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Chester Storyhouse: 'The future of Storyhouse is in doubt'

The venue has railed against the lack of guidance during the pandemic

Storyhouse Chester
© Peter Cook

Chester Storyhouse has railed against the lack of clarity surrounding the future of the performing arts and government policy.

In a strongly-worded statement, the venue said that its future is very much in doubt following the cancellation of its summer season. This has, according to chief executive Andrew Bentley, led to "a precarious position and is a huge financial blow...Over two thirds of the country's theatres currently expect to be out of business by Christmas and we will join them at some point unless something changes soon. We are in a straightforward fight for survival."

The theatre, like hundreds of others, currently has no idea when exactly it can reopen, particularly at a time when many parts of the economy are able to, slowly, recommence.

Bentley said: "We are urging the government to give guidance now about opening theatres, we are running out of time. No-one expects business as usual but not all buildings are the same and theatres should be allowed to open at the same time as cinemas, cinemas are of course also theatres.

"As producers however we can't rehearse or mount any show until we get some information on how to do that safely and right now there is none. If that doesn't change soon it will be too late to put on a Christmas show and the number of theatres going under will rapidly increase."

"We had plans A, B, C and D to safely open for at least part of the summer. No business however can plan an opening in this vacuum. No business can survive when starved of any vision of the future."

The award-winning theatre has asked for donations during this time.

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