Theatre News

Over 80 per cent of English theatre companies plan to start trading from June, survey confirms

It’s brighter news on the horizon for theatres

The Apollo Theatre
The Apollo Theatre
© Siobhan Doran

A new survey of institutions conducted by SOLT has revealed how many have plans to reopen from June.

The survey, revealed earlier this week, stated that of England-based theatre organisations, 60 per cent are hoping to restart trading from 17 May ( which is where socially distanced performances are permitted, as per step three of the Government roadmap), and 83 per cent said they would resume from 21 June (which would be step four in the roadmap).

Great news for outdoor performance enthusiasts – almost a third of venue respondents said they have had plans to create an outdoor performance space due to Covid – despite the fact that the majority (61 per cent) will operate at a loss.

Almost half are also developing a revenue-generating digital space or product – given the explosion of digital content during the pandemic.

The huge toll of Covid is unavoidable however – of those surveyed, the vast majority of companies reported a loss during the pandemic – 165 organisations able to provide figures is estimated at nearly £200m so far. 95 per cent of surveyed theatre organisations around the UK reported being worse off because of Covid. A quarter of freelancers surveyed have been forced to cease trading during this time. Many have had to find alternate roles either inside or outside the industry.

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