5-Stage Plan announced by Culture Secretary for reopening theatres!

Posted on 26 June 2020

At long last the government have announced a plan on how we will reopen our theatres. The theatre community have been calling on the government for desperately needed assistance, as theatres and the arts industry was left out of plans and funding again and again. Just last week we had our first mention of the word “theatre” from Prime Minister Boris Johnson but then was dismissed with a mere plan of “reopen as soon as possible”. Finally, the culture secretary Oliver Dowden has released a 5-step plan on how we will implement the reopening of our theatres in the safest possible way.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden reveal 5-Step plan to reopen theatres!

Oliver Dowden claims this roadmap will provide a “clear pathway back.” The plan begins with outdoor performances and weens its way onto reintroducing indoor performances. Here are the 5-steps:

Step 1

Rehearsal and training. No audiences allowed and adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Step 2

Performances for broadcasting and recording are allowed. Still adhering to social distancing.

Step 3

Outdoor performances with an audience. Pilots for indoor performances with a limited distanced audience.

Step 4

Performances allowed indoors and outdoors. Indoor audience must remain limited.

Step 5

Performances allowed indoor and outdoors. Fuller indoor audiences allowed.

There are not yet any date provided as for when the steps will be put into motion although the first two are allowed now. There has also been no mention of essential funding that will be needed in order for theatres to survive performing for significantly reduced audiences.

A Response to Oliver Dowden’s 5-step plan from SOLT

Julian Bird, the CEO of SOLT and UK Theatre, has responded to Oliver Dowden and this proposed plan;

“While the five-stage roadmap towards the reopening of performing arts venues and productions is welcomed, it is essential that government gives indicative, 'no earlier' than dates for stages 3 to 5 now so that the sector can plan for the future – otherwise with no information at all, theatres and producers will have to assume a worst-case scenario and plan to be shut for a long period. With the rest of the economy now reopening quickly, we firmly believe that with the right safety processes in place, we can get back to full audiences in theatres within months – we now need the government to confirm this.”

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By Jade Ali

A love for theatre stemmed from my love of literature and music, but the West End on my doorstep opened up a whole new appreciation and passion for all things stage-y