I’ve never met you and I’m ready to believe you are well-intentioned. But I wonder if you have even begun to grasp the scale of the crisis facing the performing arts – theatre, opera and dance as well as classical music – in this country. Unless you come up soon with a detailed, precise, properly financed plan of action you will go down in history as the politician who presided over the dissolution of the arts in Britain. The only thing one can say for sure is that the show definitely won’t go on. … [Read more...] about Dear Oliver Dowden, have you even begun to grasp the scale of our arts crisis?
While the careers of those in theatre have suffered in recent months, there are many, he writes, “whom Covid-19 has made rich”. He continues: “It would be deeply ironic if the streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Prime et al – should be making lockdown millions from our finest acting, producing, writing and directing talent, while the very arts culture that nurtured that talent pool is allowed to die.” He calls upon the titans of those industries to “use a fraction of their Covid-19 windfall” to support the performing arts during the crisis. … [Read more...] about Sam Mendes calls on Netflix and Amazon to share ‘Covid-19 windfall’ with theatre
Last Friday the government released its “roadmap” for reopening UK theatres. There is just one problem: it’s woefully vague with no dates or hard information – or anything of practical use – and it has demoralised everyone I’ve spoken to in the industry. What good is a road map when you don’t know whether the little fuel you have left in the tank will last the journey? … [Read more...] about The government’s plan for UK theatre is vague and demoralising – here’s what we need
When we experience a background hum of unfocused emotion, be it anxiety, sadness, fear, anger, we unconsciously look for something to attach it to. Social media is brilliant at supplying us with issues to which attach our free-floating feelings. We often look for nice, preformed boxes into which we can dump our inchoate feelings, we crave certainty. Social media constantly offers up neat solutions for our messy feelings, whether it be God, guns, Greta or gender identity. … [Read more...] about Be it on God, guns or Greta, social media offers neat solutions for our messy feelings
The vibe among socially distanced audiences in a reduced-capacity Lyric will undoubtedly be different, but the announcement heralds the gradual reopening of an unrecognisably quiet West End, where footfall this summer was down by 63% on the previous year. Next month, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap – the longest-running play in London and, indeed, the world – will reopen at the St Martin’s theatre. The Nimax group of West End theatres has announced plans to restart shows including the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and comedy The Play That Goes Wrong. Next month, Nimax’s Apollo theatre will reopen with a short run for ex-NHS doctor Adam Kay’s solo show This is Going to Hurt. The first night, on 22 October, is a free performance for NHS staff only. … [Read more...] about Tudor girl-band concert Six set to be first musical to reopen in West End