Theatre News

Socially distanced protests to criticise the government's treatment of the arts announced

The events will take place on 11 July

Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
© Diliff / CC BY-SA (

A series of protests across the UK will take place on 11 July to criticise the government's treatment of the arts sector during the ongoing pandemic.

Further details about protests occurring across the UK can be found here, with more information about the national initiative available.

One in London is billed as a peaceful protest and using the hashtag "#CanYouHearThePeopleSing". The event will begin at 12pm at Trafalgar Square. All participants will socially distance during the event, with further information and details to follow.

According to the event's organiser Darren Bell, over a thousand people have already signed up, with many more expected. The singing of showtunes during the event is almost guaranteed, with the idea inspired by Sarah Jane Price.

On the protest's website it says: "Theatre has been left behind by the government. The DCMS have been slow to work out a road to recovery for the C in DCMS. This is not just a London problem, this is a UK problem. Hundreds of redundancies, shows still closed for the unforeseeable future, and as yet no real roadmap of when they will re-open. Many are still unable to claim any financial support as the CJRS or SEISS schemes do not cover everyone for reasons including PAYE freelancers, maternity pay and LTD company owners/directors who pay themselves via dividends."

Venues up and down the country have had to begin redundancy discussions with many stating that box office income has reduced to a tenth of its usual level. Last week producer Cameron Mackintosh has said that four of his West End shows will close until 2021, with significant job losses expected across all shows.

The London protest was originally scheduled for 27 June but was rescheduled following news that a Black Lives Matter march would be happening on that day.

You can sign up for the London event here.