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ONFife’s response to Scottish Government theatres reopening with restrictions announcment

Tue 25 Aug 20

ONFife response to theatres opening with restrictions from September 14,

Michelle Sweeney, Director of Creative Development, said: “Yesterday the Scottish Government announced, as part of phase three of its route map out of the pandemic, that theatres can re-open with restrictions from 14 September and people will be wondering what that means for ONFife.

“We had been anticipating that this would be the next step forward but for us the key part of the announcement is "with restrictions". Like many other theatre and cultural organisations, this condition continues to make it unviable for us to re-open. Physical distancing would drastically decrease the number of customers, yet we would still have the same overheads.

“It was a very sad and difficult decision we made earlier this summer to postpone any theatre scheduling until spring next year but it was taken on the basis that re-opening was going to be an uncertain journey, that it was not going to happen overnight and that many of the most important factors, such as public health advice and the spread of Covid-19, were outwith our control.

“The exception has been our decision to provide an alternative Christmas family offering at Carnegie Hall, which is designed in the absence of any pantomines this year to support the community by providing some magic during the Covid Festive Period. This will be a different, more intimate Christmas experience which is involving a great deal of planning to comply with physical distancing and safety measures.

“We desperately want to have the lights on and curtains up again but not at the expense of the financial security of the organisation.

“In the meantime, we have been producing digital content that continues to engage with theatre audiences and remind people that we are still here and working to get back.”

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