Waiting for that ‘New Normal’ for Theatre

Waiting for that ‘New Normal’

We are all chomping at the bit to go to the theatre again. The pandemic we are currently facing has crippled the industry we love. I have not used the Theatre South East website as a platform for my frustrations and sense of loss although admittedly I have ranted occasionally on Twitter and my personal blog.

The bailout the Chancellor has recently announced is a lifeline for many venues. For some venues, creatives and production companies it may not be enough or may be too late. However with the promised funds coupled with a drop in cases, dare we see a glimmer of hope for the industry we love?

Since March we have been treated to wonderful online productions from the National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and incentives such as The Shows must Go On among many others. It was very encouraging how many people subscribed to Disney+ purely for the release of Hamilton (I was one). I hope a whole new audience have discovered the joy of theatre and will patronise them when it is safe for them to open again.

Over the weekend the theatre loving community were aghast when they saw the crowds ignoring social distancing as they enjoyed a pint or two in cities across the country. A surge of cases in the Coronavirus will be disastrous for the arts as we fight to get back to normal.

A ‘new’ normal will be better than no normal at all.

Who would have thought in a global emergency the theatre would be one of the hardest hit. We rely on the arts to cheer us up when we are down, to challenge our thinking and to transport us into other worlds. Artists are the first people to offer help in a crisis, offering their time for free to arrange charity events, benefits and promote causes. Performers have been creative and performed online throughout the pandemic and as mentioned we have been able to watch some amazing previously filmed productions. I wonder how many people watched without donating to save their favourite theatre?

How to help?

Have you ever been moved to tears at the theatre, jumped to your feet to dance at an encore, laughed until your ribs hurt in a comedy? The price of a pint (or two) could really help.

  1. Many theatres are opening their cafes and bars at the moment to keep their staff in work. If you are going out for a glass of wine or coffee,please consider patronising them.

2. Keep lobbying your MP and posting on social media.

3. Buy tickets or tokens for when theatres reopen. A good option to buy would be Theatre Tokens which definitely don’t have an expiry date to catch you out.

4. There are many worthy charities raising money for the arts, however if you are unsure who to donate to, consider ‘Acting for Others‘ which is an umbrella charity raising money for 14 others including The Actor’s Children’s Trust, The Theatrical Guild, The Dance Professional Fund and more.

Let’s hope that the new normal comes soon.