Following the Prime Minister’s statement on 16 March 2020, theatres across Leeds have taken action and cancelled performances throughout this month.
The advice, which attempts to stagger the Covid-19 pandemic, stipulates that people should avoid public buildings, including theatres.
Leeds Grand Theatre, City Varieties Music Hall and Hyde Park Picture House will remain closed until further notice and will re-open as soon as possible.
Chris Blythe, Chief Executive, said: “We are extremely grateful to all of our audiences who have continued to support us for as long as they can, and to our staff who have worked tirelessly in recent weeks to ensure the safety and enjoyment of audiences.”
“These are unprecedented times – combined we have been open for over 400 years – and closing our venues is not a decision that has been taken lightly. In truth, this will have a severe impact on the future of Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House Ltd. – our future is now uncertain – but the safety of our visitors and staff has always been our priority.”
“We will continue to follow advice from the Government and work closely with the touring Companies and artists that are due to visit our venues over the coming months and hope that we will be able to open our doors again very soon.”
Closures will also include Leeds Town Hall and the Carriageworks. A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said:
“Our teams on site have been working hard and continuing to welcome the public in recent weeks, but the safety and wellbeing of staff and the people of Leeds is always our first priority.”
Meanwhile, Leeds Playhouse be closed to the public from 23 March for the foreseeable future. It has also paused all Creative Engagement and Artist Development sessions and is working hard to remain connected with and supportive of its members.
Joint Chief Executives James Brining and Robin Hawkes said:
“When this is all over, people will need their theatre; they will need to come together, to experience something joyful and to reclaim this wonderful building.”
“We want to come out the other side stronger and more resilient than ever.”
For more information about the disruption to show programmes, and for information on purchased tickets, visit leedsgrandtheatre.com, leedsplayhouse.org.uk and carriageworkstheatre.co.uk