The­atre boss: ‘We sur­vived wars and a fire... we’ll be fine’

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY CRAIG MEIGHAN

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.”

The Pavil­ion

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