Lights Out For Now

It goes without saying that this has been a tough two weeks for the world. In these uncertain times, the best we can do is support one another and stay positive.

Despite all that is happening, it was lovely to see such a wonderful turn-out for the opening night of On Blueberry Hill at Trafalgar Studios last week. The rave reviews included The Telegraph dubbing it an ‘enchanted evening’ and we couldn’t agree more.

Unfortunately, On Blueberry Hill joins the rest of productions across the UK which have been closed to prevent the spread of the virus. It is sad to see the West End follow Broadway’s suit of going dark, but we hope this ensures the safety of the wonderful theatre community.

With the closure of theatres, we said an early goodbye to several productions we’ve had a blast working on. This includes Mischief’s The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, the hilarious crime caper performed its final heist on Sunday. We’ll no doubt see the band of misfit crooks again someday and when we do, we’ll get Dynamite stuck in our heads once more! Also on Sunday, Thriller Live moonwalked on the West End for the last time after a mighty 11-year run. We’ll miss this musical extravaganza, not much can Beat It! Lastly, the remaining tour dates of Frantic Assembly’s I Think We Are Alone have been cancelled. If you managed to catch the show in Plymouth or Stratford we’re sure you’ll agree this timely production really showed us the value of sticking together through dark times.

We’ve also seen the postponement of the Riverdance tour. We’ve been working with the Riverdance team for over a year so with a little bit of Irish luck, we’ll be seeing new dates announced soon for what is sure to be a joyous and entertaining tour.

We also want to share our support for our friends at Fane whose events have been cancelled or postponed until a safer time, including the upcoming Words Weekend Festival in Salford and shows at Crazy Coqs. We can’t wait to see what exciting events you have planned when venues are up and running again.

Across the pond, SIX’s opening night on Broadway didn’t go ahead but we’re confident the show will be a much-needed burst of joy, humour and sass when the US queens take the stage later this year. After all, another female-led show, MAMMA MIA!, opened on Broadway just after 9/11 and it was putting smiles on the faces of theatregoers for the next 14 years.

Even in amongst this sad news and undoubtably difficult time, we’ve been moved by the heart-warming measures taken by those in the industry to remind everyone of the healing power of the arts. Performances are being broadcast online, including by the brilliant Showstopper! team, and artists are live streaming from their homes. Many of those now unable to attend performances they’d booked are donating the cost of their tickets to the theatres and ATG are running a fantastic ad campaign to remind us all that ‘the show must go on’.

The curtains will rise again when the threat to our community has gone and its clear audiences and industry professionals alike will be ready when they do. And, whilst we’re all inside, don’t forget that Shakespeare wrote King Lear in quarantine so who knows what great theatrical works are being written whilst the busy world grinds to a halt for a while? We can’t wait to see the lights back on the West End and Broadway soon but in the meantime, stay safe and we wish you and your loved ones all the best through these difficult times.