Producer Cameron Mackintosh, his production partners and his Delfont Mackintosh Theaters group says Hamilton, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins and Wretched, would be back “as soon as possible in 2021.”
The company said it was talking to staff about “possible layoffs.”
Mackintosh, Britain’s largest and wealthiest theater producer, said the decision was “heartbreaking” and criticized Prime Minister Boris Johnson for offering government producers “no tangible signs of practical support beyond offering to go into debt, which I don’t want to do. ”
He said that the government “unable to say when the impossible social distance constraints will be lifted, it is also impossible to plan whatever the future is.”
Music, theater, art, design, architecture and publishing generate billions for the British economy each year, but country clubs, theaters, cinemas, concert halls and art galleries closed in March as part of the national lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Shops and outdoor spaces such as zoos are reopening, but the interior remains closed due to the social distance from the rules that require people to stay two meters (6 ½ feet) apart.
The government says it is examining the distance of the ruler amid pressure from retailers, restaurateurs and others to cut it to one meter (three feet).
The government sketched in a July 4 reopening date for pubs and restaurants, but Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden admitted that “it will be difficult” for theaters to open it.
Dowden said at a press conference that he plans to bring theaters, choirs and orchestras together with medical experts in the next week to work on a “road map” for show safety.
A study published Wednesday by research firm Oxford Economics predicts that the UK’s creative industries could lose 74 billion pounds ($ 93 million) in revenue this year, and a fifth of the UK’s United, 2 million creative job sector could disappear.
Caroline Norbury’s chief executive officer of the Creative Industries of the Federation, who advocates for the arts and culture, said that “without further government support, we are headed for a cultural disaster.”
“Thousands of the world’s leading creative companies are shutting down, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost and billions will be lost to our economy,” she said.
Norbury and other culture leaders called on the government to set up a “cultural revival” of the fund and continue to support programs that supported self-employed and furloughed workers during the foreclosure. Treasury plans to scale up programs in the coming months.
To the government a letter signed by nearly 100 theater artists including actors James McAvoy and Wendell Pierce and “Fleabag” creator Phoebe Waller-Pont warned that “the British theater is on the brink of ruin.”
“The pandemic has brought drama to its knees,” the letter said. “Theaters do not have the money to operate profitably physically, from the distance. It’s hard to see the opening sites before the end of the year. ”
Dowden says the government was looking for “what extra support we can give” to the arts.
“I know how essential it is to our theaters, our music and performing arts places to our vast cultural ecosystem,” he says. “Culture is our calling card.”