The Critics

The good, the bad and the ugly in books, exhibitions, cinema, TV, dance, music, podcasts and theatre.

War and plague have menaced theatres before, but rarely on this scale
Lloyd Evans

War and plague have menaced theatres before, but rarely on this scale

It seems a long time ago now. I was meeting the artistic director of a pub theatre near Westminster on the afternoon of 16 March. Already it was clear that this was one of the worst days of his professional life. That evening’s performance of a John Osborne play had been cancelled because a cast member had caught a severe cold over the weekend. During the morning, four more shows had withdrawn their productions, and the theatre had nothing to present for the next eight weeks. As we spoke, his phone pinged. Another cancellation. The door swung open and the production manager came in with a look of doom on his face. ‘Downing Street’s just announced — all theatres to close indefinitely.’ The artistic director turned to me.

War and plague have menaced theatres before, but rarely on this scale
Lloyd Evans

War and plague have menaced theatres before, but rarely on this scale

It seems a long time ago now. I was meeting the artistic director of a pub theatre near Westminster on the afternoon of 16 March. Already it was clear that this was one of the worst days of his professional life. That evening’s performance of a John Osborne play had been cancelled because a cast member had caught a severe cold over the weekend. During the morning, four more shows had withdrawn their productions, and the theatre had nothing to present for the next eight weeks. As we spoke, his phone pinged. Another cancellation. The door swung open and the production manager came in with a look of doom on his face. ‘Downing Street’s just announced — all theatres to close indefinitely.’ The artistic director turned to me.

War and plague have menaced theatres before, but rarely on this scale

Yesterday

28 Mar 2020

Thursday

26 Mar 2020

Wednesday

25 Mar 2020

Saturday

21 Mar 2020