Theatre News: Pantomime Dames Lead Protest For Theatre Industry Support


Pantomime dames joined forces with hundreds of creative industry workers to march on Westminster as part of a day of action highlighting the plight of the live events industry.

Last Wednesday’s ‘Panto Parade’ was a call on the government to do more to help theatre workers, who have so far largely been excluded from support schemes. The event was organised by the creative industries union Bectu and the campaign group ExcludedUK, in conjunction with the #WeMakeEvents campaign, and saw protesters – including dozens of panto dames – march through a shuttered West End.

Organisers of the campaign want to see a job support scheme specific to the live events industry, as well as the introduction of a government-backed insurance scheme which would enable organisers of live events and performances to recover costs from events cancelled because of local lockdowns.

Philippa Childs, head of Bectu, said “we have lost the magic of panto for this year and we hope our calls and this collective action will allow theatre to return well before the panto season in 2021.”

Some pantomimes will be going ahead, however, with the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury announcing on Thursday that they will run a socially distanced pantomime from the 11th December to 3rd January.

Words by Talya Honebeek.

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