A consultation into how the theatre industry can return to work following the Covid-19 lockdown has been launched by entertainment union BECTU.
Theatre workers and employers are being invited by the union to share their views and concerns around going back to work using interactive online tool ThoughtExchange. The tool allows individuals to anonymously share an idea, which other participants will be able to rate out of five.
More than 6,000 theatre workers and 250 employers will be invited to take part in the consultation, which runs for 12 days until May 18. Once the results have been analysed, BECTU will invite representatives from the industry to take part in a discussion about returning to work.
Head of BECTU Philippa Childs said: “Many employers, particularly theatres in the West End, have acted responsibly and have furloughed staff wherever they can. However, there are groups of our members that have been economically stranded during the coronavirus outbreak with no work and no financial support.
"Theatre bosses are now openly saying they don’t expect to be open to the public until the end of the year and even then it is unclear what the impact of social distancing will be on permitted audiences and the government is yet to mention the creative industries in any of its briefings on returning to work."
Childs added: "An industry-wide approach and further collaboration is desperately needed to ensure that theatres are able to get back to work sooner rather than later in the safest way possible."