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Theatre designers to wrap over 50 venues in special barrier tape to project positive messages

The "Missing Live Theatre" scheme will begin with the National Theatre

Edinburgh's Lyceum, Manchester's Royal Exchange, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

A new initiative will see venues up and down the country wrap themselves in special barrier tape to project positive messages.

Beginning with the National on Friday 3 July, the "Missing Live Theatre" scheme will raise awareness for the arts community while some parts of the economy and hospitality industry begin to reopen.

After the National Theatre, the tape will be placed across Manchester's Royal Exchange, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Lyric Belfast and Sherman Theatre across the day on Friday, and throughout the West End on the Saturday.

"Scene Change", a group of stage designers who created the project, 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."

Over 50 venues are also committed including the RSC, Sadler's Wells, Theatr Clwyd, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Sheffield Theatres, Ambassador Theatre Group, Theatre Royal Plymouth amongst many others, with a number placing tape around their theatres from 6 July.

Of the 290,000 theatre jobs in the UK, over two-thirds are freelance or self employed.