Welcome to today’s edition of ShentonSTAGE Daily, which is currently being published three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It is e-mailed to subscribers (send email to ShentonStageMailingList@gmail.com to be added), and also posted here.
PLAN B RESTRICTIONS EXPECTED TO BE LIFTED
The Plan B Covid restrictions, implemented last month, which included advice to work from home where possible and the use of vaccine certificates to enter nightclubs and sports stadiums, are expected to be lifted today.
Given that the rules have never seemed to apply to 10 Downing Street — especially around out-of-hours staff gatherings — it is difficult for them to demand of others what they won’t honour themselves.
This will no doubt please beleaguered theatre producers: the emptying of city centres has meant that potential patrons are short on the ground.
Kenny Wax (pictured below, with Trevor Nunn who will be directing Wax’s new production of a musical called Identical, based on The Parent Trap, due to premeire at Nottingham Playhouse this July) has been vocal about the impact that the working from home directive has had on his shows, and recently told The Stage it had been ““a terrible Christmas for all of our productions…. All of our kids shows have been profoundly affected too, with one at the Wales Millennium Centre having to be cancelled because, under Welsh government regulations with the reintroduction of social distancing, audience capacity would have been reduced to 50. It’s impossible to make those economics work.”
A month ago Wax also told The Guardian that “the industry is probably in its most precarious position”. The piece also noted, “While many theatregoers have returned to West End shows with enthusiasm, said Wax, there was much greater audience confidence on Broadway where ‘everyone wears masks in the theatres. It’s the law and they respect it. Theatre owners don’t allow you to take food or drink to your seats so you can’t use the excuse of ‘I’m drinking’ to have lifted or lowered your mask. It has to remain in place’.”
But will it? Theatres were very slow to embrace compulsory masking, as I’ve written about endlessly here, and the dropping of Plan B restrictions will only embolden the non-mask wearers even more.
I am now updating my listings feature of new London, selective regional and Broadway openings contemporaneously with breaking announcements as quickly as I can, and includes press contacts and website links.
You can find it here: https://shentonstage.com/theatre-openings-from-w-c-jan-17-onwards/
Amongst new announcements, the stage version of THE KITE RUNNER that began life at Nottingham Playhouse before enjoying two West End runs is headed to Broadway’s Hayes Theatre in July for a summer season, and the transfer of the Pulitzer prize winning A STRANGE LOOP, originally premiered at Off-Broadway’s Playwright’s Horizons, hs been confirmed for the Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre in April. Full details are included in the listings here.
SEE YOU ON FRIDAY
See you in your inbox on Friday (when I’ll be reporting on tomorrow’s thrice-delayed opening of MOULIN ROUGE). But if you can’t wait that long, you can find me on Twitter @ShentonStage (though not as often on weekends)