Extinction Rebellion as organised crime group’ in crackdown