Coronavirus pandemic brings Britain's TV industry to its knees

Celebrity Juice suspends filming, a shortage of A-list guests threaten The Graham Norton Show and Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield express doubt over This Morning’s future as coronavirus pandemic brings Britain’s TV industry to its knees

  • Live shows such as ITV’s Loose Women and The Jeremy Vine Show have been shooting without a studio audience, while filming across the UK has been halted for major programmes such as Line Of Duty
  • The latest shows to announce disruption include Netflix hit The Witcher, which is conducting a deep clean of its West London set after actor Kristofer Hivju contracted coronavirus during filming 
  • BBC’s The Graham Norton Show is due to resume filming next month but the chat show relies on celebrity guests coming to the studio to promote their projects 
  • Fantastic Beasts 3 was due to start shooting in London on Monday but production on the major film has been suspended 
  • Warner Bros announced Friday that filming for the new Batman movie in London and Liverpool would be halted for two weeks  
  • Cultural events around the country have been cancelled because of the virus, which has infected 1,372 and killed 35 in the UK at time of publication 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

The UK’s TV, film and entertainment industry is at breaking point amid the coronavirus pandemic, with production on major shows and movies shut down.

Live shows such as ITV’s Loose Women and The Jeremy Vine Show have been shooting without a studio audience, while filming across the UK has been halted for major programmes such as Line Of Duty and Peaky Blinders. 

Among the latest shows to suspend filming is ITV’s Celebrity Juice which abruptly cancelled shooting on Monday evening, minutes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement issuing drastic new measures.

Cancelled: ITV have cancelled filming for their popular show Celebrity Juice. The popular comedy show was postponed in abrupt fashion on Monday with the programme’s audience being asked to leave the studio, as revealed by guest Paddy McGuinness on Instagram 

The popular comedy show – which is presented by Leigh Francis in the form of his alter-ego, Keith Lemon – was postponed in abrupt fashion on Monday with the programme’s audience being asked to leave the studio after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest advice about the virus. 

Paddy McGuinness – who was appearing on the show as a panelist – wrote on Instagram: ‘Well that escalated quickly. We were all set to record @celebjuiceofficial audience in and then we hear Boris Johnson’s speech and that was that! Audience out, show cancelled…for now!!!!

‘Still I got to spend a bit of time with my boy @keithlemon. Stay safe, keep an eye out for the elderly and wash them hands!!! (sic)’

Concerns: ITV daytime’s flagship show This Morning was live on air on Tuesday, but hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield hinted coronavirus might impact the show’s future

Joel Dommett – who was also poised to appear on the comedy show – described the incident as ‘weird’. He wrote on the micro-blogging platform: ‘What a weird evening – went to record @celebjuiceofficial – then the audience were told to go home after Boris’ speech.  

‘Having serious logistic based conversations while dressed as @billieeilish was one of the strangest things I’ve ever been involved in. Stay safe everyone – keep washing your bits. (sic)’ 

ITV daytime’s flagship show This Morning was live on air on Tuesday, but hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield hinted coronavirus might impact the show’s future. 

Greeting viewers, Phil joked: ‘Still here!’ But Holly chimed in: ‘For now.’ 

Meanwhile shows not currently in production are concerned about the lack of content if they can go ahead with filming.

BBC’s The Graham Norton Show is due to resume filming next month but the chat show relies on celebrity guests coming to the studio to promote their projects.

Impact: BBC’s The Graham Norton Show is due to resume filming next month but the chat show relies on celebrity guests coming to the studio to promote their projects

With the postponement of blockbuster movies and TV shows, as well as travel bans, producers will likely struggle to book guests. 

In the US, similar format shows such as James Corden’s Late Late Show and Ellen Degenere’s talk show have suspended filming. 

Deadline reported Tuesday that the BBC is drawing up plans to continue with filming for some of its most popular panel shows, without studio audiences. 

QI will record this week at BBC Television Centre without an audience according to the report, while similar plans are in place for Have I Got News For You and Would I Lie To You? which go into production next month.

Other shows have had the decision on studio audiences taken out of their hands though, as Elstree Studios said on Monday that it is banning audiences for shows filmed there, which include The Voice and The Last Leg.

