Outdoor theatre and music can restart in England from 11 July – The Guardian

Posted: July 9, 2020 at 5:07 pm


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The government gives the green light for outdoor opera at Glyndebourne, and outdoor theatre at venues such as the Minack Theatre and Shakespeares Globe. Photograph: Stefan Postles/AAP

Theatres and music venues in England will be able to host physically distanced outdoor performances from Saturday 11 July under new government guidance, but industry figures are calling for more clarity on when full-capacity indoor performances can return.

The culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, announced the relaxing of restrictions at Thursdays 5pm press conference where he said performances can now take place as long as they are outside and with a limited and socially distanced audience.

As Ive seen for myself at the Royal Academy this morning, the National Gallery and as well see shortly from the National Museums Liverpool, our cultural institutions are beginning to welcome back visitors, he said.

Im really urging people to get out there and to play their part, buy the tickets for outdoor plays and music recitals, get to your local gallery and support your local businesses.

The government said that now gives the green light for outdoor opera at Glyndebourne, and outdoor theatre at venues such as the Minack Theatre and Shakespeares Globe, but industry figures were disappointed that the announcement did not go further. Earlier in the week, Dowden unveiled a 1.57bn rescue package for the arts industry.

Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust, welcomed the relaxation but called for more clarity on when theatres can move to stage five of the governments roadmap, when performances are allowed indoors with audiences.

He said: It is disappointing that the guidelines have been published without a not before date for stage four and the all-important stage five the point when theatres will be able to open fully and welcome back audiences without social distancing.

Dowden said that pilot performances are taking place in venues to assess when indoor performances can return, which is vital for theatres that need to be almost at full capacity to make a profit and justify the cost of reopening.

The announcement comes after Britains struggling arts and heritage sectors was promised 1.57bn in a rescue package, which the government claimed was the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture.

Dowden also said that the government was changing planning rules in order to prevent vacant theatres from being demolished or changed for other uses. Our culture, heritage and arts are too precious to lose. Thats why were protecting venues like theatres from redevelopment if they fall on hard times, he added.

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Outdoor theatre and music can restart in England from 11 July - The Guardian

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July 9th, 2020 at 5:07 pm

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