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FionaE

Practicalities of re-opening in Autumn 2020 - or thereafter?

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1 hour ago, Naomi M said:

Here is an experiment of social distancing of 2 meters in a theatre in Okinawa, Japan which has  400 seats usually. The result was 60 people can seat with that distance.


 


Thank you for sharing this photo .... the emptiness of the audience is hard to believe.  It is the visual reality of 2m apart.  


How can this give any energy to the performer 😢   Almost sadder to see than an entirely empty Auditorium.

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1 hour ago, capybara said:

The thing that struck me about the picture inThe Times (above) was that it would only work if the audience entered in a particular order. People pushing past one another along a row would undermine the whole thing.

 

And in cinemas you'd have to contend with people nipping out mid-film to go to the loo/buy popcorn ... :(  Theatres without enough aisles (I'm thinking in particular of London's Barbican Theatre) would really suffer.

 

I was thinking that if dance companies could get up and running in time for Nutcracker (or whatever) season that might stave off a fair bit of the damage for them, but again I think it's probably all too soon for that.

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Glad it's not just me who can't really connect with watching ballet on my computer, I only have a laptop and the sound quality is atrocious.

 

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Can you buy some cheap plug-in speakers?  Most laptops aren't optimised for loudspeaker functions.

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1 hour ago, Bruce Wall said:

 

Also how many people are going to be able to walk or cycle to, say, the ROH or Sadler's Wells ... (given the 1 in 10 capacity on the Tube and buses already having been reduced)? .... I can walk to the ROH within a reasonable amount of time ... but there are many I realise who can't ... Cars surely offer other challenges ... 

 

Just so many challenges until an effective vaccine can be found.  Fingers ... and EVERYTHING ... crossed.  

 

 

 

I've been wondering this as well.  Not just for theatre, but for museums and galleries as well which I would, in theory, be happy to visit again with appropriate measures in place.  Just no idea how I would actually get to and from them ...

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I have just read that they will allow sporting and cultural events to take place behind closed doors for broadcast. It will be interesting if ROH take this up on a pay per view basis to produce an income stream. Not a long term solution but better than nothing !
 

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3 hours ago, capybara said:

The thing that struck me about the picture inThe Times (above) was that it would only work if the audience entered in a particular order. People pushing past one another along a row would undermine the whole thing.

 

Yes, the logistics of having to get people in and out while keeping at a safe distance seem extremely difficult. And what if someone were to be taken ill in the middle of a row during a performance?

 

3 hours ago, Bruce Wall said:

Also how many people are going to be able to walk or cycle to, say, the ROH or Sadler's Wells ... (given the 1 in 10 capacity on the Tube and buses already having been reduced)? .... I can walk to the ROH within a reasonable amount of time ... but there are many I realise who can't ... Cars surely offer other challenges ...

 

It would pretty much limit the audience to those living in central London or those a further out who can both afford the congestion charge & manage to find parking in the centre. I live 60 miles away & don't own a car so I don't think I'll be going to the ROH, or any other London theatre, for the forseeable future. Going to my nearest theatre, 5 miles away, would I suppose be possible but there are rarely more than half a dozen shows I want to see there a year even when they have a full programme.

 

50 minutes ago, MJW said:

I have just read that they will allow sporting and cultural events to take place behind closed doors for broadcast. It will be interesting if ROH take this up on a pay per view basis to produce an income stream. Not a long term solution but better than nothing !

 

I suppose the RB could do that. The majority of the dancers are live permanently in the UK so would be available. The opera side of things would be very difficult to do though, with travel restrictions. When the ROH season had only been cancelled up to June I had a look at the cast lists of the 3 operas that were scheduled for July. Of the half a dozen lead singers listed for each opera, there were only two singers over all three operas who, as far as I know, live in the UK. So the ROH might have to do some serious re-casting if they want to put on any performances. Critics do sometimes say in reviews that they think the ROH should hire more British singers so maybe this will finally force them to do so!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Beryl H said:

Glad it's not just me who can't really connect with watching ballet on my computer, I only have a laptop and the sound quality is atrocious.

 

 

Adding to Alison’s answer:

Also, if you have a “smart TV” with voice remote, you can get all YouTube programs on your TV - nowadays large sharp screens and stereo sound.  It’s the next-best thing to being  there...sometimes (as with the recent Concerto DSCH film) even better...noticed every detail! Not always the case, of course.

Edited by Jeannette

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3 hours ago, Sim said:

I have spoken to quite a few dancers recently and they are all horrified at the thought of having to perform to half empty (or less) houses. 

 

And being a member of a tiny audience in a big venue holds no attraction for me either.

 

Besides which, how can dancers perform (or rehearse) and social distance?

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11 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

Besides which, how can dancers perform (or rehearse) and social distance?

 

How, for that matter, can team sport players? It does seem a little odd that tennis, where social distancing would seem to be relatively straightforward, is off the cards but football, rugby and other contact sports are not.

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The problem with tennis seems to be more the international travel than anything, I think - although socially distancing oneself from the ballkids, umpire and line judges while on court would be extremely difficult, too.  But I really don't see how you can play team sports either.

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I'm wondering if a return to work means dancers can go back to class?  After all, class is the embodiment of social distancing already.  Lockdown must be so awful for dancers, for their physical and mental well-being.

 

Maybe we could start with some of the cheaper mixed bills, than with the huge productions.  I would be happy to pay a bit more to see these to have some empty seats.

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I believe that The Royal Ballet/ROH  brought in social distancing rules around 16th March, a week ahead of 'lockdown'.As early as the 12th March, audience members were not allowed to congregate inside the Stage Door.

I mention this early response as it signals the proper caution which was exhibited then, and will surely continue to be now. 

