The Theatre Royal will be one of many across the country which will be wrapped in colourful messages of hope as they remain closed due to the coronavirus crisis.
The National Theatre on London’s South Bank will be wrapped in bright pink barrier tape reading “Missing Live Theatre” as part of a project by stage designers group Scene Change.
Theatres have been devastated by the closures caused by the pandemic, and it has been warned that 70 percent of performing arts companies will close by Christmas if there is no government rescue package.
Last month, PlymouthLive revealed that Plymouth’s Theatre Royal had confirmed that more than 100 jobs were at risk after coronavirus lockdown wiped out nearly all its income.
Redundancy consultations involving the trade union Bectu (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union) began on Monday, June 22, and could affect almost a third of the charity’s staff.
Theatre Royal Plymouth (TRP) employs 340 full- and part-time workers, it is not yet known if staff at the TR2 production facility at Cattedown will be affected.
The theatre later pleaded with supporters to buy tickets for forthcoming shows in the hope it could ensure its survival.
It comes after supporters of the much-loved cultural venue staged a rally in Plymouth city centre pleading for more money to help in its survival.
Today [Friday] the Manchester Royal Exchange, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Lyric Belfast, and the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff will also take part in the project, while others throughout London’s West End will join in on Saturday.
The RSC, Sadler’s Wells, Theatr Clwyd, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Sheffield Theatres, Ambassador Theatre Group and our own Theatre Royal Plymouth will take part the following week.
Scene Change said: “As businesses begin to reopen, the doors of theatres remain firmly shut whilst we navigate a way back to live performance.
“Today, as we launch #MissingLiveTheatre, we want to bring joy and colour to theatres across the UK and Ireland, whilst highlighting the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and what we as an industry and local communities are missing.
“This is a moment of reset in our industry and we believe the design community can be an essential part of the transformation that will see theatre buildings being reopened and the ways in which theatre can be re-imagined.
“As shapers of theatrical space through the use of people and place, our work is pivotal in connecting an entire ecosystem within the theatre industry. We are ideally positioned to be at the heart of any discussions about how theatre operates in the future.”
The tape will remain in place for up to a week before being removed and reused by Scene Change to envelop another theatre.