The West End producer says 70 per cent of performing arts companies will close by Christmas if there is no government rescue package
British theatre is on the brink of total collapse. All the performing arts – theatre, dance, opera, comedy, theatre in education, Christmas pantomime, community shows – are facing the real possibility of complete obliteration. I know it sounds melodramatic. It beggars belief – but it is a statement of fact.
Without an urgent government rescue package, 70 per cent of our performing arts companies will be out of business before the end of this year. More than 1,000 theatres around the country will be insolvent and might shut down for good.
We’ve all been stuck inside for ages. Unless your one of our lovely key workers. What it has done is given us all time to listen to and appreciate music (that’s why you’re here, right?) and undoubtedly one of our favourite songs of the year, possible our absolute song of the year here at Backseat Mafia towers (I say that like I’m not sat in my kitchen and the ‘we’ is an editors whatsapp group where we bicker over where that extra menu should go and stuff like that) was John’s Gone – this classic, Kinks meets folk rock kind of tune that just melted our hearts.
With her album out tomorrow, we tracked Lavinia Blackwall down to speak of such things as (inevitably) lockdown, the record, where Muggington Lane End is and what she’s digging at the moment.
Hi Lavinia, thanks for talking to us. How are you coping with lockdown? Has it ruined any plans you had in place? Any positives?
I’m a Primary school teacher, as well as a musician, so I’m spending quite a bit of time trying to prepare lessons for my class, as well as going in to care for the children of key workers. There’s the daily exercise, going to the shops to get people’s shopping…It’s funny, I thought I’d have time to read books, paint, watch box sets, write another album… but I’m mega busy!!
I had a week long tour planned in early April that I had to postpone, along with a 6music session for Marc Riley. That was a real shame, as I had planned it months ago, but so many people are in the same boat.
On a positive note, as I’m self-releasing the album, Ive been able to start packing up all the preorders from home without any hitches. I’ve been doing some collaboration with other musicians remotely which has been fun. Hoping to get round to writing album no.2 before the lockdown lifts, here’s hoping!
Britain celebrates Tom Moore, the World War II veteran who raised millions to fight the virus.
Britain threw a 100th birthday on Thursday like no other for a World War II veteran who grabbed his walker and took laps around his garden to hold a record-smashing fund-raising campaign for medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Britons flooded the one-man fund-raising juggernaut, Tom Moore, with more than 125,000 birthday cards, which were displayed at his grandson’s school. Members of the royal family sent him congratulatory messages. The BBC sang him “Happy Birthday” as he was presented a cake with a copy of a Spitfire war plane on top.
And Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday delivered a personal message on his Twitter account to the veteran, calling him “a point of light in all our lives.”