Theatre News

National Theatre's Rufus Norris: 'Without support, we're under by the end of the year'

The artistic director spoke on ITV news about the severe consequences of coronavirus

Rufus Norris
Rufus Norris
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The National Theatre's artistic director Rufus Norris went on ITV News to talk about the impact of lockdowns on both his theatre and the wider stage community.

Speaking via webcam, Norris stated that the situation was "pretty desperate", with the National conventionally relying on box office revenue to stay afloat: "If we don't have people coming in, we can't survive…we're under by the end of the year, without support."

He said that aid was vital not just for the National Theatre, but for stages across the UK: "If there's no support, most theatres won't survive."

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On the same show, Nimax Theatre's Nica Burns, who runs six West End venues, has stated that social distancing within auditoriums would not be financially feasible. "We can't survive by selling only one ticket in two, or three. It isn't possible."

Burns has said that the South Korean approach, where every audience member has to wear a face mask, undergo temperature scans, and place their hands through a hand sanitisation machine, would be feasible.

"We are ready to put any measures in place. We just can't distance audiences in the auditorium."

It is unknown when exactly social distancing rules may be eased, though the Prime Minister is due to make a statement on Sunday (10 May) regarding future plans.