Devon

Theatre Royal Plymouth: Employee fears cuts mean career change

Theatre Royal
Image caption The redundancies could affect almost a third of staff

An employee at a cash-strapped theatre says she is not sure she can remain in the industry as it was announced it needed £250,000 a month to keep going.

On Tuesday, the Theatre Royal Plymouth said 100 jobs were at risk as a direct impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Artistic team member Lauren Walsh said she would be "starting back at square one" if made redundant.

Playwright Laura Horton said people who had to "fight their way" into the industry might "have to leave".

Theatre chief executive Adrian Vinken said the theatre had lost 91% of its income in lockdown and job losses were "about buying time" to return to "self-sufficiency."

Ms Walsh, from Plymouth, tweeted it took her a "really long time" to get her foot in the door.

"I'll be starting back at square one, competing with hundreds of others who also lost jobs... some time soon I'll have to accept that I need a new career," she said.

Image caption Laura Horton said many people had to "fight their way to be in this industry"

A campaign for government funding is being led by playwright Laura Horton, who was due to have work performed in Plymouth.

She said: "I am aware that there is a lot of people... who have had to fight their way to be in this industry... but they'll have to leave, I think."

Playwright James Graham tweeted the situation was an example of the "our world-beating cultural landscape ... in collapse" and theatres faced something "few businesses could survive".

The Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (BECTU) said it showed "the devastating impact" of coronavirus on the industry, and Plymouth Labour MP Luke Pollard has called for government help.

The Department for Culture Media and Sport said performing arts were "one of the UK's great success stories" and it was "doing all we can to support the sector".

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