At this point in time there are no plans for the lockdown of Scotland to be relaxed anytime soon as we continue to social distance and isolate to fight against the coronavirus. Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer of the UK government has also warned of long-term social distancing, even after lockdown is well over. What does this all mean for our theatre industry?
Obviously right now everyone’s main focus should be containing the virus and stopping it from spreading. However, many people are wondering how certain industries are going to be affected by the changes the government will no doubt implement once lockdown is relaxed. For us and many of our readers it will be how the theatre industry is going to re-open when social distancing is in place. As many people will be aware, it will be near impossible to distance the audience members from each other, especially within sold out performances. And with people suggesting that productions should sell tickets accordingly with seating gaps for social distancing, that is definitely not an economically viable solution.
Looking at what issues re-opening a theatre with social distancing still in place would present, it seems impossible that it would work. Therefore, theatres could be one of the last sectors to re-open. We are unaware what will happen. Hopefully the next few weeks will tell.
More productions might be cancelled or rescheduled. Some theatres may suffer greatly from this pandemic. Some might not re-open. But the one thing we must do is remain positive and support our performers, technicians, front of house workers and anyone else impacted within this industry. Whether that is promoting content or sending kind words, just anything to try and boost morale.
Solidarity is something theatre has always been good at promoting. Supporting one another is pivotal in a time like this.
Written by Lewis C. Baird