Meanwhile Netflix hit The Witcher is conducting a deep clean of its West London set after actor Kristofer Hivju contracted coronavirus during filming.

The 41-year-old actor sent out a photo on Instagram with him and his wife, Gry Molvaer Hivju, from their home in Norway on Monday, along with a heartfelt message to his fans.

Hivju joins other celebrities to test positive for COVID-19, including Idris Elba, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, while his new series The Witcher will shut down production and do a ‘deep clean’ of the set at Arborfield Studios, located west of London, according to Deadline.

An email to staff on the production read: ‘We paused production prior to becoming aware of this, but as a further precaution we will be closing production offices and Arborfield immediately and arranging for deep cleaning and disinfection.

Shut down: The latest shows to announce disruption include Netflix hit The Witcher, which is conducting a deep clean of its West London set after actor Kristofer Hivju contracted coronavirus during filming 

Over for now: The Witcher will shut down production and do a ‘deep clean’ of the set at Arborfield Studios, located west of London, according to Deadline

‘We are in the process of contacting those who were in close contact with the relevant individual. However, due to the nature of this production, it is recommended that crew and cast self-quarantine for 14 days, monitor their temperature, and seek medical advice if they experience any symptoms.’    

Meanwhile filming for the country’s major soaps is reportedly continuing, despite the recent government advice. Coronation Street and Emmerdale will ‘remind people of important public health issues’ like hand-washing as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow. 

ITV Studios creative director John Whiston said: ‘Because we script and shoot so far in advance we don’t generally reflect contemporary issues.

‘However we are going to use the soaps to remind people of important public health issues such as the need to wash their hands. We’ll try and do more such messages going forward.’

Continuing: Filming for the country’s major soaps is reportedly continuing, despite the recent government advice

An unnamed Coronation Street cast member who went into self-isolation 10 days ago after returning from an affected country did not develop symptoms and has now returned to work. 

An ITV spokesperson said on Tuesday: ‘Our priority is the wellbeing and safety of all our colleagues and everyone who works with us on our shows and across our production. Clearly, along with everyone across the country, we are in a developing and dynamic situation with respect to the coronavirus, so we’re taking the appropriate steps.’

‘We’ve looked at our procedures and our established contingency plans and we’re confident that we’re able to continue with our filming schedule. In terms of our colleagues, our aim is to do everything we can to support anyone affected. We’re keeping a close eye on the situation and putting our people first.  

While the soaps continue, it was announced on Monday that filming for series six of Line of Duty has been suspended, while Peaky Blinders has postponed shooting for its sixth series.

A BBC spokesperson stated: ‘In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, the producers Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions of Peaky Blinders s6 have postponed filming, and World Productions on Line of Duty s6 have suspended filming, both in consultation with and supported by the BBC.’

‘We will continue to review all productions on a case-by-case basis and will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the Foreign Office, World Health Organization and Public Health England.’

Cancelled: Filming on some of the country’s biggest TV shows has been halted, with Line Of Duty announcing on Monday it is suspending production on series six

The official Twitter account for hit BBC police drama Line Of Duty confirmed on Monday that cast and crew have been sent home from set, amid filming for the sixth series.

Shooting began in Belfast on February 17, but a statement explained: ‘In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, @worldprods are suspending filming of #LineofDuty S6 with the support of the BBC. We will keep you updated with further developments in due course. Thank you.’

Vicky McClure, who stars as DCI Fleming in the drama, alongside Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar, retweeted the message, adding: ‘Look out for one another xxx’.

Postponed: The official Twitter account for the hit BBC police drama confirmed on Monday that cast and crew have been sent home from the Belfast set

Hit show: Lead actor Martin Compston (front right) previously posted a photo with co-stars Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar and the show’s creator Jed Mercurio dining in Belfast as filming commenced last month 

Another BBC hit, Peaky Blinders, which shoots primarily in and around Liverpool and Leeds, also announced Monday that it is postponing production on series six over fears about coronavirus.

Posted on the programme’s Instagram account, a message read: ‘After much consideration, and in light of the developing situation concerning Covid-19, the start of production of Peaky Blinders series 6 has been postponed.’

