Voices of the Future: Supporting our theatres the way they have supported us for generations
Alannah Rose discusses the reopening of theatres, and why it is vital that they receive our support.
The pandemic has posed great challenges for us all, with many industries suffering as a result. Unfortunately, theatres up and down the country have closed for months on end, with no light at the end of the tunnel.
According to a survey conducted by ITV News - alongside the union Bectu, in London almost 40% of arts and theatre workers were made redundant, due to the pandemic.
As we cautiously approach a return to some form of normality, theatres are finally reopening and resuming performances - despite the continuation of the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, it is more vital now, than ever before, that we support our local performance venues in any way we can. As they have supported us, for many years.
For many children and teenagers, the theatre is an important part of their development. Many theatres across the UK offer youth theatre groups - a fantastic way for young people to immerse themselves in the world of performing arts and express themselves in a creative way. In many cases, these classes inspire the next generation of theatre and arts workers, from actors and actresses, to set designers and everyone in between.
Even just attending the theatre as a child is an incredibly enriching experience. Seeing the magic of a live performance unfolding in front of you is something you’ll never forget. Without our theatres, there truly would be something missing from the childhood experience of upcoming generations.
Theatre also enhances the lives of many older people in the UK. A report by NASEM (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine), stated that almost a quarter of all adults who are aged 65 and over, are considered socially isolated.
For some, it is their only chance to interact with other people outside of their household. "Without theatre, a big part of my social life just disappears". This is what Linda Chambers, a 67-year-old who attended the theatre around twice each month before the national lockdown said.
After being told to shield for months last year, a popular way for the older generation to socialise is through a visit to the theatre. Venue closures will negatively impact elders interaction with one another - which is paramount for the older generations
Theatres are not only a vital part of the British economy, but they play a prominent part in so many people’s lives; bringing us together when we need it most. Now they are finally opening up again, it’s time for us to play our part.
As a consequence of many rescheduled performances, a lot of theatres have numerous upcoming events in the coming months, meaning it has never been easier to buy a ticket to your favourite show and help your local theatre get back on its feet. Let’s support theatres the way they have supported us - for generations.