I love the theatre, and if you’re reading this, I know you do too.
Well, as you are already aware, theatres throughout the country are struggling to survive. But yet, the government does not seem interested in saving this beautiful art form. What with the release of the ‘Fatima’ job ad and Rishi Sunak’s comments made during an interview with ITV, it appears that the government considers theatre as nothing more than a prestigious hobby.
Of course, it’s not all negative. Last week, following a stunning theatre medley performed on BGT, it was announced that the concert version of Les Miserables will be returning to the stage. Meanwhile, it’s been revealed that many theatres, museums, and venues will receive part of the Cultural Recovery fund. But it’s still hard to let go of the treatment given to performers from our very own government.
I’m not in the theatre. I can’t sing, or dance, or act. I know that the anger I feel is nothing compared to those who have worked in theatre and spent their lives training for it. And so I feel that it’s imperative to show this talented industry that the UK does care.
With that in mind, here are five ways we can help protect our theatres.
This is the most obvious way to help protect the performing arts. Some theatres take donations directly, as well as charities and organisations that help those involved with the industry. Do your research and see what you can do – here’s a list to help you get started.
2. Spread the word
Social media is a powerful tool and has already proved itself in supporting the theatre industry. The recent protest hosted by artists and performers manipulated social media platforms’ algorithms to expose their work and current struggles, using the hashtags #notlowskilled and #morethanviable. Thanks to this movement, we heard the voices of those who have been disrespected by our government. And we can do the same.
By declaring our support and admiration for the cultural industry, we will continue to bring awareness to the issues at hand, fighting to keep theatres out of the dark.
3. Buy from your local theatre
Theatres may be shut, but their websites are still running, which means their gift shops are, too. Take a look at the merchandise they have available and, if you can afford it, why not treat yourself to a musical-based item? Or purchase a Christmas gift for a fellow theatre-lover? There are some fantastic products out there that will not only make you or a loved one extremely happy, but it’ll also help protect your local theatre.
4. Follow and subscribe
It’s been seven months since theatres closed down, which has undoubtedly impacted those who worked there in one way or another. Our favourite performers, writers, musicians, costume designers, choreographers, and more have all had to deal with not only uncertainty and financial loss, but total disrespect from the government. Show them your support by following them on social media, subscribing to their newsletters – or those sent out by local venues – and let them know that you’re thinking of them. Remind them of how they’ve inspired you.
It might even be nice to send them a letter or leave notes outside of your closest theatre. Showing these artists that we do care and are rooting for them to get back to doing what they love will surely make someone’s day.
5. Keep up to date
These are unprecedented times for the theatre industry, but knowing that tickets will be bought once things are normal again will provide a little more security. Show that you are ready to return to your favourite shows by signing up for newsletters to express interest in supporting your favourite companies. Start planning your theatre trips and booking tickets (once you can afford them), and make sure to let the venue and actors know!
By staying positive and readying ourselves for theatre’s return, we can be sure that our beloved stories will return to the stage very soon.