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Minack Theatre calls for green light on live performances

Minack Theatre calls for green light on live performances

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:53am 25th June 2020.

Cornwall's famous Minack Theatre is calling for the green light to be given on live performances at theatres, as more lockdown measures are eased.

As part of its latest announcement, the government has said that theatres can open to show recorded shows but no live performance can take place.

Bosses at the open-air theatre in Porthcurno have told Pirate FM how they already have plans in place to make sure audience members, or family groups, are socially distanced.

There are also plans to keep actors socially distanced on stage, stage a series of monologues which only require one actor, and also use actor 'bubbles' of performers who live together.

"It's disappointing that a broad brush statement has been made. The Prime Minister said people can apply common sense and do what is sensible, but as reputable business that is a charitable trust, I can't put live performances on the stage when the government has said theatres cannot do live performances.

"A lot of us in the sector were feeling like the challenge was greatest in terms of getting the audience in and keeping them safe, but at the Minack that's easier than at most other venues as we have a track record of selling unreserved seating, so we would have just been seating people within their groups with a one or two metre gap."

Zoe Curnow, Executive Director at the Minack Theatre

The theatre industry has suffered massively during the coronavirus crisis, being some of the first businesses to close ahead of lockdown. 

It has been revealed that several West End shows in London will not be able to reopen until 2021, with the Culture Secretary previously saying that he was convening a team of industry professionals to work out the best way to get theatres open again.

Zoe Curnow, Executive Director at the Minack Theatre, says there is concern for freelance performers who are not eligible for any government support.

"The fact that they've allowed cinemas to reopen is just mystifying, especially as TV and film companies can film actors working together, so it can be done, as can audiences, so why cant the two be put together?

"The theatre industry as a whole has suffered a huge amount. We are very fortunate that we have an income stream from visitors who will pay to come and have a look around."

Zoe Curnow, Executive Director at the Minack Theatre

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