Historic theatres illuminated in red for vital campaign
PUBLISHED: 12:42 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:55 09 July 2020
Historic coastal theatres were illuminated in red as part of a vital campaign.
The Marina Theatre, the Players Theatre at The Bethel in Lowestoft, and the Seagull Theatre in Pakefield all supported the ‘Light It In Red’ initiative on Monday, July 6 as buildings and landmarks across the UK highlighted the devastating situation facing the events industry.
Staff and supporters turned up to see the three Lowestoft-area venues all look spectacular as they were lit up in red against the night sky.
Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre, in partnership with Wymondham’s ETS Sales & Hire Ltd, lit up the theatre building in red to highlight the crisis facing the event industry amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Since early March, the events industry has been mostly without work.
More than 25,000 businesses and over half a million workers throughout the UK have directly suffered, as they face a critical situation.
The Marina Theatre, which first opened to live events in 1883, is a charity that relies almost entirely on ticket sales.
They have been forced to cancel 75 performances ever since they closed on March 17, resulting in more than £250,000 worth of lost revenue.
A £35,000 grant from the Arts Council of England was awarded to the theatre as part of their Emergency Response Fund. While this has helped, the venue says that it will become increasingly difficult to stay afloat without any inclination of when they may be able to reopen for live performances.
Chief executive, Emma Butler Smith, said: “These are desperate times for the arts sector, and we stood together with our colleagues in the industry.
“By lighting up our beautiful building in red we hope to bring attention to the plight that we, and so many other theatres, are facing around the country.
“We were delighted to hear the news that the UK Government has announced a substantial support package for our industry. This investment is a great step forward and we await further clarification on what it means and how we might access it.
“It is reassuring that the government recognises that our sector is in crisis, but without funding details, and without decisions on opening dates, British theatres are still very much in the dark.”
The lighting of the Marina Theatre building was made possible through the use of equipment and staff expertise kindly volunteered by South Norfolk’s ETS Sales & Hire LTD.
Jenny Wright, from ETS Sales Hire LTD, added: “We were delighted to team-up with the Marina Theatre for the #LightItInRed night on July 6 to highlight to the Government how much live events have been effected by the Covid19 Pandemic and that without additional support, many venues will close, companies will go bankrupt and there will be huge job losses.
“The live events industry is worth billions of pounds to the UK economy, but it was one of the first to be affected by the COVID19 pandemic and is likely to be the last sector to return.”
With the Seagull Theatre and the Players Theatre joining in with the #LightItInRed event, the Seagull and the Bethel were also illuminated in red on Monday.
A post on the Lowestoft Players Facebook page added: “We joined theatres, venues and suppliers around the whole country to #LightItInRed at our very own ‘Players Theatre’.
“Whilst the industry welcomes the extra funding announced, we still need to make sure suppliers and freelancers who make the shows work are not forgotten.”
The Marina Theatre is currently asking their community for additional support during these times.
If you would like to donate, you can do so by visiting www.marinatheatre.co.uk or by calling 01502 533200.
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