ShentonSTAGE Daily for WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 15

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Welcome to today’s  edition of ShentonSTAGE Daily that is e-mailed to subscribers every morning (to subscribe, send message to ShentonStageMailingList@gmail.com), and is also available online here.

AN ESCALATING CRISIS IN THEATRE

Right now it might be easier to list which shows are actually playing in the West End rather than the ones which have had to be cancelled or suspended. Newly lost today are both planned performances for MATILDA at the Cambridge:

And today’s matinee of CABARET is also cancelled:

A friend travelled last night to Manchester for the tour of THE BOOK OF MORMON, only to find when he got there that it was cancelled; obviously this is the risk we take trying to go to the theatre right now, but it was a wasted journey, in terms of both cost and time.

And every day a show tries to stay open, it is putting its company and crew at increased risk of contracting COVID; not to mention audiences.

As an actor I follow on Twitter tweeted earlier today,

I replied to him, and a thread evolved:

Screenshot 2021-12-15 at 09.50.34.png

This was clearly a case of someone trying to shoot the messenger. (And — in a blinding bit of hypocrisy — tried to suggest to me that I should look out for people’s mental health in spreading unpalatable news, yet paying no heed to how his deeply personal insult might play out on my own mental health). 

There is clearly going to be a vast cost — both financial and mental — to how this Christmas is now going to play out in the theatre.

Observers and interested parties alike are calling for culture secretary Nadine Dorries to intervene, with Equity UK General Secretary Paul Fleming yesterday tweeting:

I replied to him, and a thread evolved:

This was clearly a case of someone trying to shoot the messenger. (And — in a blinding bit of hypocrisy — tried to suggest to me that I should look out for people’s mental health in spreading unpalatable news, yet paying no heed to how his deeply personal insult might play out on my own mental health). 

There is clearly going to be a vast cost — both financial and mental — to how this Christmas is now going to play out in the theatre.

There’s been a wholesale failure of leadership throughout this pandemic. As Keir Starmer said at PMQs earlier today, Johnson is “the worst possible leader at the worst possible time”; and the same seems true of the leaders of SOLT/UK Theatre and Equity UK, who are quick to call on others to solve the problems in their industry, but refused to take proactive steps to mitigate against the effects of the virus and instill audience confidence in actually going again.

TODAY’S THEATRE BIRTHDAYS (DEC 15):
Dave Clark (creator of TIME at Dominion Theatre; pictured at the 1986 opening); Charlie Cox, 39 (pic: in THE LOVER/THE COLLECTION in 2008); Michelle Dockery, 40; Edna O’Brien, novelist and playwright, 91

SEE YOU TOMORROW
See you in your inbox or online here tomorrow. But if you can’t wait that long, you can find me on Twitter @ShentonStage (though not as often on weekends)

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