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  • Statement-From-Lichfield-Garricks-Chief-Executive-Karen-Foster

Statement from Lichfield Garrick’s Chief Executive, Karen Foster.

posted 11 Aug 2020
Statement from Lichfield Garrick’s Chief Executive, Karen Foster.

Lichfield Garrick has worked hard to bring world class theatre to the city, giving audiences from Lichfield and surrounds the very best entertainment right on their doorstep. However, the reality we currently face is that the risk for large touring companies such as The Mousetrap, is too great during this period. The producers of these large shows have made the decision to postpone their tours. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that Lichfield Garrick is postponing it’s autumn season shows in September and October.

The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for the theatre and live entertainment industry, especially for charitable organisations like Lichfield Garrick.

Following popular demand in the city and district, the Lichfield Garrick opened for block buster cinema just before lock down struck. It is now working on its autumn season so that it can continue to bring the best new films, live event screenings and a huge variety of entertainment to our city.

Lichfield Garrick generates 89% of its income from ticket sales, and the ongoing loss of earned income is unsustainable. Since 16 March 2020, Lichfield Garrick has been unable to operate. Whilst we welcome the recently announced government support for the arts, and continued support from our partners, it will not fully support the expected costs of the theatre whilst the pandemic continues.

It is with great sadness that, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Lichfield Garrick theatre has been forced to make cost savings, including redundancy and short time working which impact 46% of permanent roles. 

Chief Executive Karen Foster, commented.....

“I am incredibly proud of our team of dedicated, committed, talented individuals, and so it is with immense sadness that, in order to safeguard the future of the theatre, I have no alternative but to make very difficult and painful decisions regarding their future. With the loss of two more months of shows, and the prospect of a still uncertain future beyond this, I hope that reducing the team at this point will enable us to persevere through this terrible period and emerge with a skilled workforce ready to expand back to pre-covid activities.     

As a small, independent charity, the Lichfield Garrick needs the support of its communities more than ever before to help us through this period of enforced hibernation and to help retain the skilled and experienced staff for the good of all our local audiences.   

To all of our much-missed patrons, please stay safe and help to prevent the spread of coronavirus, so that we can meet again in your local theatre, where I can assure you, we will be following the guidance offered by Public Health England to keep our staff and public as safe as possible.

To my wonderful team, thank you for being so kind and supportive in the face of the cuts which are sweeping through our industry nationally and which have now impacted our lives locally.

 

Enormous challenges remain as we face an extended closure period for our main house auditorium. We would like to thank our audiences who have been so supportive and to remind everyone that the best way to support our theatre right now is to purchase tickets for future performances, join as a Friend or donate to Lichfield Garrick arts charity via our website, so we can continue to make a difference to our audiences and the many participants of our education and outreach programmes.  

For affected shows, the box office team will be in touch to see if you would like to move your ticket to the new dates, donate your ticket to Lichfield Garrick arts charity or request a full refund.

We appreciate your support during this time.

We will meet again.”

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