Timing is everything. With my theatre-goer hat on, I can’t wait to be back in an audience as soon as possible. But for producers, there is a difficult balance to strike between opening when legally possible and when safe to do so. 

We’ve seen incredible resourcefulness and resilience over the last 12 months, with streaming, socially-distanced and outdoor shows all rising to the occasion while theatre as-we-knew-it took an interval, but now the question is when – and how – can theatres go back to their usual capacities? 

The likes of testing and COVID passports – whether for cast, crew or audiences – bring their own practical and ethical challenges, but a degree of compromise may be necessary in the short term to ensure that some of the biggest shows can justify the significant costs of raising the curtain once more. 

Given the challenge of the lack of insurance available to producers, opening just to close again, simply isn’t an option.