Ceredigion MP urges UK Government to safeguard the theatre industry


Ben Lake MP is one of over 150 MPs and peers who have joined the push for government to safeguard the theatre industry throughout the Covid-19 crisis. 

The Arts in Wales face an unprecedented challenge. While theatres remain closed, thousands of performers, designers and other artists find themselves out of work with no certainty over when they can return. And yet, conversely, one of the lifelines that has helped people cope during lockdown is the arts – whether that’s music, a good book, or watching a film or TV drama.


Theatre, music, and dance are especially vulnerable because there is no economic model that allows them to operate with physical distancing, even if the 2-metre rule is reduced. Industry leaders say the average audience for 2 metres would be 20% of capacity; with 1 metre it is 30-35%.

Venues are currently hanging on because of the government’s furlough scheme, but that is due to be tapered in August and end in October.

In a letter sent to prime minister Boris Johnson, 158 MPs and peers have demanded action immediately, "to rescue the sector and allow theatre to contribute to the success of the UK".

"Overall the impact has been immediate and devastating; the medium and long-term consequences see threats to economic, social and cultural well-being in communities all over the UK," the letter, penned by the Society of London Theatre, UK Theatre and One Dance UK, says.

Ben Lake MP said: 

“The theatre and performing arts sector is facing a unique challenge; not only has the sector been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but the way that venues work means that it will prove impossible for the sector to reopen whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines. It is vital that the sector is protected for as long as it is unable to reopen safely. As such, I fully support the proposals outlined in the letter to the Prime Minister.”

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