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Sheffield Theatres to close two venues until spring 2021 and enters into redundancy consultations

The theatre announced that it will be presenting a limited number of shows this year

Sheffield Theatres
© Craig Fleming

Sheffield Theatres, featuring the Crucible, the Lyceum and the Studio, has announced that it will remain largely closed until spring 2021.

The theatre was forced to shut down in March, in line with other venues across the UK, due to the ongoing pandemic.

In a new statement released today, chief executive Dan Bates said: "We can now share that we will not fully reopen until spring 2021; the Lyceum and Studio Theatres will remain closed and only the Crucible will open through the autumn to host a ‘pop-up' festival of work. I am also devastated to say that we have entered into a consultation with our staff team which could reduce our numbers by 29 per cent."

"Though the Government has announced that theatres are able to reopen to socially distanced audiences in August, we are still awaiting detail on this. Equally, we don't have confirmation of when we could reopen to full audiences – a vitally important step in us being able to operate effectively.

"The Arts Council's Emergency Funding will sustain us until September and then we hope to apply for some money as part of the Government's £1.57bn package, though we don't know any details of how much this could be or whether an application would be successful."

Regarding staffing, Bates said: "With two of our three theatres closed for at least six months, I am sad to say that we won't have work for our entire team for a while. And so, it is with an even heavier heart that we have commenced a consultation with our team which will affect 29% of our colleagues.

"Alongside redundancies we are asking all staff to reduce their hours of work and some part time working. Although this is a hard sacrifice for everyone, we believe it will help us to keep as many people employed as possible."

The company had previously mentioned the possibility of performing outdoor Shakespeare shows in Sheffield parks, with Bates indicating that this will happen later in the year. The venue has also revealed plans for a "pop up panto" in the Crucible featuring Damian Williams. Further plans are to be revealed in September.

Bates added: "Christmas is not cancelled, it's just different. We have not gone bust, we are being prudent and planning for the future. We are not sitting back, we are fighting for our future. We want to be back as soon as it is safe to do so."

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