Theatres to be wrapped in colourful barrier tape as they remain closed

Theatre buildings around the country are to be wrapped in colourful messages of hope as they remain closed due to the coronavirus crisis.

The National Theatre on London’s South Bank will be wrapped in bright pink barrier tape reading “Missing Live Theatre” as part of a project by stage designers group Scene Change.

Theatres have been devastated by the closures caused by the pandemic, and it has been warned that 70% of performing arts companies will close by Christmas if there is no government rescue package.

The Manchester Royal Exchange, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Lyric Belfast, and the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff will also take part on Friday, while others throughout London’s West End will join in on Saturday.

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The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon (Sam Allard/RSC/PA)

The RSC, Sadler’s Wells, Theatr Clwyd, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Sheffield Theatres, Ambassador Theatre Group, Theatre Royal Plymouth will take part the following week.

Scene Change said: “As businesses begin to reopen, the doors of theatres remain firmly shut whilst we navigate a way back to live performance.

“Today, as we launch #MissingLiveTheatre, we want to bring joy and colour to theatres across the UK and Ireland, whilst highlighting the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and what we as an industry and local communities are missing.

“This is a moment of reset in our industry and we believe the design community can be an essential part of the transformation that will see theatre buildings being reopened and the ways in which theatre can be re-imagined.

“As shapers of theatrical space through the use of people and place, our work is pivotal in connecting an entire ecosystem within the theatre industry. We are ideally positioned to be at the heart of any discussions about how theatre operates in the future.”

The tape will remain in place for up to a week before being removed and reused by Scene Change to envelop another theatre.

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