U.S. theaters will be able to reopen in November, according to the government’s latest directive.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Wednesday morning, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden took a sip of cold water .He hopes that the need for social distance that has kept the themes off will be lifted sooner rather than later.
“As the Prime Minister said a few weeks ago, when we come to November we will again look at the social distance, where we are with the virus infection,” Dowden said.
“We can’t promise anything stronger than that, because we see the virus spreading to other parts of the world. The risk increases further. Now the social situation is not that we can move forward for comfort. We have to work hard to control this virus and we will give it to people as soon as we can assure them. But at the moment we are not in that place. ”
“We want to open up as soon as possible in line with public health and take global risks around the resurgence of the virus,” Dowden added. “So from the beginning of August we will be able to perform internally with social distance and if we can move towards non-social distance we will.”
Last week, Andrew Lloyd Weber, the theater’s emir, urged the prime minister to rebuild, failing which the backbone pantomime business in the United States would collapse. “Boris, give us a date,” Lloyd Weber said.
On Tuesday, renowned theater producer Cameron McIntosh wrote in the Evening Standard: “Theaters don’t mean darkness, so please Boris: ‘Curtains up, lights up, we have nothing to do but height.’ We’re all in a race to get back to work. But we need money to survive and we need real time to plan wisely so that the screen stays fixed when we reopen. “
McIntosh warned that the creative supply line had been broken for at least 18 months and could not function properly until London and New York theaters reopened. Weber and McIntosh’s “The Phantom of the Opera” is the latest high-profile crash of the coronavirus epidemic, permanently closing its doors after 34 years on the West End.
Dowden was on the Today program to talk about the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, which has been in effect since Wednesday. “We are launching this scheme today, have laid down guidelines and in the summer we will allocate a huge chunk of it. If companies are in a situation where they need more money than they need, we will provide the resources if they are literally on the way out. And we are working with other organizations to get emergency help, for example Arts Council England. “