Sheffield news York Theatre Royal still in limbo despite coronavirus lockdown easing MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - The venue has been lobbying the government for help
Breaking News ! The executive director of York Theatre Royal group has said that theatres are 'still in the same position as before' despite the government's relaxation of some measures Tom Bird also spoke about the issues the industry has faced throughout lockdown and the ongoing worry of when the curtain will be raised on shows again. Mr Bird spoke before and after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement last week that a range of businesses and sectors will be able to open from July 4 and that the two metre distancing rule will be relaxed. Johnson announced pubs, hairdressers, churches, outdoor gyms, hotels and restaurants will be able to reopen. It's been added that theatres can reopen but will have to wait until shows can be performed as officials fear that performing could increase the spread of the virus. Mr Bird said: "I think that the announcement doesn't really change our thinking a huge amount because we are here for live performances. "I saw a tweet from another group saying that opening a theatre without allowing live performances is like reopening swimming pools without water or having restaurants open without allowing food to be served." Executive director of York Theatre Royal, Tom Bird (Image: YTR) In spite of this, Mr Bird was optimistic at the prospect of eventually reopening and explained how the local theatre group - which runs York's oldest theatre on St Leonard's Place from which they get their namesake - has been ticking over by engaging with their performers and audience throughout lockdown. He said: "The theatre has got a massive history so we've been working hard to make sure we get through this." Mr Bird said that theirs and other theatre groups throughout the country - including those that run other theatres in the city such as the Grand Opera Theatre and Joseph Rowntree - had been lobbying the government for greater support during the coronavirus pandemic. "We are backing the cause and the industry as a whole is asking for more support. Sam Mendes, the director, outlined a number of things that the government can do to help and outlined that theatres will probably be some of the last sites to reopen in this post-lockdown timeline of various industries opening up. Read More Related Articles Everything you need to know about lockdown changes Read More Related Articles Children in England should return to school now 'because it is safe' "There's been a public lobby for recognition that we are - as an industry - particularly badly affected by this. "I understand that in a sense we are no different from anybody but theatre and social distancing certainly don't go well together." York Theatre Royal has kept itself busy since the lockdwon was introduced on March 23 by making some of their performances available online and working with the BBC to provide some of their content online. They've also been helping frontline workers by making gowns and scrubs to be used at York Hospital. Mr Bird said: "We've also encouraged our community to stay creative by getting people to make costumes or make short plays. We've also been setting challenges for our online audience to keep them occupied which have been popular. "Despite the fact the building has been closed we've been keeping busy.
. Mr Bird said: "I just want to thank our community for the donations and support. It's been amazing." He said that it's been "great" how other theatre groups have banded together to support one another throughout the pandemic and that he had no worries that theatres would go into extinction due to the financials problems faced. "Theatre's been going since at least 2,500 years ago. It's not going anywhere quickly. We will continue for ages.
"There's always cause and feeling that we would like to more support for theatre outside of directed from London to the north of England. There are also the financial pressures but the theatre was in a healthy state in that it was making big strides and there is fantastic work being made at the moment." He added that he could envisage the story of the coronavirus and it's myriad effects on the world documented through cinema in times to come. "Theatre artists are like all artists. They react to what's on in the world and I'm sure there will be artists that will want to tell stories about the pandemic going forward.
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"I think it's key that we provide joyous and celebratory shows though. We want to give people a brilliant night." For more on York Theatre Royal click here.
Source = MetiNews.Com