Coronavirus updates


Rishi Sunak

Has Sunak Saved the Theatre? – Not Yet

Rishi Sunak's latest jobs and loans package offers little comfort for the arts community.
Josh Benson in York Theatre Royal's 2020 touring pantomime

Panto Season 2020: Oh Yes It Is!

Simon Sladen looks forward to Panto Season 2020 and explores how COVID-19 has affected the Industry. (Updated 30/09/20)
Max Weitzenhofer and Nica Burns

The wisdom of reopening theatres

Philip Fisher is concerned that running shows at a loss could further damage the finances of theatres that are already struggling.
Jack and the Two Metre Beanstalk

Pandemic Panto-monium!

Simon Sladen reports on the latest industry activity ahead of Panto Season 2020 including strategies companies are taking to produce COVID-secure productions. Updated 23/09/20.
Finborough Theatre

Favourite theatres on death row and an extra-terrestrial solution

Philip Fisher highlights the plight of the Finborough Theatre in London and some of Edinburgh's finest, while remaining cynical about the government's Moonshine project.
Julian Knight MP

A begging letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer

The DCMS committee has written to Rishi Sunak pleading for help for the arts.
Tony Boncza, Oliver Gully and Anna Andersen in The Mousetrap

Creatives versus Accountants

Philip Fisher worries about the future of the industry that we all love.
Encore Musicians

The day the music dies

National news editor and London reviewer Sandra Giorgetti takes a look at a recent survey that puts figures on the desperate straits of UK musicians.
Sam Mendes

A Drop in the Ocean

Philip Fisher reports on an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and an Arts Council England bailout that will leave the self-employed drowning.
Talking Heads

Theatrical (Russian) Roulette

Philip Fisher considers the government's (second) announcement that some indoor theatres can reopen in limited fashion and highlights two exciting shows from major venues that will benefit.
Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Who will survive?

Peter Lathan asks which theatres, apart from the “crown jewels”, will survive the effects of the pandemic.
EU Flag

If the Pandemic Doesn’t Get the Arts, Brexit Will

Philip Fisher considers an open letter about EU and the arts written by Baroness Donaghy, Chair of the House of Lords EU Services Sub--Committee to Oliver Dowden.
Harold Pinter Theatre

Decimation of the Theatre Industry

Philip Fisher fears that the government's latest pronouncement is another step towards a disaster from which theatre could take a generation to recover.
Oliver Dowden

Government jump start funding for theatres and other arts organisations

The next stage of the government's funding for the arts has been announced. Many will see this complex package as too little too late.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag on Edinburgh Fringe

DCMS first report into the Impact of COVID-19

Philip Fisher summarises the first report published by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee into the impact of COVID-19 on theatres.
The Mousetrap

A Mystery to Rival The Mousetrap

Philip Fisher welcomes announcements about the reopening of some London theatres but questions the commercial rationale.

Opening Open-Air Theatres (or not)

Philip Fisher asks whether the new rules on open-air theatres are anything more than a gimmick.
New York Times Journalist Matthew Anderson and actor Samuel West exchange pantomime views via Twitter

"PANTOMIMES" hit the headlines

As the Government announce a £1.57 billion investment in the arts, Simon Sladen reports on pantomime hitting the headlines and ponders what a socially-distanced panto season might look like.
James Graham's This House at the National Theatre

Don’t uncork the champagne just yet...

Philip Fisher offers an instant response to the Government's bailout package for the arts sector.
Phantom of the Opera

We’re on the Roadmap to Nowhere

Philip Fisher is alarmed by the government's failure to address the impending closure of theatres and mass redundancies in the arts.
OffWestEnd report: £9m to save 100 theatres

Read 'em and weep

National news editor and London reviewer Sandra Giorgetti finds the recent figures announced by OffWestEnd brings tears to her eyes.
Sierra Boggess

Theatre re-openings: uncertainty, confusion and even a little hope

Philip Fisher reports on a series of very recent developments, including the Government's first attempt at a plan for the future.
The ghost light still burning at Northern Stage, Newcastle

Cinema but not theatre. Why?

Peter Lathan considers why theatres are not allowed to open when cinemas can.

What about the actors?

As ever, it’s the actors and other freelance workers who are forgotten in troubled times for theatres.
Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP

The art of letters – another missive for Dowden

National News Editor and London Reviewer Sandra Giorgetti is monitoring the letters landing on the doormat of DCMS Minister, Oliver Dowden.
Lord Gilbert of Panteg, chair of The House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee

A plague on whose House?

National News Editor and London Reviewer Sandra Giorgetti looks at the response to the recently convened Cultural Renewal Taskforce.
Panto in Lockdown

Panto in Lockdown: A Roundup

Simon Sladen surveys the online pantomime initiatives keeping the genre alive during lockdown.
NRTF - National Rural Touring Forum

Size matters

Sandra Giorgetti considers theatre at this time of crisis, particularly the smaller venues and rural touring.
Sonia Friedman

Save Our Theatres

According to Sonia Friedman, "Theatre stands on the brink of ruin". Philip Fisher echoes her plea for government support before it is too late.
Bryan Cranston in Network

Theatre Closures

Philip Fisher looks at the future and fears a long wait before theatres across the UK reopen.
Coronavirus Theatre Club

Let’s not confuse theatres with Theatre

Peter Lathan responds to the suggestion that theatres may not be able to re-open until 2021.
The interior of Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle

Lamentations of an isolated theatrical

Peter Lathan explores how well (or otherwise) he is living with isolation.
Online theatre shows on BTG

Ain't nothing like the real thing

David Cunningham explains why the online world can never make up for what he personally is currently missing from live theatre.
Rishi Sunak

One-star review for government's aid for self-employed workers

Sandra Giorgetti gives the government's aid for self-employed workers a one star review.
Joseph Milson, Dervla Kirwan and Simon Russell Beale in Mr Foote's Other Leg

The Play’s (Not) the Thing

Philip Fisher introduces his new weekly column with some thoughts about the consequences of current theatre closures.