THEATRE bosses have expressed their disapointment at the delay to Freedom Day on June 21, and have slammed the Government decision.

Southend Theatres, which runs both the Cliffs Pavilion and the Palace, believes going to the theatre presents "no greater risk" than going to the supermarket, pub, or restaurant.

A statement insists that safety measures can be introduced at both the theatres to allow audiences to attend live shows.


It reads: "We are very disappointed with the Goverment's announcement.

"Whilst we understand the case for a cautious approach, the Government's recent research shows no correlation between live-events and transmisson.

"In simple terms, as the live event research demonstrates, a visit to a show presents no greater risk than a trip to a restaurant, pub, cinema, or supermarket.

"Southend Theatres cannot operate while social distancing remains, but other measures can be put in place to enhance audience safety, to give confidence and minimise risk.

"80 per cent of adults have now had a vaccine.

"60 per cent, including those atmost serious risk, have had a second dose.

"Given the successful vaccine rollout and the new data now supporting a return to live events at capacity, we urge the Government to act as quickly as possible to allow us to re-open.

"The nature of our venue programme means that, even once restrictions are lifted, it will be some time before we can welcome audiences back to see a show.

"Each delay pushes this re-opening date back further, with obvious implications for the local economy, our business and the health and wellbeing of our communities and staff.

"A trip to see a show is thrilling, joyful, and fun.

"It's an escape, a diversion and a release.

"It's one of the few remaining shared experiences we have.

"And now, more than ever, it's the tonic we need.

"We will continue to work with our local authority partners, indurstry bodies, DCMS, and others to push for a return to live events as soon as possible.

"We thank audiences for their patiences and understanding and we look forward to welcoming them back, with safety as our number one priority - as soon as we are able."