Nearly 40% of theatre and arts workers in London have been made redundant since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to ITV News.
Many of the workers, including backstage and bar staff working at the capital’s biggest venues, have also struggled to access vital Government support schemes such as furlough.
Of those who did receive support, more than half say the payments were so small they were unable to pay their household bills.
The findings come from an ITV News survey, conducted alongside the union Bectu, of more than 1,000 people living or working in London’s theatre, TV production, and live events industries.
It comes exactly one year since theatres closed in the UK, a day known in the industry as ‘Dark Monday’ due to the devastating impact of the pandemic on London’s West End.
Responding to the survey, famous West End actor Michael Ball described the findings as “heartbreaking”.
The survey found:
* 39% of workers had been made redundant at some point during the last year
* 20% have been unable to receive any financial support payment from the Government (including Furlough and the Self-Employment Income Scheme (SEISS)
* 49% say the payments were not big enough to cover their household bills
* More than 54% workers have lost more than half their income during the last year
* Nearly 60% have considering quitting the industry altogether because of the impact of pandemic
Will the West End ever recover?
Worth reading in full.