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Many theatre makers have not been able to work since last March - your support could be a lifeline for those in need now.

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Alan Yentob presents BBC's imagine... We'll Be Back?

BBC’s imagine…We’ll Be Back? highlights the importance of the performing arts industry

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 10 February 2021, Last Updated 15 February 2021

Yesterday night, I tuned in to the BBC’s imagine… We’ll Be Back? where television presenter Alan Yentob explored the huge ongoing impact of the global pandemic on the performing arts industry as well as highlighting all the creative work that the industry is doing to help audiences to stay connected.

Drawing on footage captured back in March 2020 when the country went into its first lockdown and consequentially forced theatres to close their doors, the documentary displays how the importance of performing arts has come to light during the pandemic.

British Baritone, Roderick Williams said: “It became clear that for us to have any sort of human existent, that arts are essential. Otherwise, we are machines. If there’s no expression of society or self, then there is no point to any of it I think.”

Calling on industry professionals, the show shines a light on the impact that has been felt in a variety of roles, from producers and actors to dancers, directors and backstage freelancers.

Actor Michael Elcock said: “As an actor, the industry is dry… it’s a literal drought. There is nothing out there at the moment so we are all scrambling and running, trying to find anything we can do.”

Amongst all the uncertainty, one thing we know for sure is all the incredible work that is being done behind the scenes to keep the magic of this industry alive because performing arts is so vital, now more than ever.

Claire Foy and Matt Smith in rehearsals for socially distanced performances of Lungs. (Credit: Manuel Harlan/The Old Vic)

Industry professionals across the board are working more creatively than ever to invent new ideas for audiences to stay connected and to continue to enjoy art while venues remain closed.

Talking about the evolution of The Old Vic‘s digital theatre In Camera series, Artistic Director, Matthew Warchus said: “Our minds have been scrambling since day one as to how to still keep some kind of pulse going with our work.”

The In-Camera series offers theatre fans the chance to stream live theatre from the iconic Old Vic stage with the empty auditorium as a backdrop. It allows us to enjoy and partake in our love of stories in an actual theatre. From Claire Foy and Matt Smith in Lungs to Andrew Scott in Three Kings, they’ve shared an array of productions to enjoy in the comfort and safety of our homes.

Besides digitally streamed events, Summer 2020 also saw a number of outdoor live theatre including the world’s first drive-in opera with the English National Opera’s Drive and Live at Alexandra Palace.

ENO-Drive-Live-La-boheme-at-Alexandra-Palace-ensemble-_-Lloyd-Winters_2x1_qvscptLa Bohème at ENO Drive & Live at the Alexandra Palace. (Credit: Lloyd Winters)

This documentary was not only emotional but truly eye-opening as to just how important our world-renowned industry is to us all, both economically and culturally. It also serves as a reminder of all the wonderful art we have to look forward to when venues are able to reopen.

As Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of the English National Ballet said: “What will not change, is the need for humanity to gather. That is part of the human DNA. We have gathered since time began to share stories. And that’s basically what performing arts, ballet, theatre, does. We come together to share stories, to understand each other, to share our history, to plan or imagine the future together”

If you missed this episode of imagine… We’ll Be Back, you can tune into the replay on BBC iPlayer here

Here at Official London Theatre, we are committed to keeping our fans connected with theatre while we wait for venues to reopen and for us all to be back in those velvet seats. We’ve created a page dedicated entirely to showcasing what theatre you can enjoy online. From world premieres and podcasts to live-streams and more, we hope there is something for you all to enjoy. Click the button below to check it out!

And lastly, if you’d like to support theatre workers and freelancers who are in need of urgent and critical financial support, and who are not eligible for government support, please do consider donating to the Theatre Artists Fund. Every penny goes towards helping those in need and is so appreciated.

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Due to the current pandemic various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows. Please bear with us as we try to keep this page as up to date as possible. If you find a mistake, please let us know by emailing enquiries@soltukt.co.uk. If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

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We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

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We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

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In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

For more than 40 years, TKTS was our on-the-day theatre ticket box office in Leicester Square. Currently closed due to the current situation, we are now selling our great last minute seats and prices online. Click here to learn more.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.