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Marquee TV's Founder Discusses How the Platform Came About, How it Helps in a Time of Social Distancing, and More

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Marquee TV's Founder Discusses How the Platform Came About, How it Helps in a Time of Social Distancing, and More

Theatres are in a perilous position - in the UK they have been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the repercussions have been wide, having a devastating affect on countless numbers whose livelihood depends on the performing arts sector. The government's £1.57bn bail-out package is a start, but only that. Marquee TV is one enterprise that is dedicated to doing its bit to bring performances to audiences in their living rooms while helping to generate a much-needed revenue stream for venues and personnel.

Marquee TV is streaming performing arts presentations on its platform, offering opera, dance, and theatrical performances. Founder Simon Walker talked to Verdict about how the idea for the company came about, how the service will help during the time of social distancing, and more.

"Stage one is rehearsal and training with no audiences and strict social distancing, and we've done that," says Walker. "Stage two is performances for broadcast and recording purposes only, adhering to social distancing. Well, why would you do that if you have no route to market? Stage three is outdoor performance and stage four is indoors with a limited audience, and stage five you're allowed to reopen.

"We are the obvious partner of choice for stage two, which is what every wise arts organisation in the UK - in fact around the world - is now thinking they should do."

Walker, like many others, believes a digital experience can not take the place of an in-person one, and fears for the future of live theatre.

"Sadly, we know from research that a lot of the in-person audience for, say, opera are older generations, and they are the ones who are saying they're not going to come back into central London in a crowded theatre unless and until there's a vaccine," says Walker. "There may or may not ever be a vaccine; what we know is that the future will be a mix of in-person and at home. But that doesn't mean that every night gets filmed and broadcast."

Read the full interview on Verdict.

Marquee TV partners with the world's leading arts organisations to showcase the best of the performing arts from around the globe. As part of their collaborative response to the COVID-19 lockdown, they have created a virtual season of Saturday night premieres, bringing the best of culture into our homes with productions that have included La Traviata from the Royal Opera House, Twelfth Night from the Royal Shakespeare Company and English National Ballet's production of Giselle choreographed by Akram Khan. Forthcoming productions include the Royal Opera House's Woolf Works (11 July) and the Royal Shakespeare Company's winter 2019/20 Season (31 July - 2 August).

For the full programme visit

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