‘Huge thanks to our incredible cast and crew, and to all our amazing fans for their continued support.’ 

Suspended: Another BBC hit, Peaky Blinders, which shoots primarily in and around Liverpool and Leeds, also announced Monday that it is postponing production

The hugely popular show stars Cillian Murphy and films mostly in the Yorkshire region (Cillian pictured on the set of season five with director Anthony Byrne

Both Peaky Blinders and Line Of Duty were thought to be returning to screens later in 2020.

Production on major Hollywood movies has also been affected with Deadline reporting on Sunday that Warner Bros has decided not to commence with filming for the anticipated third Fantastic Beasts film, an offshoot of the mega money-making Harry Potter franchise.   

Filming on the David Yates directed film, based on the work of JK Rowling, was due to start in London on Monday, with a planned release date of November 12 2021.  

Planning: Byrne previously shared a photo of the crew on a location scout day for series six in early March 

On Friday it was reported the studio has temporarily suspended production of The Batman – the reboot which stars Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne.

‘Warner Bros. Pictures feature production of The Batman will be on a two-week hiatus starting today. The studio will continue to monitor the situation closely,’ the company said in a statement, reported Deadline.

Production of the movie began in London in January, but was about to move locations to Liverpool, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

Jurassic World: Dominion – the third film in the new series had been shooting in London since February, but has been shut down as part of Universal’s mass shutterings, with its June 2021 release date possibly in doubt. 

Halted: Production on major Hollywood movies has also been affected with Deadline reporting that Warner Bros has decided not to commence with filming for the third Fantastic Beasts film

The entertainment industry has been thrown into chaos as coronavirus (COVID-19) worsens across the UK.

Cultural events around the country have been cancelled because of the virus, which has infected 1,372 and killed 35 in the UK at time of publication, amid warnings large public gathering could help the virus thrive and spread. 

London’s West End has been left empty over cancelled bookings, musicians have postponed gigs and even Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary festival in June hangs in the balance. 

Shut down: Jurassic World: Dominion – the third film in the new series had been shooting in London since February, but has been shut down as part of Universal’s mass shutterings

Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE told MailOnline: ‘It’s devastating. Beyond devastating. The dire financial consequences are virtually incalculable.

‘The real victims will be the tens of thousands of small and micro businesses and millions of thousands of people who rely on trade, employment and income from these places of entertainment big and small – whether the massive open air event for hundreds of thousands of people to the small local event in a pub or local hall.

 ‘The coming months will be the worst and most scary financial times in the lives of all born in post second world war Britain.

‘The positive though is when the UK bounces back, which it will, for those whose businesses have survived, a massive financial boom will follow, as people will want to be entertained and crave fun times again.’ 

MailOnline has investigated how the the entertainment industry has been affected by the coronavirus so far. 

How the coronavirus is affecting the TV industry 

On Friday, The Jeremy Vine Show became the first UK TV show to cancel live studio audiences amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes after Orlando Bloom announced that production on series two of his hit Amazon Prime series Carnival Row in Prague has been halted amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

Across America, major broadcasters have cancelled studio audiences, with some even halting production altogether, amid the pandemic.

The Jeremy Vine Show was the first UK TV show to cancel live studio audiences ‘for the time being’ with a spokesperson telling MailOnline that they have made the decision – which will take effect on Monday – ‘as a precautionary measure.’ 

ITV daytime show Loose Women followed suit on Monday, filming the live show without a studio audience and admitted that they ‘do not know when audiences will return.’

EXCLUSIVE: On Friday, The Jeremy Vine Show became the first UK TV show to cancel live studio audiences amid the coronavirus pandemic

No audience! Monday morning Loose Women cancelled their live studio audience for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic

The response from other UK broadcasters to the outbreak has been much softer in comparison, with most continuing to welcome studio audiences, allowing ticket holders to ‘attend shows unless they have any symptoms or have been informed that they have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.’ 

Many shows including BBC’s Question Time and The One Show, Countdown on Channel 4 and Channel 5’s The Jeremy Vine Show are filmed in front of live studio audiences across the UK.

As coronavirus sweeps the world MailOnline has investigated how the UK’s major broadcasters are currently responding. 

