The magical lights of the theatre have been dimmed for too long. As the year reaches a dreary end, many artists have suffered immeasurable effects from lockdown and venue closures. The jobs left in limbo are too vast to mention. I can name but a few ranging from the set or costume designers in the West End to the performers or ticket venders. Musicians who performed in restaurants and bars and even the drag queens and cabaret performers. As an author, I have felt the sting from cancelled literary events. Now we must fight to keep the arts alive. We must fight to keep the theatre accessible to the public.
Throughout history the arts have been a key aspect of everyday human life, offering stories via song, dance or comedy. The power of creativity has never been deterred by constraints of budget or what is considered normal/industry standard. As a result, we become inspired to keep creating different stories. Yet, now the power of creativity has been locked away from the world. As a result, the arts hangs by a thin thread forgotten by the government. One narrative dominates our daily lives, with such a gruesome reality that it is easy to forget our visceral need for stories. However, I believe the power of storytelling can never be eradicated.
The need to escape reality, if only for a few hours, has never been more necessary. Therefore, I implore you to support the arts in whatever form you deem safe during these troubling times.
- Keep looking at upcoming shows. Yes it is hard to plan but there are some some performances still happening in local areas. Book shows in advance for next year and gain great deals on seats.
- Watch local performers, be that at a jazz bar, a burlesque performance or drag show.
- Do purchase tickets to digital screenings of the West End / Broadway shows or perhaps your own local theatre. Whilst I can attest I do not gain the same thrill from watching theatrical performances on screen as I would from a live performance. I do gain the satisfaction of knowing money is keeping the business afloat.
- Buy merchandise from your favourite artist/ show/ venue. There are tons of online shops for theatres such as The Shakespeare Globe.
- Subscribe to different venues. Stay in the know on the upcoming shows and the latest news.
- Donate money. Help out venues or performers struggling during this difficult time.
The government’s response
This advert is the epitome of everything that is wrong with the government’s approach to ‘helping the arts’
The UK government’s decision to impose performers with the task of changing careers during this unstable time has left many scratching their heads. We must not allow creativity to be snubbed out of our world. Whatever the future holds we must retain the arts. It is a cultural asset and a gift. We learn from the stories of those we admire, the stories of other cultures, the stories of the wicked and even the stories that do not match our political views. It is here we can celebrate our differences. The show must go on!
Learn more on how to take a stance.
Here are my top 4 sites where you can donate or help: