MORE than 150 jobs are at risk at The Royal Shakespeare Company – as it announced the Swan Theatre and The Other Place will remain closed until 2022.
The RSC has begun its formal consultations with staff, trade unions and staff representatives and says there will be a number of redundancies.
While it says the final figure is not known, 158 roles are at risk.
The company said it hopes to reduce the number of people leaving the company to below 90 by redeploying into new roles and offering voluntary redundancies.
This would see a 17 per cent reduction in its workforce.
The consultation is expected to conclude in early December.
It comes as the company announced it is focusing its programming in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre over the next year, where small-scale socially-distanced performances will be held, which can be streamed into homes.
It then hopes to increase audience sizes if social distancing restrictions ease.
The company will also stage free outdoor activities, and plans to reopen West End hit, Matilda The Musical as soon as it is financially viable.
Executive director Catherine Mallyon said: “We remain positive that live theatre will be back in our communities, doing what it does best – entertaining audiences and bringing joy to so many people.
“These are incredibly difficult times for everyone, and for the theatre community they are especially tough. Our live performance sector is experiencing one of the highest levels of loss of work anywhere: the personal impact of this is often devastating – the loss of skilled and talented people permanently from our sector is a very real worry for the future, and the impact on the nation’s economy immense.
“We are taking tough decisions to cut costs and make sure we can reopen with confidence. We remain completely committed to a vibrant future for live theatre and to ensuring that right across the country Shakespeare and theatre can be relevant to and enjoyed by all the communities we serve.
“The extraordinary support we continue to see from the company, our members, patrons, sponsors and supporters, alongside the Stratford community is a wonderful thing. It demonstrates the importance placed on theatre in people’s lives, and we thank everybody for their messages, donations, patience and commitment to seeing us reopen again.”