The West End Theatre Company (WETC) and its board have unveiled a timetable that would see the theatre open at full capacity again by mid-to-late June. The new roadmap will, of course, depend on a number of factors, such as the success of the new theatre and the health and safety of its staff, and public support. Is West End reopening?
Following steps 1 and 2 of the timetable, which largely relates to schools and small outdoor gatherings, step 3 will allow the opening of a covered art space in the south and west corners of the theatre. This will be limited to a limited number of events, most of which are likely to be small – key events such as concerts, performances, and private events. The remaining capacity restrictions for the theatre are to be eased in step 4, which is planned for mid-to-late June, after which the new theatre will be opened to the public.
The program also reflects the country’s general attitude towards the reopening of the theatre, insisting that the arts remain present wherever possible. The plans to reopen underline the socio-economic impact of implementing these steps, noting that “the venue can hold staff, we will have safe and orderly gatherings after closure, and people’s well-being – that’s mental.” However, continued precautions such as improved testing of personnel and equipment can be implemented, the program states.
The West End theatre is to reopen in a socially-distanced form, with the closure lifted altogether. The new plans are designed to allow the theatre to remain open until it can welcome back audiences.
The proposed guidelines still need to be approved by the West End Council, City of London Council, and the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport.
A New Hope For Broadway?
Will an eventual reopening on West End spur the reopening of Broadway? Or, in the worst case, cease talks of yet another postpone of the current measures, restricting the US, and Broadway.