How real is the performing arts exodus?

Think back 12 months to when you first felt the pandemic. Not when you first read about Covid-19, but the moment of impact — the lurch in the stomach as it hit you that this time, it really wasn’t going to be OK. For Emma Cook, a freelance stage manager on the John Cleese farce Bang Bang!, the moment came during a rare week off. ‘I was sitting in a restaurant near the Bush Theatre in London, waiting to go and see The High Table, and I got a message from a friend who had just flown back from overseas: “Why are the theatres all closed?”. I thought, no they’re