Theatre boss: ‘We survived wars and a fire... we’ll be fine’
THE manager of the Pavilion Theatre believes the venue will survive the coronavirus pandemic – despite the current challenges facing the industry.
His comments come after news of a £97 million cash injection by the UK Government to safeguard theatres, galleries, museums and other cultural venues.
Iain Gordon, however, expressed worry for theatres opening while the virus remains a threat.
He said: “I think the Pavilion will survive. We’ve survived two world wars, a flood and a fire.”
Mr Gordon added: “You could have a situation where you have 15-20 people in the cast and then rehearse all that, get into your first or second night and someone tests positive.
“Then you have no cast because they have to self-isolate.”
He added: “It is going to have to be carefully done in terms of who gets what and how much does each person get.
“Do all theatres get the same? “Are they all on the same level playing field?
“Will venues be the same whether it’s classed as one man in the Salt Market with his guitar every Friday to something like King Tut’s. “Who gets more there?
“I think there should be stipulations that if you do get money then jobs must be kept.
“It’s important to keep jobs. “Meanwhile. Colin Beattie, owner of the Òran Mór, a theatre and music venue on Byres Road, said: “It’s obviously welcome but it’s how they distribute it – that’s the important thing.
“The bottom line is jobs will be at stake here.
“I don’t believe it is financially viable if they put social distancing into a venue like this at this moment in time.
“The Government has not given any concrete decisions about anything.
“If we operated at 50 per cent of what we normally would we would fail. That’s the reality.
“We would fail. We couldn’t pay the bills. As it stands right now it’s
absolutely dire for the music and theatre industry.”
Andy Arnold, artistic director of the Tron Theatre, in Trongate, added: “From our point of view it’s great news and it will hopefully stop some theatres from going into administration which would have otherwise happened but we don’t know the details yet.
“The fact is that theatres have lost all their income.
“Some theatres in Scotland are making staff redundant and in England a few have gone bankrupt completely.”
He added: “We don’t want that to happen in Scotland so that money needs to get out to theatres quickly.”