Birmingham theatre fears for its staff during the lockdown

 Source:Kyle-head on Unsplash

A Birmingham theatre fears for their staff as they have postponed all their events due to the third national lockdown.

‘The biggest concern is staff and performers – so many people have been left out of the government’s funding. The majority of our staff are furloughed, but a lot of our performers and suppliers are freelance, and many have fallen through the gaps,” said The Glee Club Birmingham representative.

The Glee Club Birmingham postponed or cancelled all their live events until March 2021.

The representative of the theatre said that the third lockdown” has made no difference” as they have been shut since March. 

They briefly opened their doors in October when the restrictions were relaxed but were forced to closed again when Birmingham went into the highest tier in the three-tiers system set by the government.  

Source:Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash

How did they stay afloat?

The Glee Club has stayed afloat with financial support from The Arts Council.

“The Arts Council’s Fund has allowed us to be secure until March. As the fund was re-launched The Glee Club Birmingham will be applying for, but the funding covers April-June.” 

 Culture Recovery Fund Grants allows all cultural organisations in the UK, both non-profit and profit to apply for financial support.  

The registered cultural organisation can apply for funds between £25,000 and £3 million.

What is Glee Club doing?

The Glee Club launched “Class Clowns” podcast in Novermber and since then they have been posting new episodes on their social media. 

 As we can read on the website, the podcast  ” takes comedians back to school and through familiar subjects to play games, tell tales, and learn, well, probably nothing.” 

How many people work in the art industry in Birmingham?

According to Creative Industries website, there are almost 50,000 creative workers in Birmingham and more than 5,800 small and larger companies. 

The website said that Birmingham has been getting more investments from the BBC for being “young, diverse and digital” city.

What is the future?

“The future for arts sector is bleak, but the vaccine provides a glimmer of hope”.

The Glee Club Birmingham says that the future depends on the restrictions, numbers of COVID-19 patients and vaccination rates. The prediction is that they might reopen their doors in late April or early May. 

“Hopefully, we can be back up to full capacity by the end of the year”

More information about The Glee Club can be found on their website .


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Freelance journalist writing stories for Birmingham Eastside

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