The Jeremy Vine Show 

The Jeremy Vine Show revealed to MailOnline that the decision has been made to cease hosting a live studio audience, usually made up of around 20 people.

A spokesperson for the Channel 5 programme said: ‘As a precautionary measure we have taken the decision not to have a live studio audience for The Jeremy Vine show for the time being.

‘This decision will take effect from Monday. We will continue to monitor and review official guidelines and advice.’ 

BBC 

According to the BBC website, the public service broadcaster is following measures based on Public Health England advice, in regards to continuing to invite audience members to live filming.

They ask: ‘If you have been to a category 1 specified country/area, you should self-isolate and not attend the production or visit our buildings.

‘If you have been to a category 2 specified country/area you do not need to undertake any special instructions and can attend a BBC production or building, however if you feel unwell and are demonstrating signs and symptoms that are associated with Coronavirus, then you should self-isolate and call NHS 111 for further advice.’

The official message concludes that guests can still visit the BBC, unless they ‘have been informed’ that they have had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.’

Specifically, the website stated: ‘Based on current advice you can visit the BBC, as a guest, audience member, and contributor unless you have been informed that you have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Contact NHS 111 if you have any queries.’

Deadline reported that the BBC are in fact looking into ways to vet studio audience members. 

ITV and Channel 4 

Elsewhere, websites such as Applause Store and SRO Audiences are still actively taking bookings from the general public to attend the filming of major shows filmed for ITV and Channel 4.

At the time of publication, Lost In TV was offering the public free tickets to be in the studio audience for Dave TV panel show Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable without any warnings, but posted a coronarivus guidance link above selecting tickets to attend new BBC show Take Off with Bradley and Holly.

At the time of publication, Applause Store was offering no advice at all on their website and was still allowing bookings to be taken for shows, including Ant And Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Celebrity Juice on ITV for dates in March.

Giving information: At the time of publication, Lost In TV was offering the public free tickets to be in the studio audience for new BBC show Take Off with Bradley and Holly amongst others 

Taking a break: Presenter James Corden also took to Twitter on Friday to announce that he would be suspending production on The Late Late Show in the US until further notice

However, SRO Audiences – who offers tickets to the likes of ITV’s Loose Women, Channel 4’s The Last Leg – are following a similar approach to the BBC and offer a warning.

SRI Audiences have stipulated on their website that people with symptoms, or those who have been informed that they have had contact with someone who has tested positive, may not book tickets.

Their website reads: ‘Based on current advice, you may still book tickets and attend shows unless you have any symptoms or have been informed that you have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.’

Off for now: Russell Brand also tweeted that he would be cancelling all of his future tour dates until the world had better knowledge of how to tackle the virus

On Saturday ITV confirmed that the latest episode of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway would go ahead as planned with a live audience, though it was also announced that the finale trip to Disney World in Florida had been cancelled, with prize winners expected to embark on the trip at a later date.

ITV is also taking precautionary measures for Coronation Street, announcing that it has put contingency plans in place in their efforts to keep the soap on air. 

A spokesperson for the broadcaster explained: ‘Our priority is the wellbeing and safety of all our colleagues and everyone who works with us on our shows and across our production. The show normally films episodes several weeks in advance 

Still shooting: ITV is also taking precautionary measures for Coronation Street, announcing that it has put contingency plans in place in their efforts to keep the soap on air

‘Clearly, along with everyone across the country, we are in a developing and dynamic situation with respect to the coronavirus, so we’re taking the appropriate steps.  

‘We’ve looked at our procedures and our established contingency plans and we’re confident that we’re able to continue with our filming schedule.’ 

‘In terms of our colleagues, our aim is to do everything we can to support anyone affected. We’re keeping a close eye on the situation and putting our people first.’ 

The statement follows reports that the weekly amount of episodes on the show could be reduced to two, in order to reduce filming and prevent the spread of the virus among cast and crew . 

Amazon Prime 

On Thursday Orlando Bloom announced that production on series two of his hit Amazon Prime series Carnival Row has been halted amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The actor posted a video on Instagram on Thursday from the Prague set of the show, surrounded by his castmates as he said: ‘It’s farewell from us as we go home to be quarantined.’ 

