The Covid cast has been hitting out at the impact on theatre of West End stars opting for other careers, saying that it is in “peril” as a result. The company’s artistic director said there are now more than 300 actors who have left London and almost half of those from the UK.
The “is the west end open” is a question that has been on many people’s minds. The Covid is a virus that was found in London theatre and cast members have caught it. This means that the West End might be closed for some time.
Both Hamilton and The Lion King had to reschedule their shows. (Photo courtesy of Rex/Getty)
The number of London theatres that have had to shut as a result of cast and staff members testing positive for Covid continues to rise, prompting demands for the government to ‘act quickly.’
According to LondontTheatre.co.uk, a number of plays, including Aladdin, Bring It On, Cabaret, Cinderella, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, and Jersey Boys, have been forced to cancel performances ahead of Christmas.
The Lion King, Hamilton, Matilda, Wicked, and The Lion King, which lowered its lights until at least December 28 owing to ‘ongoing Covid-enforced absences’ among cast and crew, were among the 22 full members of the Society of London Theatre that had plays running over the weekend.
Moulin Rouge, for example! The Musical has postponed performances until December 23, while Six has postponed performances until December 24. After canceling concerts owing to the spread of the Omicron variety in the capital, The Book of Mormon is set to reopen on December 27.
In reaction to the turmoil, theatrical mogul Dame Rosemary Squire urged the government to ‘act quickly’ to safeguard plays, claiming that the ‘virulent’ new Covid-19 strain is causing “great disruption and catastrophic harm to an already vulnerable theatre business.”
‘While we are doing everything we can within our theatres to protect staff, customers, and performers through robust safety measures, the virulent Covid Omicron variant is now causing huge disruption and irreparable damage to an already fragile theatre industry,’ said Dame Rosemary, who co-founded Trafalgar Entertainment with Sir Howard Panter.
Omicron put Hamilton’s manufacturing at jeopardy (photo: Dan Wooller/REX/Shutterstock).
‘At what should be our busiest time of year, we’re seeing cancellations across the board, as well as outbreaks of Covid among casts and production personnel.’
Consumer confidence is plummeting as a result of this, along with the government’s unclear and conflicting rhetoric.
‘The government must act immediately to provide financial assistance and compensation to our world-class theatre, live entertainment, and hotel businesses, or we may face extinction.’ Our industries are interdependent, but we can’t do it on our own.’
Lifeline initiatives that were ‘just very recently shut off’ by the government, according to Dame Rosemary, might ‘simply be reactivated’.
She called for a return to 5% VAT on ticket sales and business rates relief on cultural buildings, as well as the reintroduction of the furlough and job retention schemes, as well as a broadening of the eligibility criteria for the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to allow organizations that had previously received money to reapply.
The CRF, which has a budget of £1.57 billion, was established in July 2020 with the goal of safeguarding Britain’s cultural, artistic, and historic institutions.
‘Covid and its likely many versions will be there for many years, so we all need to find ways to live with it,’ Dame Rosemary continued.
Cinderella, by Andrew Lloyd Webber, had a rocky start when it debuted during the pandemic (Photo: Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images).
‘And, as we look forward to 2022 and beyond, our industry will confront similar issues again, and we must all be ready to adapt, innovate, and reassure.’
She concluded by stressing that another lockdown would be “disastrous” unless “adequate financial assistance” was in place.
‘It depends on tens of thousands of jobs, lives, and people’s mental health,’ she added.
‘It would have a massive economic effect.’ We can’t afford to be in such a precarious situation. Theatre is a safe haven and a source of pleasure in these trying times, and we must safeguard it.’
Sir Cameron Mackintosh, whose theatrical credits include Hamilton, Les Miserables, and Miss Saigon, BBC News on Monday night that the government should’step in and aid the commercial theatre, because by and large, the commercial theatre hasn’t had any help at all throughout the epidemic.’
‘Our extraordinary £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund has handed out £1.5 billion in grants and loans,’ a spokeswoman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport told PA News Agency.
‘The Culture Recovery Fund’s third phase, worth £300 million, is currently accepting applications, providing crucial continuing assistance for the arts, heritage, and creative industries.
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‘We’ll keep an eye on how the program is delivered and see what we can do to tweak it to meet the needs.’
‘We recognize the importance of the holiday season for so many companies, and the government will continue to work constructively on how to best help those impacted in the future.’
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Covid is a virus that has been found in London theatre. It was first found in the West End and caused theatres to close down for fear of spreading it. The rules for theatres reopening have not yet been released.
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