the stratfordianLook, I know that there’s a possibility that I have this wrong. I mean, there’s probably a law or something that says what I’m suggesting makes it impossible. Please, let me know. Anyway. My question is this…Why isn’t the Royal Shakespeare Theatre putting on theatre?

OK, so I know that there’s a pandemic on. I’m aware that sit-down audiences don’t as it were, exist anymore. I know that. What I don’t understand is just as you don’t need a covered building (a building with a roof-a church) to say your prayers in, you don’t need a roof to perform theatre.

I really don’t understand why something as powerful, as spiritual, as meaningful as The Royal Shakespeare Theatre has gone into complete hibernation. I don’t understand it because they have plenty of outside space and one would have thought, plenty of available talent. Social distancing would be possible for both audience and cast, surely? Of course, I’m talking small scale here. Forget the hydraulic sets, smoke effects etc. Forget a stage if need be. Just put on some theatre. For the creatives in the RSC who I presume aren’t, like the rest of us, up to much at the moment, it shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with something to entertain a few hundred (less?) socially distanced people?

It seems to me that in an effort to off-set all the dire warnings about ‘the end of theatre’ the theatrical spirit that says, (sorry about the cliché) ‘the show must go on’ should be at the fore. Theatre, especially at this time should, in any form, be available. It would make us all feel so much better.

Where is it? 

Just saying…


Just read this in the Guardian from Ms Whyman.

No one has found a successful economic model for physically distanced theatre, whether 2 metres or 1 metre. “It doesn’t take long to do the maths,” said Whyman.

But they will have a go. “One thing I love about theatres is that they are ingenious organisations, they’ve always been able to adapt. We can see ways we can meet the health and hygiene challenge … We can make people feel safe in our buildings and limit the numbers. The problem is we can’t do that if we don’t have some form of alternative income. It simply won’t bring in enough to support the operating model.”

the stratfordian

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