Covid-19 and theatres: MM speaks to one actor about the challenges of the pandemic

Theatres across the UK shut their doors in March 2020. For the majority of the country, the brief and optimistic re-openings seen by some theatres in August and December were not possible.

A survey conducted by Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre found that more than 95% of theatre organisations are worse off financially due to the pandemic.

The total loss of 165 organisations which could provide figures is estimated at nearly £200m so far.

The closures have also severely impacted many high-skilled freelancers working in the theatre industry. The survey found that many have had to take on other jobs during the pandemic or have left the sector altogether.

One in four freelancers surveyed said they had gone out of business or ceased training.

Theatres can reopen to limited audiences on May 17 with social distancing and restrictions in place. However, for many small theatres opening to only 50% of their audience would mean operating at a loss.

Theatres will not be able to open to full capacity until June 21.

MM spoke to Rochdale actor Ben Ryan Davies who, despite not performing in front of an audience for over a year, is remaining positive.

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