This would be a devastating loss to the London theatre scene.
We’ve obviously on board with London venues closing their doors during the UK lockdown – it’s in the interest of public health, after all – but I am extremely NOT OK with the pandemic forcing the permanent closure of the places we know and love. Which is why the news that The Globe, London’s iconic Shakespeare-loving arena, will struggle to survive the ongoing lockdown without any financial aid is absolutely heartbreaking stuff, and immeasurably more devastating than the end of Romeo and Juliet. [Featured image: @irrphotography]
As The Globe receives no regular government subsidy, they’re particularly susceptible to the drop in income that’s resulted from the coronavirus outbreak. Testifying in a report for the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the theatre said that “without emergency funding from government [and] despite being well-managed, well-governed, and – crucially – able to operate without public subsidy, we will not be able to survive this crisis.” They also expressed concerns about their ability to offer affordable tickets (standing tickets to all shows are famously just £5) if survival becomes their number one priority.
By raising these concerns with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the hope is that some form of government assistance will be in the offing to safeguard their future. Any future reopening of London theatres is likely to be impacted by social distancing measures, which means a return to normal theatre-going experiences will be a slow one – further eating into The Globe’s finances. The theatre has already done great things by streaming plays for free during the lockdown, and their CEO Neil Constable has revealed that nearly 2 million people have watched their shows in that time. We’ll keep our fingers crossed they receive the support they need, but if you’ve got a little extra to spare and would like to help out, you can drop them a donation here.
Read more about The Globe and the amazing work they do here.
Also published on Medium.