By Rachael Grealish
Hundreds of theatres, music venues and art spaces lit up their buildings in red last night to represent the crisis due to the impact of COVID-19 on the arts industry and stand in unity.
The #LightItInRed campaign was co-created by Clearsound Productions Ltd and Backstage Theatre Jobs, and aims to shine a light on the 25,000 businesses and 500,000 industry professionals facing ruin due to the pandemic.
Tonight we stand with arts venues across the country as we #LightItInRed in support of the many and varied people who help make live events happen. Today's funding news gives us hope and we're all on standby to reopen.#WeMakeEvents #MissingLiveTheatre #LetTheMusicPlay pic.twitter.com/20JuumNKpD
— Rosehill (@Rosehilltheatre) July 6, 2020
The Cumbrian theatres, Rosehill Theatre, The Sands Centre, Theatre by the Lake (TBTL), Brewery Arts Centre and The Beggars Theatre, in Millom, were among those that took part in the national effort.
Red was chosen to represent the level of the crisis and also because many venues use red lights to indicate “standing by” for a performance and then green for go.
The director of Rosehill, in Whitehaven, Richard Elder, commented on the movement sayin: “It was important to us to take part in this nationwide campaign to recognise the many and diverse people, skills and talent that come together to create great theatre, of which this country is proud – and rightly so.
“Our theatre technician Rob Ward made another great dramatic statement by deploying his design creativity to light the theatre in red, volunteering until late into the night to allow our communications manager Deanne Shallcross to capture this stunning image.”
— Theatre by the Lake (@tbtlake) July 6, 2020
Although the movement was planned before this, it comes as the Government announced a £1.57 billion rescue package to protect England’s arts, culture, and heritage industries.
With Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland also set to receive £97m, £59m and £33m, respectively.
A spokesperson for TBTL, based in Keswick, said the theatre welcomes the investment to the industry.
They said: “TBTL welcomes the government’s announcement of a £1.57bn package of support for the arts, culture and heritage sector; this is great news for our industry and for the arts in the UK.
“Thank you to everyone who has lobbied, campaigned and made their voices heard in support of the theatre industry and in making this happen.
“We are waiting for more details before we are able to comment on what it means specifically for Theatre by the Lake; as of yet we do not know what funds may be available to us, or if funds can be secured in time to prevent redundancies. We will update further when we know more.”