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Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds to light up red to highlight crisis facing performing arts industry due to coronavirus

A theatre in Bury St Edmunds will be illuminated red to highlight the financial crisis facing the performing arts industry due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, in Westgate Street, will participate in #LightItInRed tomorrow night to support the industry which 'creates millions of memories with millions of

stories, stories that are told, and retold to friends and families around the world'.

The venue has been closed since March, has postponed its annual pantomime and is not expected to reopen before next spring.

Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Richard Marsham
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Richard Marsham

A Theatre Royal spokesman said: "Thousands of highly skilled people throughout the UK are affected by this crisis and we want to show our support for them."

He said they were 'hugely grateful' for the Government’s furlough scheme which allowed them to pay all contracted and casual staff for the seven months to the end of October and 'retain the majority of contracted staff from November onwards'.

"This has been a lifeline which has saved us and many other theatres from closure," he said.

The theatre has applied to the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund which offers financial support for cultural organisations financially stable before Covid-19 but now at risk of failure.

The spokesman said: "We hope to hear the outcome of that application within the next two weeks.

"We have also been supported throughout this closure by our loyal patrons, sponsors and customers without whom we simply could not survive – even in ‘normal’ times and our reopening appeal currently sits at a little over £72,000.

"We have been overwhelmed by the love and support for Theatre Royal from the community of Bury St Edmunds and beyond and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back when the time is right."

Tomorrow's illumination will be overseen by the theatre's technical and utilities team, who are working on flexi-furlough.

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