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Oxford Playhouse Announces Essential Cost Reduction Plan Due to Covid-19

Oxford Playhouse Announces Essential Cost Reduction Plan Due to Covid-19
posted 19 Jun 2020

The management of Oxford Playhouse has today informed staff of a series of essential measures to ensure the long-term survival of the theatre, after the Covid-19 crisis. 


The Playhouse, which prior to its closure in March was achieving record sales, relies on earned income for 87% of its turnover and has one of the lowest subsidy rates in the UK.

The planned measures are a direct consequence of the extended closure due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  They prepare Oxford Playhouse for the anticipated reduction in income due to continued social distancing measures, and the likely reduction of performances available for presentation, when the theatre is permitted to open.

The measures planned to protect the future of Oxford Playhouse include:

  • Continued use of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme until 31 October 2020, with 80% of permanent staff furloughed, while a Strategic team works towards reopening and the Participation team continues all the Oxford Playhouse at Home creative programme online.
  • Entering into a consultation process of redundancies with staff and unions, which it is estimated will affect up to 20% of the 50 contracted staff.  No final decisions regarding redundancies will be made until this process has been completed.
  • Running the Playhouse Plays On fundraising campaign, which has already raised over £100k in donations from the local community.
  • Suspending all operations in August, including Ticket Office, to reduce costs.
  • Accessing all available financial support, including an application to Arts Council England’s Emergency Response Fund.
  • Exploring other income generation through external hire of our spaces.

Director and CEO Louise Chantal commented:

‘The decisions I and the Board of the theatre have taken are necessary to safeguard the future of Oxford Playhouse and enable the charity to survive an extended period of closure and significantly reduced income. Oxford Playhouse plays a crucial role within the cultural life of our city, the region and beyond.  We are determined to ensure it continues to entertain and engage our communities.  We would like to pay tribute to all our fantastic staff and the talent, dedication and loyalty they have shown to Oxford Playhouse during a hugely challenging, difficult and uncertain time.’

All performances at Oxford Playhouse, the Burton Taylor Studio and Blenheim Palace (Shakespeare's Globe on Tour) have been suspended until Monday 3 August 2020. In addition, the performances of SIX (13 to 23 August) and Russell Howard (28 to 30 August) have been rescheduled to Summer 2021.  It is anticipated that a further period of closure to cover August and September 2020 will be announced shortly.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

For further information please contact:

Sara-Jane Lee, Communications Officer (currently working remotely)
E: sara-jane.lee@oxfordplayhouse.com

or

Sarah Jervis-Hill, Marketing Director (currently working remotely)

M:  07831 406584

E:  sarah.jervis-hill@oxfordplayhouse.com

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