From various posts on social media, many RB dancers are in their home countries and would be liable to face a period of quarantine were they to return to the UK at the moment.

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35 minutes ago, Ian Macmillan said:

From today's Times: The road back to live concerts: plans for Radio 3, the Proms and Wigmore Hall:

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/8f3c0166-9389-11ea-97b5-8f15973668de?shareToken=f9b0f43b4807beb6eae76772b329400b

 

Nothing there about Dance, but an indication of how things might go in the near-mid term?

 

I was interested to read here that people in opera are getting twitchy about not receiving royalties from the old performances that are being streamed. Presumably the legal position isn't in question though? (I know the ROH at least is very cautious about this.)

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Posted (edited)

I will quote one sentence from the Times article here:

 

Rumours surfaced last week that the BBC was planning a fortnight of Proms, but minus any foreign orchestras (we won’t see orchestras touring outside their own countries for a long time) and without any audience in the Albert Hall. Since the very quintessence of the Proms is the Prommers, standing in the hall’s arena and gallery, concerts played to an empty hall would have a very strange atmosphere — or, worse, no atmosphere at all — but at least the BBC could broadcast them to millions via radio, online and (one would hope) television.

 

Just wondered what 'a long time' signified.  The lack of 'outside' companies would at the moment I'd imagine certainly challenge the Sadler's Wells regime as we know it - but should that prove accurate would give many more meaningful opportunities to home grown entities.    I would imagine this will be the case in many, many countries.  I most fear for the mid and small scale regional touring houses that often are controlled - either in part or wholly operated - by local/regional councils.  They have been under strain for quite some time.  This period - without overwhelming support such as ACE signify they do not sanction - could mark their demise.  That would put a significant dint in already struggling core educational pursuits.  

 

I also hadn't realised that Hazard Chase - a major force within its own remit - had gone under.  Such organisations very often stitch various elements together for future programmes throughout national platforms.  That will make any start-up I'd imagine much more difficult.  Certainly this is one history which will be fascinating to watch unfold.  

 

Another sentence:

 

In Germany the total rescue package being assembled for the arts is said to be a jaw-dropping £46 billion. 

 

What was it Churchill said:  'Facts are better than dreams'.  I'm not sure I always agree with that ... but certainly the above notation is a most impressive marker.  Without doubt it lays out clear priorities.  

 

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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1 hour ago, Bruce Wall said:

Another sentence:

 

In Germany the total rescue package being assembled for the arts is said to be a jaw-dropping £46 billion. 

 

What was it Churchill said:  'Facts are better than dreams'.  I'm not sure I always agree with that ... but certainly the above notation is a most impressive marker.  Without doubt it lays out clear priorities. 

 

Yes. The British Government needs to take a long hard look at the implications of support, or lack thereof, to the arts.

 

With regard to the Wigmore Hall, I imagine the stage area is so small that it would be difficult to get more than a couple of people socially distanced on it.

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Posted (edited)

Most sad.  There was an 8th March concert at the Concertgebouw that apparently led to a cluster of 102 infections amongst the musicians ultimately resulting in the death of a 78 year old chorister and three of the musicians' family members.  

 

https://amp.diapasonmag.fr/a-la-une/concert-tragique-a-amsterdam-4-morts-30195

Edited by Bruce Wall

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Posted (edited)

Rufus Norris, NT AD, writes in The Stage:

 

Meanwhile, we must pursue every possible idea that might contribute to riding out this storm: prototyping ideas about social distancing, maximising the burgeoning new digital opportunities with the same ambitions for excellence and representation we bring to the stage, stretching our practice in education and community-building, considering any and every way our spaces might be used to pay wages or contribute to society. More than ever, we need to explore everything from the perspective of what we can do, not what we used to do.

 

I'm sure all the dance stages throughout the UK will have a significant input in this conversation.  

 

In another article in the same publication, Christine Payne, General Secretary of British Equity, who 'met with the Chancellor earlier this week' - apparently last Wednesday - suggests theatres "will not start to open their doors until early next year."

 

 

 

Edited by Bruce Wall

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That’s depressing Bruce - it’s hard to know with so many uncertainties still.

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I love this phrase ....
 

More than ever, we need to explore everything from the perspective of what we can do, not what we used to do.”

 

 

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A BBC notation on the subject can be found here.   It is from their 'Entertainment and Arts' category.   

 

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1 hour ago, FionaE said:

I love this phrase ....
 

More than ever, we need to explore everything from the perspective of what we can do, not what we used to do.”

 

I'm afraid I don't love it. 😒

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There are so many dimensions to this. It struck me today that some companies will need to ensure that theatres cancel on them rather than the other way round which would cause them to incur cancellation fees.

Then they will also need to maximise their returns from using the furlough scheme.

So many issues to weigh alongside the health, welfare and artistic priorities.

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I agree Capybara.

 

I have assumed that was why NB were so late announcing the cancellation at The Lowry and BRB announcing cancellations at SW and the Hippodrome.

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5 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

I agree Capybara.

 

I have assumed that was why NB were so late announcing the cancellation at The Lowry and BRB announcing cancellations at SW and the Hippodrome.


And the Royal Albert Hall’s announcement about its continuing closure was ahead of EBB’s cancellation of its Swan Lake in the round.

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There is just a cover page when I click on the link...am I doing something wrong?1

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6 minutes ago, Sim said:

There is just a cover page when I click on the link...am I doing something wrong?1

 

I had to scroll down a bit before the article came up....

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Thanks.  I can find the article, but when I click on the headline, it takes me right back to the cover page.  I can just make out 'one act operas and no intervals.'   Sounds awful and very depressing.  What are they saying about bringing back ballet?

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