Theatre News

Government confirms new pilot events – with no theatre performances currently involved

Last week Andrew Lloyd Webber stated his ”Cinderella” musical will not be part of the scheme

A crowd watching some air cannons
A crowd watching some air cannons

The government has rolled out further "Events Research Programme" events – though none currently involve live theatre.

Today, the Goodwood Festival of Speed was confirmed as going ahead on 8 July with all ticket holders able to attend, as long as they have proof of a negative lateral flow test or have had both doses of vaccine 14 days prior to attendance.

Last week it was announced that Silverstone will be able to welcome 140,000 attendees for its outdoor event (with these crowds spread across a large area), while the Open Championship will be three-quarters full.

Wimbledon will have a gradual build-up to full capacity in time for the final, just before the currently anticipated date for step four in the government roadmap, on 19 July. At the same time, the Euros will reportedly see a capacity of around 66 per cent for the semi-final and finals at Wembley Stadium.

Last night, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden tweeted from the first preview of Hairspray the Musical, saying "I know that theatres have had to endure many tough restrictions but we are making progress thanks to the vaccine, and I can't wait to see theatres full again very soon." He also posed for a photo with Michael Ball.

Over the weekend, 10,000 people attended Download Festival in Leicestershire (an eighth of the usual capacity), without wearing masks. Spectators had to submit negative lateral flow and PCR test results before arrival.

Last week, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber refused to take part in any schemes, stating that he would be unwilling to do so if further companies were not given similar opportunities. Additional pilot events may be revealed in due course.

Hundreds of socially distanced performances are happening on a nightly basis across the country, with audiences abiding by restrictions and capacity caps to mitigate risk.

WhatsOnStage has reached out to DCMS, with no response as of yet.