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Equity's General Secretary Elect Criticizes Government's Handling of the Pandemic, Calls For Greater 'Clarity' on Reopening Theatres

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"This isn't fun. This is an industry," Paul Fleming said.

Equity's General Secretary Elect Criticizes Government's Handling of the Pandemic, Calls For Greater 'Clarity' on Reopening Theatres

Paul Fleming, general secretary-elect of Equity, recently talked to the BBC, saying that more state funding was needed to keep the arts going through the pandemic.

Fleming is calling on greater 'clarity' from the government on when theatres and other indoor performance venues will be able to reopen. The government said it was in "close dialogue" with owners and performers.

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, Qdos Pantomimes began the process of consulting with their partner theatres about this year's pantomime season. Some pantomimes have already announced cancellations for this year, including Jack and the Beanstalk at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, and Sleeping Beauty at the King's Theatre.

Criticizing the government's handling of the pandemic, Fleming said, "Perhaps the reason why the government is less than bothered about reopening pantomime is because they've had enough of it themselves - [in managing] the whole [coronavirus crisis] from start to finish."

The government had initially stated that indoor venues could reopen on 1 August, which was then extended to 15 August due to concerns about the rising COVID-19 cases. Outdoor performances have been allowed since 11 July.

"This isn't fun. This is an industry," Fleming went on to say. "And when you see £600m going to EasyJet alone - and I'm sure that money is needed and I'm very glad people are having jobs protected there - you wonder, how come we are getting £1.57bn alongside museums, galleries, the rest of the cultural sector."

Read more on the BBC.


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