Rent summed it up nicely with the song lyric “How do you measure a year?” in “Seasons of Love”. Now, on 16 March 2021, we can finally measure a year in theatre lockdowns.
One year ago today, West End theatres were forced to close over fears of rising Coronavirus rates. It’s been a rocky road to say the least, with theatres opening and shutting down time and time again, shows closing the entire time and some even shutting for good.
On the first anniversary (and hopefully only anniversary we’ll have to acknowledge), we’re sharing the reflections from theatre creatives and actors are saying about the past twelve months.
“It was a year ago this week that we closed The Old Vic’s doors to the public, cancelled the last few week’s of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, and postponed the highly-anticipated new production of Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles.
At the same time we also made a commitment to do everything possible to maintain some kind of meaningful connection with you, our audiences, during this difficult time. We had no idea, of course, that those initial weeks of lockdown would turn into a year of hardship, challenge and great loss.
Thanks to our incredible team of staff and associates, and exceptional philanthropic and government support, plus many many video conference calls, we have not only been able to uphold that commitment, in fact, we've connected with more people than I could have imagined, right across the globe.
And now it seems we are all finally at a turning point where the hopeful glow on the horizon is no longer just a mirage but a real destination to set our sights on. The theatre industry has had a severely bruising year but what hasn’t dimmed is its eagerness to step up and play its crucial role in rebuilding live connections and shared experiences. Delivering uplifting and mind-expanding stories, in a safe and joyful way, after more than a year dominated by separation, fear, anger and sadness, is utterly vital and it’s something we can’t wait to resume.
Thank you from all of us at The Old Vic for your extraordinary and unwavering support, and for joining in, over the last year, with all that we have been able to offer. I very much look forward to welcoming you back through our doors before long, and to sharing exciting, daring and magical live performances. Most importantly, I look forward to us being back together.
For now, I will leave you with this small celebration, framed in gratitude, of all that we managed to achieve together at the Old Vic, despite so much time spent apart.”