The British actor, who is expecting his first child with fianceé Katy Perry, added that production had shut down to allow cast and crew to head home to the US ahead of President Trump’s travel ban from Europe, which came into effect from midnight on Friday. 

‘We’re coming home to the States, at least I’m coming home to the States because we want to get in before the quarantine,’ he explained as his co-stars toasted the news with shots in the background. 


Shut down: On Thursday Orlando Bloom announced that production on series two of his hit Amazon Prime series Carnival Row has been halted amid the coronavirus outbreak

‘Big love everybody, stay safe out there. Self quarantine. It seems really crazy actually this whole corona thing but do the right thing by you and your family and stay safe.’

The actor, who looked in good spirits, ended the video by declaring: ‘A few weeks, we’ll beat this bad boy.’

Orlando stars in the Amazon series with Cara Delevingne, with filming taking place in Prague and Dubrovnik among other European locations. 

Broadcasters stressed to MailOnline that they are closely monitoring Public Health England and World Health Organisation advice.

MailOnline has contacted BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 for comment. 

How the coronavirus is affecting the film industry

Multiple movies have had their release dates pushed back as cinemas are advised to close their doors. 

One of the biggest movies of the year, Bond film No Time To Die, has had its release postponed from April to November.

Disney has delayed the release of several films, including Mulan while A Quiet Place II and Fast & Furious 9 have both had their upcoming release dates delayed. 

Production on major Hollywood movies has also been affected with Deadline reporting on Sunday that Warner Bros has decided not to commence with filming for the anticipated third Fantastic Beasts film, an offshoot of the mega money-making Harry Potter franchise.   

Filming on the David Yates directed film, based on the work of JK Rowling, was due to start in London on Monday, with a planned release date of November 12 2021. 

Closing their doors: Cinema chains have acted quickly following government advice on Covid-19 by shutting its doors until further notice

Jurassic World: Dominion – the third film in the new series had been shooting in London since February, but has been shut down as part of Universal’s mass shutterings, with its June 2021 release date possibly in doubt. 

Cinema chains have acted quickly following government advice on Covid-19 by shutting their doors until further notice, with the Odeon, Cineworld and Picturehouse announcing immediate closures. 

The BFI Southbank, the screening complex operated by the British Film Institute, also said Monday it was closing ‘effective immediately’. 

How the coronavirus is affecting gigs and concerts   

The vast majority of live gigs and concerts in London have been cancelled or postponed.  Artists such at The Who, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Stormzy and Green Day are among those to have reschedulled dates or cancelled over the past week.  

Some artists are pressing on with planned gigs though, with chart-topper Lewis Capaldi hitting back at critics after deciding to go ahead with his schedulled concert over the weekend.

A spokesperson for the star, 23, insisted that his concert in Scotland on Sunday went ahead as planned in full compliance with government advice on restricting mass gatherings, to lift the strain on emergency workers.

On: Some artists are pressing on with planned gigs with chart-topper Lewis Capaldi hitting back at critics after deciding to go ahead with his planned concert over the weekend

As of Monday Scotland ordered a temporary ban of mass gatherings of more than 500 people, as the number of UK cases of coronavirus increased to 1,372.

A representative for Lewis told Metro: ‘The final show of Lewis’s UK arena tour in Aberdeen on Sunday 15th March went ahead in full compliance with the advisory document on mass gatherings issued by the Scottish government at 1pm on the same day.

‘The document states that the advice applies from Monday 16th March and is ‘not expected to have a significant impact on the spread of Covid-19, and this is not its purpose’, but that it aims ‘to relieve pressure on public services, including emergency services’.

‘Security, first aid, medical and welfare teams were paid for by the organisers as normal and the venue had additional signage in place to highlight best practice on hygiene during the event.’

On Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the government would no longer be supporting mass gatherings, to try and free up emergency workers to assist with the virus.  

How the coronavirus is affecting festivals 

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 

It was announced on Friday that BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, which was due to take place in Dundee over the late May bank holiday (22– 24 May), had been cancelled.

The annual event was set to see Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris and Camila Cabello perform in the Scottish city.   


