‘We’re heartbroken’: Stage stars share sadness over theatre job losses

Norwich's Theatre Royal. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich's Theatre Royal. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The entertainment community say they are “heartbroken” after bosses at the Norwich Theatre Royal confirmed the venue would be losing more than half its staff.

Robin Windsor has said the news is "very sad". Photo: Strictly Theatre Co.

Robin Windsor has said the news is "very sad". Photo: Strictly Theatre Co. - Credit: Archant

Yesterday the city centre site announced that 113 jobs would be axed, and 19 zero-hour contract workers would no longer be needed.

The news has prompted an outcry from the sector, with Norfolk-born Tony and Olivier award-winning theatre producer Richard Jordan saying he was “heart-broken”.

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Richard Jordan has said the news is "heart-breaking". Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Richard Jordan has said the news is "heart-breaking". Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

He added: “This is a tremendous loss, both to the theatre and the community which again highlights the urgent need for government support in this escalating crisis to save our theatre industry.

“I look at Norwich today and see the vibrancy of its art community. This has grown from when I first discovered a love of theatre as a child in my home city and today includes one of the UK’s finest festivals, along with powerhouse theatres such as The Garage, Playhouse, Norwich Arts Centre and the Theatre Royal fuelling creativity and community, alongside one of the most vibrant amateur dramatic scenes in the country.

“The thought that any of this could be lost is heartbreaking. My career in theatre has always been influenced by the memory of being an excited child sat at the Theatre Royal waiting for the show to start.

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“Like every other regional theatre, I hope it will continue to be the valuable entry point for so many to discover a life-long love and interest in the theatre. Our industry is often one of the first to put its hand-up in coming forward to help others in its communities, but never more so have we needed the help and support of our audiences and government to survive.”

His words were echoed by Ipswich-born ballroom dancing Robin Windsor.

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The Ipswich Strictly Come Dancing Star said: “I’m really sad to hear the devastating effect this pandemic has had on the Theatre Royal Norwich.

“Having performed there many a time I know it’s such a great venue with amazing staff- we must all come together to help save our wonderful theatre industry.”

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