Lockdown easing delay a bitter blow for Hastings White Rock Theatre
Hastings White Rock Theatre has criticised the delay to UK lockdown easing – a further blow to its hopes of reopening.
Gavin Shuman, venue director, said: “We are very disappointed with the Government’s announcement today.
“Whilst we understand the case for a cautious approach, the government’s recent research shows no correlation between live-events and transmission. In simple terms, as the research demonstrates, a visit to a show presents no greater risk than a trip to a restaurant, pub, cinema or supermarket.
“Hastings White Rock Theatre cannot operate whilst social distancing remains; but other measures can be put in place to enhance audience safety, to give confidence and to minimise risk.
“80% of adults have now had a vaccine. 60% (including those at most serious risk) have had a second dose. Given the successful vaccine rollout and the data now supporting a return to live events at capacity, we urge the government to act as quickly as possible to allow us to reopen.
“The nature of our venue programme means that, even once restrictions are lifted, it will be some time before we can welcome audiences back to see a show. Each delay pushes this reopening date back further, with obvious implications for the local economy, our business and the health and wellbeing of our communities and staff. A trip to see a show is thrilling, joyful and fun. It’s an escape, a diversion and a release. It’s one of the few remaining shared experiences we have. And now, more than ever, it’s the tonic we need.
“We will continue to work with our Local Authority partners, industry bodies, DCMS and others to push for a return to live events as soon as possible. The small team at the White Rock Theatre are working hard behind the scenes to bring the people of East Sussex an event programme to be proud of. When the time comes to welcome you safely back through our doors, we shall be ready to entertain, inspire, laugh and dance once more. We thank audiences for their patience and understanding and we look forward to welcoming them back – with safety as our number one priority - as soon as we are able. “