It’s Business as Usual for the UK Theatre Industry in the Face of Coronavirus
The UK theatre industry has been taking steps to manage the safety of audience members attending shows during the spread of the Coronavirus.
The Society of London Theatres and UK Theatre, released a statement this week to say they are in contact with the government concerning the spread of the virus. They are making sure that theatres and production companies have the most up-to-date advice.
Delfont Mackintosh Theatres (DMT), which owns a string of West End venues including the Gieldud, Novello, Prince Edward and Prince of Wales, also released a statement via website saying: ‘we have been keeping a close eye on the developments of the situation surrounding Coronavirus / COVID-19 and following advice from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer we can confirm that while the risk to individuals is still low, at present there are no plans to cancel any productions or close any of our theatres unless a specific scenario occurs.’
DMT are reassuring customers that their health and safety is ‘paramount’ and the company is taking ‘all steps necessary’ to keep them safe.
Bristol’s biggest theatre The Bristol Hippodrome, which seats a just under 2000 strong audience, is also keeping a close watch on the safety of patrons during the spread of the virus.
The Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) theatre, is one of over 50 large venues owned by the company across the UK, US and Germany.
Nearly 40 of the ATG venues are in Britain and includes The Alexandra Birmingham, New Theatre Oxford and Palace Theatre Manchester. ATG West End venues include Ambassadors Theatres, Fortune Theatre, Lyceum Theatre and Piccadilly Theatre.
A linked company statement about the Coronavirus on the booking page of the Hippodrome echos advice given by the rest of the industry. In Bristol, it’s business as usual, though health and safety has been stepped up to keep customers safe.
The statement from ATG reads: ‘At Ambassador Theatre Group, the health and safety of everyone at our venues is our priority, so we have been closely monitoring the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) situation.
‘Current government recommendations are that, unless you have travelled to the affected areas, there is little risk to individuals in the UK, so at this time we have no plans to cancel or postpone any productions or performances.’
ATG says it has inplemented ‘precautionary measures’ and recommends that audience members wash their hands ‘thoroughly and regularly’.
Additional soap and alcohol-based hand gel will be available throughout their venues and ATG says it is increasing the frequency of venue deep cleaning.
ATG says: ‘If you’re not feeling well during a performance, come and talk to one of our staff who can help you.’