Comment: Clarity needed to bring Fife theatres out of darkness after lockdown

Fifteen months on, our theatres remain dark, and with no definitive timescale to return to hosting live performances once more.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 11:20 am
Updated Friday, 18th June 2021, 11:21 am
Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy (Pic: David Wardle)

There is absolutely no doubt we have to ensure safety is at the heart of every re-opening, but that does not explain the lack of clarity coming from the Scottish Government

In mid-June, theatres simply don’t know if they can confidently plan an autumn programme.

And if they cannot, then the impact will ripple into 2022.

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And that would affect every single person employed in the sector - from the tech teams to front of house - as well as a huge number of performers, and every single local group which uses the facilities.

The insistence of 2m social distancing - while hospitality has dropped to 1m - makes it impossible to operate viably.

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There is a growing sense of frustration across the creative sector at the contradictory message it is getting - yes, it can operate, in theory, but the reality is the restrictions in place make it utterly impossible to do so.

Caught between two stools, the entire sector can only wait for the clarity that has been promised in order to start to plan ahead.

There has to be some light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.

The longer our theatres remain closed, the greater the risk becomes to their future.

We cannot afford to lose a single one of them.

The creative sector has been warning for months that it cannot endure in this state of limbo.

It is time to deliver a road map to begin the journey back.

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