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"Only" £9m needed to save 100 independent fringe theatres in London from financial ruin post-lockdown

According to a report published by The Off West End Theatre Awards (commonly known as The Offies), only £9m is required to rescue 100 independent London fringe theatres from going insolvent this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. For many theatre fans, nine million pounds seems like mere pocket change for the UK Government, which recently spent a whopping £12 million on a failed "test and trace" app.

"Only" £9m needed to save 100 independent fringe theatres in London from financial ruin post-lockdown

It will only take £9 million to save 100 off-West End venues...

... so where is the government bailout? For many people, it seems that Boris Johnson, Oliver Dowden, and Rishi Sunak are deliberately trying to destroy what was once a booming industry before the pandemic. So far, nothing substantial has been done to support the theatre industry in the UK.

Now The Offies' brilliant report has shed a light on just how "little" it would cost for the UK Government to step in and help, and the fact that it could be so easy for the Government to do so should leave everyone feeling angry and confused.

Boris Johnson's inaction is now under fire

The UK Prime Minister's announcements made yesterday (23 June 2020) added more salt to the wound. London theatre is sinking without any additional support and it seems that the Government has abandoned ship.

Boris Johnson failed to provide citizens with specific dates or clear guidelines on when and how UK theatres can reopen safely. He also failed to announce any more government retention schemes to help soften the blow taken by many theatres now facing permanent closure. 

Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has repeatedly stated he's been working with task forces, however, nothing of substance has come out of these talks. After Dowden commented on how theatres should rely on "ingenuity" and technologic innovation to get through these difficult times without announcing any form of financial assistance to do so, many people are calling for him to resign just like former Austrian Culture Secretary Ulrike Lunacek did last month.

Help us, Andrew Lloyd Webber! You're our only hope!

Will there ever be an end to this madness? We may end up finding sooner than we think. The creator of Cats, Phantom of the Opera and the upcoming reimagining of Cinderella, Andrew Lloyd Webber, recently announced that he'll be testing safe life performances at the London Palladium next month based on the South Korean model.

Fingers crossed... on both hands... very tightly crossed... ⬛

Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.

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