Photo credit: Shakespeare’s Globe (Photo by Mabel Lu on Flickr under CC 2.0)

Could socially-distanced outdoor productions lead the return of theatre?

A think tank collective has written to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Ahead of plans being announced to guide the UK out of lockdown on 22 February, over 60 creatives have written to the government calling for an early opening of outdoor performing arts.

Those who have signed the letter include representatives from the Arcola Theatre, English National Opera, Royal Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare's Globe.

In the letter, they state how important live theatre in 2020 was to the economy. So much so, "an estimated 500,000 people were able to experience the joy of attending small-scale live performances last year, generating c. £7m in revenue and supporting creative and hospitality jobs in every part of the UK."

If open-air performances were given the go ahead, theatre would "be an economically-valuable and mentally-uplifting element of the British 2021 staycation, be an international showcase for how life can get back to normal quickly and help sustain the workforce."

Currently, all theatre is suspended in London as a result of the national lockdown. At the time of writing, theatres will be allowed to reopen once their respective area is deemed to be in "Tier 2" where coronavirus rates of transmission are low. 

You can read the full letter here.

Photo credit: Shakespeare's Globe (Photo by Mabel Lu on Flickr under CC 2.0)


Originally published on

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