Buxton Opera House underlines lockdown threat with red light show

These striking photos show Buxton Opera House lit up in red - highlighting the danger posed to theatres by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 1:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 1:53 pm

A billboard can also be seen in front of the building which reads ‘The shows will go on - support Buxton Opera House now and when we reopen’.

On Monday the venue joined hundreds of other theatres and music venues across the country with the striking lightshow in protest at a lack of guidance over reopening.

A fortnight ago PM Boris Johnson announced theatres would be allowed to reopen from July 4, however they would not be allowed to host live performances.

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The venue joined hundreds of other theatres and music venues with the striking lightshow in protest at a lack of guidance over reopening - Photo by David John King

Government guidance states that the risks of transmission are higher in places where the public are more likely to have to raise their voices to be heard above loud music.

Shortly after the announcement, the theatre company behind many of Buxton Opera House’s shows cancelled its production of Aladdin as the risks associated with the virus were ‘extremely unlikely to be resolved by November’ when rehearsals were due to begin.

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This week the Government announced a £1.57 billion emergency support package for the arts as High Peak MP Robert Largan pointed out that Buxton Opera House contributes over £30 million to the local economy.

CEO Paul Kerryson said: “I think it looked fantastic." - Photo by David John King

Speaking about the impressive display the opera house’s CEO Paul Kerryson said: “I think it looked fantastic.

“It shined a light on our rich cultural heritage and you can take what you want from the colour - but it’s red for danger and I think it made an impact.

“Buxton Opera House looked spectacular in red and raised the profile of our much-loved and valued building and its unique cultural impact in the High Peak.

“The creative sector generates £110 billion annually to the economy but at the moment there is no guidance from the government as to when theatres can safely reopen.”

CEO Paul Kerryson said: "As I’m concerned Buxton Opera House is the crown jewels of Derbyshire." - Photo by David John King

Speaking about the Government’s emergency funding Paul said: “They’re talking about preserving ‘crown jewels’ and as far as I’m concerned Buxton Opera House is the crown jewels of Derbyshire.

“We’re now all waiting with bated breath but it looks like we’ll be applying for a grant.”

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