Oliver Dowden has reportedly stated that he wants British theatres reopen by Christmas, even hinting that the need for social distancing may be removed. While the UK Culture Secretary may have created excitement and given grounds for optimism, the fact that cases of Coronavirus are rising in all parts of the UK still means that any progress may stall.
As many have pointed out, re-opening theatres is not a matter of simply throwing open the doors. Shows must be re-rehearsed, even recast in some instances, and some staff may have been forced to take jobs elsewhere.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has implored the government to help producers and theatre owners by at least indicating a proposed date for reopening so that plans can be made.
Meanwhile, as the furlough scheme comes to an end, more redundancies seem inevitable. So, while there is still room for hope, support and certainty are what is now needed if the sector is to survive and thrive once more.