Judi Dench expresses concern that UK theatres won’t reopen in her lifetime

Dame Judi Dench has earned a reputation as one of the greatest actresses in British history, predominantly through her work in theatre and film. Dench has been named as Britain’s most esteemed actress in a number of polls over her career.

Dench has expressed her concern to, Channel 4 News in the UK, saying that the prospect of theatre’s not reopening ‘in her lifetime’ is “a very serious prospect for all of us”.

“None of us have any security or knowledge of when it will come back” she said. 

“What’s so strange is that we imagine this is a temporary thing, this is happening just now, and when the pandemic passes, it’s all going to go back to normal,” she told Wednesday’s Channel 4 News.

“It will maybe for some people, but it certainly won’t for all of us in the theatre.

“You can’t run a theatre, for instance, with people sitting six seats apart. You can’t run a theatre if it’s quarter full. It doesn’t just affect the public it affects all of us: the crew, the people who make wigs, the people who dress us.”

Dench went on to say that nobody in the industry has “any security or knowledge of when it will come back.”

“These are theatres that we rely on and it’s a desperate feeling,” she said. “Will they ever open again? I don’t know – certainly I’m sure not in my lifetime.

“I’m not saying it should be more prioritised than anything else, but it’s going to have a very serious effect on all of us (…) If the theatres now become dark, I don’t know when we’re going to get them back.”

A number of UK media outlets are reporting  that up to 70 percent of arts venues and organisations across the UK will be insolvent by the end of the year.

Sonia Friedman, a West End producer, recently said that “Without an urgent government rescue package, 70 percent of our performing arts companies will be out of business before the end of this year”.

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