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

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I saw that on IG earlier - quite disturbing and frankly unrealistic - I can't see many (if any) theatres etc being able to break even doing something like that. It would probably be cheaper for them not to open to the public at all. I'm sure also it would be a pretty ghastly experience for the audience!

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25 minutes ago, MJW said:

I saw that on IG earlier - quite disturbing and frankly unrealistic - I can't see many (if any) theatres etc being able to break even doing something like that. It would probably be cheaper for them not to open to the public at all. I'm sure also it would be a pretty ghastly experience for the audience!


Agree on the financial consequences being unrealistic.

 

However there are some advantages for the audience ... more legroom and better sightlines.  No large head in front to dodge.  Shorter queues for the loos!
 

My problem is I couldn’t afford to pay more for the privilege though.

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1 hour ago, MJW said:

I saw that on IG earlier - quite disturbing and frankly unrealistic - I can't see many (if any) theatres etc being able to break even doing something like that. It would probably be cheaper for them not to open to the public at all.

 

I can think of a few programmes I've seen with this level of take-up! Could be time for companies to put on their more esoteric repertoire?

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3 hours ago, Lynette H said:

The Old Vic is to stream a performance for a limited number of paying customers. Interesting to see if anyone else takes this approach. 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2020/may/27/claire-foy-matt-smith-live-stream-lungs-in-bid-to-save-old-vic-coronavirus-pandemic

 

 

I don't quite understand the rationale for it being for a limited number of paying customers - why not as many as wish to pay?

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14 hours ago, bridiem said:

 

I don't quite understand the rationale for it being for a limited number of paying customers - why not as many as wish to pay?

 

Yes, I found that puzzling too. Laura Marling is doing the same thing for a gig from the Union Chapel. Perhaps they are trying to make it feel special, with that self satisfaction you get when nabbing a ticket for a show that gets sold out, in a limited sized venue...

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Just now, zxDaveM said:

 

Yes, I found that puzzling too. Laura Marling is doing the same thing for a gig from the Union Chapel. Perhaps they are trying to make it feel special, with that self satisfaction you get when nabbing a ticket for a show that gets sold out, in a limited sized venue...

 

Yes, I wondered if it might be something like that; but I would have thought that the right sort of marketing could entice more people/more money (and be more democratic, even if payment is involved).

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3 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

Yes, I wondered if it might be something like that; but I would have thought that the right sort of marketing could entice more people/more money (and be more democratic, even if payment is involved).

 

Yes, that would have been my reasoning too! Unless they intend repeat shows, or something like that? Where if everyone saw the first, they might not get much of a crowd for later shows. Doesn’t seem logical though, not to max out the first then perhaps limit later ones.

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57 minutes ago, zxDaveM said:

 

Perhaps they are trying to make it feel special, with that self satisfaction you get when nabbing a ticket for a show that gets sold out, in a limited sized venue...


That still doesn’t make sense to me since surely that ‘special’ self satisfaction comes from the combination of managing to get a ticket for someone you particularly want to see coupled with the intimacy of being up close in a small and carefully chosen venue    

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I thought the implication was that repeat shows were intended - but only read the article rather superficially.

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I've just had an email from Blackpool Grand Theatre.  It looks like they are assuming they will be able to reopen in September with a number of shows rescheduled from the spring.

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Really?  That's interesting - although possibly a little overoptimistic.  Mind you, at the rate at which lockdown is currently being released, who knows where we shall be by September?

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And on the other hand, looking through last week's Links, there's this article in The Times:

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/92acb32c-a0ef-11ea-b3fd-83a0d4cc538d?shareToken=0ea0100a68ebbc961a7f23ddea9a2da6

 

"Yes, of course arts organisations need to lobby for hefty government aid. What they also need to do, however, is boost the morale of their performers and give their supporters the chance to see live performances again, albeit online. Floating scare stories about staying closed for another 11 months just depresses everyone."

 

*Would* it be possible to get all performers tested for Covid-19 prior to (probably streaming) a performance in the UK as well?

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3 hours ago, alison said:

And on the other hand, looking through last week's Links, there's this article in The Times:

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/92acb32c-a0ef-11ea-b3fd-83a0d4cc538d?shareToken=0ea0100a68ebbc961a7f23ddea9a2da6

 

"Yes, of course arts organisations need to lobby for hefty government aid. What they also need to do, however, is boost the morale of their performers and give their supporters the chance to see live performances again, albeit online. Floating scare stories about staying closed for another 11 months just depresses everyone."

 

*Would* it be possible to get all performers tested for Covid-19 prior to (probably streaming) a performance in the UK as well?

 

The Premier League are testing players twice a week - however the testing is done privately and paid for by the League. Perhaps if the new 20 minute test is rolled out that might help?

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5 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

I've just had an email from Blackpool Grand Theatre.  It looks like they are assuming they will be able to reopen in September with a number of shows rescheduled from the spring.

 

 I was also surprised to notice today that one can now book tickets for performances scheduled on as early as the 1st of September on the website of London Coliseum:

https://londoncoliseum.org/whats-on/hairspray/

 

But then again on the other side of the pond the Met Opera has just announced the cancellation of all fall performances:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/01/arts/music/metropolitan-opera-cancels-season-virus.html

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4 hours ago, alison said:

*Would* it be possible to get all performers tested for Covid-19 prior to (probably streaming) a performance in the UK as well?

