Just last week we were excitedly looking ahead to a host of West End Theatres reopening their doors for Christmas. Yesterday, the UK government took the decision to move London into Tier 3, meaning that indoor entertainment is cancelled.
Politicians had a difficult decision to make, balancing public health with the inevitable disappointment and damage the restrictions cause in the Theatre industry. While many understand the decision, others question why retailers are able to remain open while theatres, which are arguably more secure and controlled environments, must close.
Whatsonstage were at the Dominion Theatre, where Scrooge actor Brian Conley spoke movingly (and at length) about the incredible work every member of the company, stage crew, and theatre staff had done in mounting a covid-secure production. The show, whose cast learned about the new restrictions on the show’s launch night, had been due to run until 2nd January 2021. Instead, the production will now enjoy it’s final performance the night after opening – making it one of the shortest runs in West End history.
Across the industry, devastated theatre fans will now have tickets cancelled for a host of shows including the Les Misérables staged concert at the Sondheim Theatre and Pantoland at the London Palladium. On a very personal level, we extend our best wishes to everyone affected including the many freelancers and theatre staff who will now face a very uncertain financial future this Christmas. After a difficult year, this news will be hard for many to take. The rollout of vaccine cannot come soon enough.