The pandemic has had a substantially negative impact on the theatre industry. Theatrical plays and shows have been the heart of London for the past few decades since the introduction of literature in the European continent with the era of Shakespeare, Christopher Marlow, and other great playwrights.
With theatres being closed for the past thirteen months, people who loved watching live performances on stage were quite disheartened when they got to know that theatres would remain closed until further notice.
The theatrical stages of the U.K, which concluded approximately 300,000 people, including the staff members, actors, and crew members, were ordered to shut down theatres when the nation went into lockdown in the first week of March 2020 with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the distribution of vaccines in the United Kingdom and the ease of lockdown in several major cities across the country such as London and Manchester, the Government has decided to reopen theatres from 17 May with socially distanced audiences.
More than forty theatres and shows in London will reopen in the next few months of summer and autumn. Those shows and theatres will be broadcasted all over international and national sites throughout the London Underground in zones 1-2.
A non-profit organization called the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), which operates the Official London Theatre has initiated an industry-led open-air publicizing event, in commemoration of the theatres reopening with the Global, the Media, and Entertainment group which is a part of the #BackOnStage campaign by SOLT’s launched on May 16th. Venues and theatre organizations nationwide have urged theatre lovers to use the #BackOnStage to portray the joy that one feels during a live-show experience.
This promotional campaign will feature touching pictures captured from theatres of London to showcase the unique sense of exhilaration brought by a live show. Fans were asked to share their memorable moments on social media from their first live theatre experience post-lockdown using the hashtag #BackOnStage.
Emma De Souza, the head of Marketing and Communications of SOLT, stated, “It’s been a real collaborative process.” She further added, “We felt that audiences were going to be our best ambassadors, so we wanted to share that magic and excitement of being in live theatre again.”
Boris Johnson warned the public that the full theatre reopen could be detained until further notice if the Indian COVID-19 strain arrives in the U.K which could lead to an increase in coronavirus cases.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, launched a new campaign, “Let’s Do London” to inspire the citizens of London to promote the sector of hospitality in the city.
Emma De Souza stated in an interview with the Cube “Theatres have done amazing things, reaching out and staying connected with their audiences on social media, but there is nothing like being there,” De Souza further added, “You cannot recreate the magic of live theatre at home.”