 

Apparently that was exactly what Bolshoi Theatre did back in April: they tested everyone 2 days before a live streamed performance. According to the article, 34 staffers were tested positive and subsequently excluded from the performance, which went ahead. If my memory serves me right Svetlana Zakharova was also featured in that performance.

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/04/14/coronavirus-hits-moscows-bolshoi-theater-a69972

 

This perhaps gives some hope that it is not impossible to roll out? 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, KyleCheng said:

 I was also surprised to notice today that one can now book tickets for performances scheduled on as early as the 1st of September on the website of London Coliseum:

https://londoncoliseum.org/whats-on/hairspray/

 

And with no mention of social distancing etc. (I went as far as the ticket selection page for 1 September.) ??

Edited by bridiem
Sentence added
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Posted (edited)

A quote of some interest perhaps - certainly not unexpected - in the new edition of The Stage - (Alex Beard was in attendance for the ROH)

 

'Representatives from the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Opera House said neither venue would be able to reopen with social distancing in place.

 

The Royal Albert Hall said it is only able to survive until April next year under current circumstances before it is forced to fold, while the Royal Opera House said it will not last beyond the Autumn with current reserves.

 

Source

 

 

Edited by Bruce Wall

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I am wondering how the ROH managed to survive despite its closure for renovation between July 1997 and December 1999?

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9 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

I am wondering how the ROH managed to survive despite its closure for renovation between July 1997 and December 1999?


The Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet (and the ROH orchestra) continued to perform in other venues.

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Bruce Wall do you mean the ROH will not survive beyond Autumn 2020 or Autumn 2021? 

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14 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:


The Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet (and the ROH orchestra) continued to perform in other venues.

Thanks!

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First of all if the West End are starting to put pressure on the Government for action and to put forward workable alternatives to the 2m social distancing measures, then that can only be a good thing.

 

However there is a danger of Alex Beard making those comments (presumably to add pressure) as (1) how will staff react to comments like that and (2) what would be the point of donating further if the House is likely to close?

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The companies performed at different venues across London during the closure which meant that they retained the audience's interest and support and had a stream of income which covered part of their costs but that is only part of the story. The real difference was that both companies were far less dependent on private money than they are now as their subsidy covered a greater proportion of their costs which made them far less vulnerable than now. In addition the opera company was far more conservative when it came to productions. There were no opera production involving radical revisions of texts or where the action was set ; no creating the operas the directors thought the composer and librettist should have written rather than the one they did with the result that the company had a back catalogue of classic or at least serviceable productions which singers wanted to appear in and audiences wanted to see revived over several seasons. This meant that a large number of the opera productions went into profit and helped pay for productions of operas like Henze's Boulevard Solitude which  the management thought London audience needed to see but were unlikely to be popular successes or finally cover their costs.Such minor details make a great difference to an opera company's bottom line. Finally I seem to recall that the Arts Council stumped up additional money for the redevelopment when it was needed although they did so with bad grace. 

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On 01/06/2020 at 16:40, Jan McNulty said:

I've just had an email from Blackpool Grand Theatre.  It looks like they are assuming they will be able to reopen in September with a number of shows rescheduled from the spring.

 

A friend of mine who volunteers there said the programme  is just provisional dependent on the Government giving the go ahead for theatres to open. If this happens they don't want to have nothing in place. If it doesn't then presumably they will have to cancel. Having said that you seem to be able to book seats already (I clicked on a Father Brown play for the middle of September where people have already booked seats and with no social distancing in place). I'd love to think it would happen but I have doubts.

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54 minutes ago, jmhopton said:

 

A friend of mine who volunteers there said the programme  is just provisional dependent on the Government giving the go ahead for theatres to open. If this happens they don't want to have nothing in place. If it doesn't then presumably they will have to cancel. Having said that you seem to be able to book seats already (I clicked on a Father Brown play for the middle of September where people have already booked seats and with no social distancing in place). I'd love to think it would happen but I have doubts.

 

Me too Joan.  My gut feeling is we will be looking at December at the earliest - if not 2021.  I suppose the next couple of weeks of being slightly unlocked will give us some indication of whether there will be a second spike.

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On 01/06/2020 at 21:16, MJW said:

 

The Premier League are testing players twice a week - however the testing is done privately and paid for by the League. Perhaps if the new 20 minute test is rolled out that might help?

Not just players, but all staff who come into contact with them, including PR staff etc.

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15 hours ago, MJW said:

First of all if the West End are starting to put pressure on the Government for action and to put forward workable alternatives to the 2m social distancing measures, then that can only be a good thing.

 

Something tells me - certainly from the comments of certain MPs today - that they will only get that - well, consider it - once the Divisional (voting) Lobbies have been restored.  That methinks will take some doing yet ... 

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1 hour ago, Bruce Wall said:

 

Something tells me - certainly from the comments of certain MPs today - that they will only get that - well, consider it - once the Divisional (voting) Lobbies have been restored.  That methinks will take some doing yet ... 

 

Division lobbies were used yesterday...

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