Headliners: It was announced on Friday that BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, which was due to take place in Dundee over the late May bank holiday (22– 24 May), had been cancelled with Harry Styles, left, and Dua Lipa, right, headlining 

A spokesperson said: ‘After careful consideration we have come to the decision that Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2020 in Dundee will not go ahead. 

‘This decision has been made in conjunction with our event partners, in line with the advice from the Scottish government, and while we know fans looking forward to purchasing tickets will be disappointed, it is important that we prioritise the health and safety of all those involved.’

Glastonbury

There are also growing concerns among music fans in Britain that the virus could stop the five-day Glastonbury 50th anniversary festival in late June, where 200,000 people are expected.

Adrian Coombs, Glastonbury Festival’s Head of Event Operations, said: ‘Glastonbury Festival thoroughly plans each year’s event, and puts in place all necessary measures to protect the public and maximise safety

‘We work closely with all of the relevant agencies, including Public Health England and the NHS, and always review our plans as any circumstances change.

Will it still go ahead? There are also growing concerns among music fans in Britain that the virus could stop the five-day Glastonbury 50th anniversary festival in late June, where 200,000 people are expected (pictured in 2019)  

‘With this in mind and with our 2020 Festival still 16 weeks away, we continue to plan and prepare for the event, whilst at the same time closely monitoring developments with the coronavirus situation.’

203,000 people attended 2019’s event at Worthy Farm, though it has been suggested that it could grow even bigger in the future. Lana Del Rey will headline with Sir Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Diana Ross.

Edinburgh International Festival 

The Edinburgh International Festival has announced that it is cancelling all its launch events, due to take place from 18 to 25 of March, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The festival, which was set to run in both Edinburgh and London, will instead broadcast a live digital event on its Facebook page on the 18 March at 12pm where viewers can ask questions to the programming team.   

Festival Director Fergus Linehan said: ‘In light of the current Coronavirus outbreak, we will cancel all gatherings associated with our 2020 programme launch. Prioritising the wellbeing of our city, our audiences and artists, all launch events will shift online to an interactive format.

Cancelled: The Edinburgh International Festival has announced that it is cancelling all its launch events, due to take place from 18 to 25 of March, in response to the coronavirus pandemic 

‘At this point, the Festival is almost five months away. For now we remain committed to running the International Festival as planned. In hope that the pandemic will be curbed by August, we must continue to provide security for our artists and for our sector. 

‘We hope that in August, our Festival will provide a much-needed moment of joy after what will have been a challenging summer. To reassure our audiences, we have also revised our refunds policy to offer anyone with Coronavirus-related concerns a ticket refund.’ 

The 2020 programme will be announced next week with the actual festival taking place from 7-31 of August in Edinburgh.   

How the coronavirus is affecting London’s West End

Shortly after Boris Johnson’s statement on Monday, the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) released a statement saying that the West End would close until further notice.

SOLT – which represents hundreds of theatres in the capital including the National Theatre, London Palladium and London Coliseum – and UK Theatre said the decision was ‘not taken lightly’.

Chief executive Julian Bird said: ‘We are extremely grateful to all of our audiences who have continued to support us for as long as they can, and to theatre staff across the country who have worked so hard in recent weeks to ensure the safety and enjoyment of audiences.

Closed: Shortly after Boris Johnson’s statement on Monday, the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) released a statement saying that the West End would close until further notice

‘Closing venues is not a decision that is taken lightly, and we know that this will have a severe impact on many of the 290,000 individuals working in our industry. In these uncertain times, SOLT and UK Theatre remain committed to helping provide vital support for those in need, and hope we are able to welcome audiences back to our theatres before too long.

‘Many theatres that have been forced to cancel performances are charitable enterprises, and while ticketholders are all entitled to a refund for cancelled performances, those who can afford to do so are encouraged to donate the cost of their ticket to show support for the theatre industry.’

The Royal Shakespeare Company also announced its three theatres will close following the Government’s advice.

Even before the government’s latest recommendation, venues had made decisions to close its doors early.

The Old Vic was the first to shut its doors on Sunday with Endgame, starring Daniel Radcliffe, seeing its run end two weeks early. The Arcola, Turbine Theatre and Young Vic soon followed suit. 

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