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Roundup: Fans & Industry Professionals React to Latest London Theatre Shutdown

Fans and industry professionals are taking to Twitter to voice their opinion on the latest theatre shutdown.

As BroadwayWorld reported earlier this morning, theatres in London will shut down once again following Tuesday evening's performances. Theatres across the West End had begun reopening just last week, with Six being the first musical to reopen after being closed since March.

The news comes as London moves into Tier 3 of COVID restrictions as the infection rate continues to rise.

Some titans of West End theatre have already released statements:

"Having installed extensive safety measures at the theatre, for the last week of previews we have been welcoming delighted audiences to the Noel Coward Theatre to enjoy this brilliant, funny and heart-warming show. They have left the theatre uplifted, energized and reminded about the power of theatre and the vital role it can play in the mental well-being of the community. To have that so abruptly, cruelly and illogically ripped away is heart-breaking. Not just for those audiences but also for the entire company of performers, creatives, stage crew and other freelancers who for so long have been without work. They all now face yet more uncertainty and pain." - producer Sonia Friedman

"The sudden volt face by the government in deciding to immediately put London into Tier 3 and shut down the West End is devastating for both the theatre and the economy. Even worse it smacks of panic and makes all our considerable and costly efforts to ensure the safety of both performers and audiences alike, widely praised by the health authorities, seem worthless - breaking any sense of trust between us as an industry and the government departments we've been trying to build a rapport with. The commercial theatre has had virtually no support from the Treasury, apart from the offer of quite expensive loans - which we, unlike the subsidised theatre, have been asked to give personal guarantees to repay. A lot of us do not want to go into debt to pay for losses caused by diktats completely out of our control. The constant changes of rules and advice we have received is impossible for any business to react to. A private company behaving like this would be subject to legal charges from its investors. Yet the government seems to play with our rights and liberties with impunity. We have almost 100 mostly self-employed performers and staff working on Les Misérables - The Staged Concert at the Sondheim Theatre. At a stroke, this government has tipped them into unemployment just in time for Christmas - Bah Humbug to the Prime Minister and the men in white coats. We will have to disappoint thousands of patrons over the next few weeks who were booked to safely see Les Mis over the holidays. We intend to continue performances in January as soon as we are allowed to and demand clarity of a date as soon as possible. Where is the leadership this government promised? All we have is empty words and empty chairs!" - producer Cameron Mackintosh

"We are devastated by today's news that London will move to Tier 3, forcing the closure of Pantoland at The Palladium. We are deeply concerned about the economic impact of today's decision for businesses in the West End and believe that we have done everything possible to ensure a Covid-secure environment within The London Palladium for our audiences, following all advice from Government. Whilst the safety and health of our visitors, staff and performers is of extreme importance, the Government's yo-yoing approach on advice is frankly appalling. It is not possible for any business to function in an environment where our leaders seem to have simply no idea how our country will look from one week to the next. The advice is bordering on incompetent." - producer Michael Harrison

"This is a hammer blow to an industry which has been fighting valiantly to bring culture and community to people's lives this Christmas. The Government has created a situation where millions of pounds have been spent on re-launching productions and shut them down just as revenue is about to be generated, leaving even more organisations in extreme financial difficulty and putting jobs for permanent staff and freelancers alike at even greater risk. Further financial support is essential to avoid yet more high profile casualties in the Theatre industry." -producers Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook


Now others are speaking up about their thoughts on the announcement, and opinions are wide-ranging:


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