Greenwich and Dartford theatres light up in ’emergency red’

Greenwich and Dartford theatres light up in 'emergency red'

Greenwich Theatre and the Orchard Theatre in Dartford have lit up in ’emergency red’ to highlight the dire condition of theatres and the live events industry during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The theatres joined over 500 landmark UK venues, all lighting up in red in solidarity as the venues struggle with dire finances and as of yet no return date.

Whilst many have welcomed the UK Government’s £1.57 billion rescue package for the arts sector, most believe it will not be enough to save the performing arts industry. Concerns remain about how the money will be allocated, how it’ll affect freelancers, suppliers and the wider theatre industry.

 

The #LightItInRed campaign is based on Germany’s #NightofLight2020 campaign, which also saw landmark buildings lit up in red to raise awareness of the situation of the live events industry.

It has been organised by Clearsound Productions in partnership with the Backstage Theatre Jobs forum, and is supported by PLASA, which is the UK membership body for suppliers to the events industries.

PLASA warns that the entire live event production ecosystem could collapse by spring next year without extensions to the furlough and self-employed support schemes and capital grants.

Greenwich Theatre posted on Twitter saying they were joining venues across the country in solidarity and lighting itself in red. “The support package is welcomed but not enough. We still need more clarity and are standing by and ready. #LightItInRed”

The Orchard Theatre in Dartford followed suit with a similar post, pointing out that whilst the support package was welcome, theatres remain on ‘standby’ with no date for live performances to return.

Other buildings that were lit up include York Theatre Royal, Alexandra Palace in London, Oxford Playhouse, the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch, Jermyn Street Theatre, Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Northern Ballet, Leeds Playhouse, Chichester Festival Theatre, Hull Truck Theatre and the Edinburgh Playhouse.

The #LightItInRed campaign is based on Germany’s #NightofLight2020 campaign, which also saw landmark buildings lit up in red to raise awareness of the situation of the live events industry.

It has been organised by Clearsound Productions in partnership with the Backstage Theatre Jobs forum, and is supported by PLASA, which is the UK membership body for suppliers to the events industries.

While PLASA has welcomed the £1.57 billion package announced by the government, it warned that the supply chain behind the production of live events is “still being largely ignored”.

Peter Heath, managing director of PLASA, said: “While the rescue package indicates some progress in addressing the UK’s cultural catastrophe, there is still a vast amount of more tailored support needed ;

“There are thousands of businesses and people involved in live productions, outside of theatres, who are not being taken into consideration and do not know when they will be returning to work.

“The #LightItInRed campaign is a warning to the government, that we can expect the production ecosystem to collapse before spring next year unless we see an extension of the furlough scheme, capital grants and the self-employed income protection scheme, at the very least.”

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