Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s offer of the London Palladium – to be used as a venue for testing methods to keep audiences safe – is a big step towards rescuing theatres from bankruptcy.
Theatres’ recent drop in income due to coronavirus has put several venues in a perilous financial position. As things stand, according to a recent survey by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), 70% of theatres and cultural venues could run out of cash by the end of the year if they do not reopen.
Lloyd-Webber’s offer will allow audience safety methods already in place in other parts of the world, including South Korea, Australia and the USA, to be tested in the UK at a major venue.
If successful, this will allow other venues to reopen and safely bring in enough people to make productions financially viable.
On the offer of the Palladium Nickie says:
“I would like to thank Andrew Lloyd-Webber and LW Theatres for offering the Palladium as a test venue. Being able to test and develop methods to make theatres safe will be crucial to ensuring that theatregoers have the confidence to enjoy live theatre again and help save venues from financial ruin.”
On the potential impact of theatre closures, Nickie added:
“If our theatres and venues go, other businesses in the West End will follow. Theatres bring in visitors to Central London who stay in hotels, visit bars, eat at restaurants and go shopping. Our arts and cultural venues put people inside these businesses. Without them, many thousands of jobs will be in jeopardy.”