This would be a devastating loss to theatre history.
The pandemic is starting to force the permanent closure of important places in cities all over the world. Which is why the news that The Globe, London’s iconic Shakespeare-loving arena, will struggle to survive the ongoing lockdown without any financial aid is absolutely heartbreaking stuff, and immeasurably more devastating than the end of Romeo and Juliet. [Featured image: @irrphotography]
As The Globe receives no regular UK government subsidy, they’re particularly susceptible to the drop in income that’s resulted from the coronavirus outbreak. Testifying in a report for the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the theatre said that “without emergency funding from government [and] despite being well-managed, well-governed, and – crucially – able to operate without public subsidy, we will not be able to survive this crisis.” They also expressed concerns about their ability to offer affordable tickets (standing tickets to all shows are famously just £5 for residents) if survival becomes their number one priority.
By raising these concerns with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the hope is that some form of government assistance will be in the offing to safeguard their future. Any future reopening of London theatres is likely to be impacted by social distancing measures, which means a return to normal theatre-going experiences will be a slow one – further eating into The Globe’s finances.
The theatre has already done great things by streaming plays for free during the lockdown, and their CEO Neil Constable has revealed that nearly 2 million people have watched their shows in that time. We’ll keep our fingers crossed they receive the support they need, but if you’ve got a little extra to spare and would like to help out, you can drop them a donation here.