• sheilavanloo

And So It Begins .....

Latest news from Plymouth’s Theatre Royal

This week Plymouth’s Theatre Royal announced that redundancies are being planned as a direct result of the Covid pandemic; one hundred people are at serious risk of losing their jobs.

The heartbreaking decision sent shockwaves through the industry as the potential knock on effects are devastating. Theatre Royal is one of the finest and most popular theatre venues outside London, drawing audiences from far and wide with consistently high quality programmes of West End shows, stand up comedy and live music.

Alongside the big name shows the Theatre Royal has a long tradition of hosting exciting new, often experimental, work in the more intimate Drum Theatre. Work showcased in the Drum is often brilliant and well attended, but would never see a live audience if the Drum did not exist. What will happen to new work if smaller companies lose the opportunity to showcase their performances?

The Theatre Royal is also home to The Lab Company, an intensive training programme for young people across the South West; working alongside the theatre’s professional team, aspiring young talent is nurtured and encouraged to develop their creativity.

On the back of the sad announcement from Plymouth, theatres up and down the country are holding redundancy talks with staff while others have already gone into administration.

Along with many others I am writing to the Prime Minister to plead for a financial rescue package for the Arts, perhaps you could lend your support by doing the same? Here’s the link to contact Boris Johnson’s office - https://email.number10.gov.uk/ or you could write an actual letter and send it to No.10! Please contact your local MP as well. If we work together and prove our collective support for the Arts and the millions employed in the sector those holding the purse strings will have to listen.

Sheila Vanloo

June 2020

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