The year 2020 will never be forgotten in the history of the United Kingdom for the pandemic “coronavirus” when hit the United Kingdom in February 2020. A virus that started from China that has killed hundreds of thousands of lives and is one of the highest death tolls in the world, the UK stands at nearly 41,000. There is no vaccine and majority of companies and small business suffer with trying to get either a Government loan or grant and most don’t fit within requirements. The lockdown has lasted for just over three months, but in that short time, the fallout from the pandemic has brought the film, television, music and theatre businesses to their knees and if these business has been brought to their knees that it brought the entertainment agencies and the actors agencies to their knees. Most performers and acts are all self-employed and are struggling to put food on the table. There are so many self-employed performers and acts un what you have read in the papers but this is also down to the agent that takes them on operating above board and like plc and it’s companies submit their account to the government every year.
The entertainment industry is the hardest Industry that has been hit the hardest as it causes great problems with social distancing and sitting side by side if you have gone to see a show at your local theatre. All businesses in March had to close down due to the new rulings of Government, bars, theatres, music venues, night clubs etc. All of which, see large gatherings. The establishment that’s going to be hit the biggest is the “Theatre’s” as not only does it cause major problems and financial strains to ensure these are within the guidelines of the Government, but how are these going to be corrected, taking chairs away means the size of the theatre becomes smaller and ticket sales will become half of what theatre’s needed to take before the virus. Then there is the large castings, actors, background performers, dancers etc and finally the large crew it takes to put on a West End Show, the band, the director, producers, writers, sound and lighting engineers, stage management, runners, makeup artists, hairstylists, wardrobe and finally catering.
There is so much that goes into putting on a show and the cost of it but on top of the above there is selling the minimum number of tickets to break even but there are the promoters to think of who receives a percentage of ticket sales and if it’s a high celebrity show then there’s usually a film crew filming to create a DVD for people to buy who couldn’t get to go and see it. There is also the printers, who print tens of thousands of flyers and the 10ft promotional posters to hang outside the theatre.
The biggest fear in our Industry is how much longer can our entertainments business be solvent and how many have the finance to re-open their business under the new coronavirus guidelines and will be putting plays or musicals that we all love going to financially be stable even provide a small amount of profit? Even the entertainments agencies are suffering to stay open. In the first few weeks, everybody was complaining of lockdown and the fact they couldn’t go out on a Saturday night to a certain venue who put on music acts, where they went frequently to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries or even a get together with work colleagues. Mike Russ Entertainments started advertising across all social media that acts could be booked for 30 mins or 45 minutes through our business zoom and the performer would perform through their lounge to your lounge and invite 25 of their family and friends to join in the celebrations and we even offered 10% discount to get people interested. Sadly we had no interest. Actors, Actresses, Performers and Acts don’t seem to be working together in campaigning to the Government that our Industry needs the support badly from Government. I have seen many TV Actors and Actresses who seem to think that campaigning against Boris Johnson and his Chief Advisor is more important than campaigning against the possible closure of Theatres because it would cost too much money for them to open their doors under new coronavirus rulings.
Mike Russ Entertainments (MRE) Group Ltd is like every professional entertainment agency trying to keep head above water as long as possible but needs the support of clients and those who are registered on our roster.