UK Theatres told they can reopen from tomorrow

On 17 July 2020, the UK Government announced that theatre’s would be allowed to reopen (with socially distanced audiences) from 1 August 2020.

But the day before this was due to happen, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced this was to be delayed with concerns it may not be safe to do so.

Now, two weeks later, the Government have said that theatres may now reopen with socially distanced audiences from tomorrow (15 August 2020), marking Stage 4 of the government’s 5-stage roadmap.

The majority of theatre’s will not be able to reopen, as selling only around 30% of seats (for social distancing) would mean they lose money and don’t even break even so it isn’t possible to do but some smaller cabaret venues may feel they can make things work with a smaller crowd.

Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust, has commented:

Theatres Trust is pleased that theatres have been given the go-ahead for socially distanced indoor performances. We hope that those theatres impacted by the delay will be able to resume with the shows originally planned. However, while this is a step in the right direction, it is just a small step. The majority of theatres will not be able to reopen while social distancing is still in place and with no decision on this being made until November at the earliest, the theatre sector is still in very grave danger of irreparable damage.

This is one step towards the theatre industry getting back on track, as the next and final step in the Governments plan is to allow audiences with no social distancing. However, they have warned they may not be able to suggest a possible date for this next step until November 2020, causing the majority of Christmas Pantomimes to have to be cancelled. This will cause disastrous effects, as many UK venues make a huge chunk of their profit for the following year through pantos, which sadly now will not take place.