“I don’t think there will be an industry to go back to. The people giving this money don’t understand how this industry works.”
Kiri Pritchard-McClean on BBC Breakfast
You may have heard that the DMCS (Department for Media, Culture and Sports) is investing £1.57 billion in the arts as a result of coronavirus, as well as news that outdoor theatres are already open and indoor theatres are allowed to open from 1 August with social distancing measures. On the surface, all of these things sounds great and as if everything in theatre-land is going back to normal, but unfortunately that’s not the case. The reality is that the theatre industry is still struggling.
“The social distancing worked well, in so much as we were so spread out (unless you’d bought a pair of tickets to sit together) that you’d need the vocal projection of Brian Blessed to communicate with your neighbour. The only snag with that is live entertainment is all about a sense of shared experience, which is pretty much non-existent in a huge auditorium with people scattered about like ships on the ocean.”
Will Gompertz for BBC News
Even Andrew Lloyd Webber who held a trial socially distanced show at the London Palladium last week admits that socially distanced real-life shows are not feasible or financially viable. Committing to follow the digital theatre-making route is not just a decision based on survival, it allows us to push boundaries and create innovative theatre with no limits. Going digital is an invitation to our audiences to interact with the characters and become immersed in the world that has been created; our digitally enhanced Alice | A Virtual Theme Park is the perfect example. Arguably, that is the heart of what theatre is about – bringing people together from all over the world, reconnecting isolated families through live digital performance and interacting with actors in real time in a magical Wonderland – not sitting rows apart in an effort to recreate the same shared experience in the same room.
“The committee cited evidence that 70% of theatres and production companies could go out of business by the end of 2020, with more than £300m lost in box office revenue in the first 12 weeks of the coronavirus lockdown.” BBC News
Yes, Creation are struggling. As a team, we are also positive that we can keep achieving wonderful things in the face of uncertainty and potential closure, but we need your help. There are a number of ways to support us as we muck through these times together.
2. Book your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or friend’s children onto one of our weekly workshops or masterclasses this summer
3. Donate towards a brave new world for Creation, for the digital now and the physical future
4. Tell everyone: sharing the experience and spreading the word far and wide is one of the most valuable things you can do for us right now and it doesn’t cost a penny!
The social impact of theatre on communities is enormous: the cultural sector literally saves lives and is proven to have a positive contribution to mental health in all ages. By supporting us today you can secure a future that changes young people’s lives through our Education programme, creates magically innovative experiences through our productions and brings people together even when we are apart.