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Published August 10th 2020
The show cannot go on for now as season postponed
The Lichfield Garrick theatre in Staffordshire has been forced to postpone its autumn season shows during September and October due to the continuing coronavirus lockdown. The disappointing news has been revealed by the Garrick's Chief Executive, Karen Foster, who also announced a number of redundancies in a bid to ease financial worries. The Lichfield Garrick, which opened in 2003, generates virtually 90 per cent of its income from ticket sales. Due to lockdown, the theatre has been unable to operate and the ongoing loss of earned income since March is regarded as unsustainable. Although the theatre, which seats 562 people in its main auditorium and 157 in its studio, has welcomed recently announced government support for the arts, as well as local support, it says it will not fully support the expected costs of the theatre whilst the pandemic continues.
The Lichfield Garrick has postponed its autumn season
Karen said it was with great sadness that the theatre had been forced to make cost savings, including redundancies and short-time working, as a result of the virus. She said: "The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating for the theatre and live entertainment industry, especially for charitable organisations like Lichfield Garrick. Following popular demand in the city and district, the Garrick opened for blockbuster cinema just before lockdown struck. It is now working on its autumn season so that it can continue to bring the best new films, live event screenings and a huge variety of entertainment to our city. I am incredibly proud of our team of dedicated, committed, talented individuals, and so it is with immense sadness that, in order to safeguard the future of the theatre, I have no alternative but to make very difficult and painful decisions regarding their future. With the loss of two more months of shows, and the prospect of a still uncertain future beyond this, I hope that reducing the team at this point will enable us to persevere through this terrible period and emerge with a skilled workforce ready to expand back to pre-COVID activities."
She added that, as a small, independent charity, the theatre needed the support of its communities more than ever before to help them through this period of "enforced hibernation" and to help retain the skilled and experienced staff for the good of local audiences. "Enormous challenges remain as we face an extended closure period for our main house auditorium. We would like to thank our audiences who have been so supportive and to remind everyone that the best way to support our theatre right now is to purchase tickets for future performances, join as a Friend or donate to Lichfield Garrick arts charity via our website, so we can continue to make a difference to our audiences and the many participants of our education and outreach programmes."
All shows have been postponed or cancelled until the end of October 2020. The Garrick box office team will contact patrons to see if they want to move their ticket to the new dates, donate it to the theatre's arts charity, or request a full refund.