Trafalgar Entertainment has become the latest West End operator to propose redundancies among its staff, as it confirms Trafalgar Studios is unlikely to reopen this year.
The venue will stay shut until the first part of next year as a result of the pandemic and on delaying the start of planned building work, for which the theatre will revert to its original configuration, losing its second space.
As a result, jobs may be lost due to the risk that the company, founded by Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire upon their departure from Ambassador Theatre Group, will be "unable to continue to provide work for certain employees".
A statement from the company said: "Westminster City Council has granted Trafalgar Entertainment the necessary planning permission and listed building consents to carry out major renovation work which will see Trafalgar Studios taken back to its original historic configuration.
"With the current pandemic and, therefore, delayed commencement of construction, it is unlikely that we will be able to reopen the venue until Q1 2021."
It added: "After considering all possible options, we have concluded that there is a risk that we are unable to continue to provide work for certain employees and therefore may have to make redundancies. However, no final decision has been made at this stage and is subject to staff consultation. We have therefore, entered into consultation talks with affected theatre staff and have informed union representatives accordingly."
There is no indication of how many staff will be affected.
It means employees of at least 14 venues in the West End could now face redundancy as the theatre industry fights to survive the crisis.
The redundancy proposals follow many warnings of the impact of tapering off the government’s furlough scheme later this year, when most venues will remain closed.
Nicholas Hytner, formerly director of the National Theatre and now artistic director of the Bridge, said this weekend that without additional support from government, the industry will experience "wave upon wave" of job losses and theatre closures.