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Hope and confidence for the future of the New Theatre

Richie Ross, theatre director at Peterborough's New Theatre, reflects on the difficulties for the theatre industry in 2020 - but why he thinks the future looks bright.
Richie-Ross
Richie Ross, theatre director for the New Theatre, can't wait for a return to great night outs in 2021 (Photo: Supplied)

For the majority of businesses and people across the city, 2020 has certainly been a challenging one and many families have faced tragedy and loss beyond compare, and at this time of the year we remember those who face a difficult season at a time when it should be filled with festive fun and cheer.

Our sector has been hit particularly hard and at a time when we should be welcoming generations of families into our lovely theatre for a sparkling star studded look into Aladdin’s cave, the doors remain closed and the stage empty. Public buildings like ours just become bricks and mortar without the sound of children laughing and clapping and the sight of mums, dads and grandparents all breathing life into the showbiz world we live in.

However dark it has been my one overriding thought at the bleakest moments has been that we will raise the curtain again and that we will soon be able to open our doors and welcome the good people of Cambridgeshire back through our doors.

Despite many of our team being on furlough and some having faced redundancy, a handful of people across our company have continued to programme in some incredible shows for 2021 and into 2023, giving hope and confidence that our future does look bright.

Theatre is a world of escapism, enjoyment, fun and entertainment. Those of us who work in the industry do so to give you a great night out in a safe and secure environment with a team dedicated to delivering the best experience we can, and we can’t wait for that to return and for us to be part of the great cultural offering across this lovely city.

One of the good things to come out of this crisis has been the desire for all theatres and arts organisations to work closer together, to ensure a more collaborative approach to how we increase the quality of shows and events to not just Peterborough but also across the region.

The show must and will go on...