Sir Cameron Mackintosh, a leading British theatre producer and owner has said that it is unlikely that venues in the UK and North America will re-open until 2021.
Whilst being interviewed by BBC Radio 2, Mackintosh said the West End and Broadway theatre districts would be the last segments of the economy to re-open after the lockdown eases. At this stage all productions in the West End have been cancelled until May 31.
Whilst speaking to Michael Ball, Sir Cameron said that the West End and Broadway theatres would be “the last to go back” and reiterated the safety of the audience and performers as a top priority.
“We want the audience to feel safe, and we want the actors to feel safe. For major producers both sides of the Atlantic, the truth is until social distancing doesn’t exist any more, we can’t even plan to reopen,” he said. “We will be back, but we need time to get back. If we don’t hear [about lockdowns lifting] in a few weeks, I think the truth is we won’t be able to come back until early next year. I think that’s quite clear. And the longer it is until we can say social distancing is gone, the longer it’ll be for the theatre to come back.”
As a result of government enforced lockdowns, theatre’s have shifted online during the pandemic with venues and performers showcasing pre-recorded productions and innovative online entertainment platforms encouraging donations from viewers.