The Broadway League — the New York equivalent of SOLT — have provided the kind of decisive leadership completely lacking over here: as you can see in the Broadway section below, they have mandated that vaccines are required for all audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew and theatre staff. This is the kind of unambiguous instruction that needs to happen over here too.
Someone tweeted in reply to me when I said this that this would create more barriers for entry for the theatre; but let’s not beat around the bush, and I chose not to in replying to him:
It’s all very well wanting to attract new audiences; but it might be a good idea to keep the ones the theatre already has alive in the meanwhile.
Leaving it up to “personal choice” and expecting people to do the “right thing” is a terrible mistake; a man seated behind me at the London Palladium at the Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat gala night on Wednesday summonsed an usher who was requesting that we wear our masks to explain on what authority it was being made. She very politely explained it was part of the condition of sale that mask wearing was being encouraged; but she admitted that it was legally unenforceable. He chose not to mask up.
The theatre is officially an unsafe place to be in these circumstances. And SOLT could and should make it otherwise.
In happier news — Britain’s most formidable actor Imelda Staunton is pictured above in two pictures, separated by over 40 years: as Piaf (in 1980, at Nottingham Playhouse), as as Queen Elizabeth in the new series of The Crown (2021)
MY COLUMNS AND REVIEWS OF THE WEEK
- Sunday July 25
My column for today is here: https://shentonstage.com/that-was-the-week-that-was-july-18-24/
- Monday July 26
My column for today is here: https://shentonstage.com/july-26-update-latest-scheduled-new-returning-shows/
- Wednesday July 28
My column for today is here: https://shentonstage.com/july-28-untold-stories-that-remain-untold
- Friday July 30
My column for today is here: https://shentonstage.com/july-30-friday-diary-theatre-photography-critics-as-actors-and-an-offstage-battle-to-run-the-rsc/
REVIEWS AND REVIEW TWEETS OF THE WEEK
- My Night with Reg (Turbine Theatre): https://shentonstage.com/my-night-with-reg/
- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (London Palladium)
My review is here: https://shentonstage.com/review-joseph-and-the-amazing-techicolor-dreamcoat/
- The Two-Character Play (Hampstead Theatre)
OTHER REVIEWS OF THE WEEK
- Susannah Clapp in The Observer (July 25):
- Quentin Letts in Sunday Times Culture:
- Mark Fisher in Guardian:
- Sarah Hemming returning to the Young Vic:
LONDON HEADLINES OF THE WEEK
REGIONAL HEADLINES OF THE WEEK
BROADWAY HEADLINES OF THE WEEK
THEATRE BIRTHDAYS OF THE WEEK
FAREWELLS OF THE WEEK
AND FINALLY, IMELDA STAUNTON TWEETS OF THE WEEK