British theatre owner, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the wake of ‘serious damage’ to his buildings after England’s EURO 2020 loss.
In the chaos of England’s EURO 2020 celebrations and commiserations, Mackintosh wrote that “around fifty people broke through fencing at Wyndham’s Theatre and climbed on to the delicate canopy of this 19th century, Grade II listed building in the heart of the West End.”
Mackintosh added that “despite similar incidents at the semi-final, the police appeared insufficiently resourced to deal with this vandalism and the danger posed to the trespassers.
“The scenes of devastation outside some of our most cherished listed theatre buildings and the wholly inadequate care and protection from those in authority serves as a grim metaphor for the way in which government has treated commercial theatre since March 2020.”
Mackintosh, a known Tory donor and leave voter, isn’t alone in his feeling of abandonment from the current British government and certainly not the first Brexit voter to feel hard done by.
In a similar way, the understanding of this incident as a ‘grim metaphor’ for the isolation those in theatre have felt since March last year is one shared worldwide, and especially so in Ireland.
As the producer for musicals like Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera mentions in the letter, the scale of support Broadway has seen in government grants for re-opening hasn’t been shared in the UK.
In an incident that is said to cost Mackintosh ‘tens of thousands’ to recover from, perhaps this serves as another example of a loyal industry abandoned by the British government’s recent actions.