Over the past few weeks, we’ve all got used to major upheavals to our day-to-day lives. Much of this change has been bad.
We’ve also been bombarded with constant news updates – information that will have a real impact on our lives and the lives of our loved ones. So much news. And most of it bad.
But lest we forget, and as Lyn Gardner observes in her column this week, change doesn’t have to be bad. It can provide an opportunity to rethink how we have done things before and improve them.
And news can be good: the stories of theatre workers helping on the NHS front line are uplifting and inspiring; some day (soon, we all hope) The Stage will be able to report on theatres reopening.
In this spirit, I have some news of change. Change for the better. Over the next few days, we will be relaunching The Stage website with a new design and vastly improved functionality.
It will still have all the content you love – from breaking news to in-depth features and Hamlet cartoons – but in terms of how it looks and how it works, it’s a complete transformation.
This is not the time we would have chosen to launch a sparkly new website; this announcement pales into insignificance alongside everything else that is going on in all our lives at the moment.
But, it is something everyone at The Stage has been working on for months – since long before any of us had heard of Covid-19 and when the concept of shutting down an entire industry for weeks on end was unthinkable. It’s also something we’re all very proud of and want to share with you.
This is especially the case during the current crisis, when more people than ever before are coming to us for breaking news, insightful features and informed opinion, as we all try to make sense of the situation that our industry faces.
I’m sure you’ll love the new site and I’m eager to hear what you think about it. But please bear with us a little: website relaunches are rarely seamless and the current lockdown means this is even more of a challenge than it would be under normal circumstances.
The site has been designed to better show off the vast range of theatre coverage we produce and will help us keep you informed about and connected to your industry.
We recognise that The Stage has an especially important role to play during this crisis and we want to play it to the absolute best of our abilities.
Just as importantly, we also want to continue to do this when theatres reopen and we have a thriving, exciting and successful theatre sector to report on.
Our new website will enable us to do both these things.
Alistair Smith is the editor of The Stage. Read his weekly column at thestage.co.uk/author/alistair-smith