Theatre producer’s warning as lockdown forces big musicals such as Hamilton to close

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Sydney’s arts community has been devastated by the latest COVID lockdown with live performance on indefinite hiatus.

As with many other businesses, theatres have been forced to close their doors and smash hit shows including Hamilton and Come From Away have been paused, with no end to the harsh restrictions in sight.

Watch the video above as theatre producer Michael Cassel explains the dire situation for Australian theatre

Theatre producer Michael Cassel joined The Morning Show from Melbourne where his production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has just re-opened after Victoria’s lockdown, while Hamilton was shutting down in Sydney.

“These large productions employ hundreds and hundreds of people, both onstage, behind-the-scenes, in the bars, front-of-house, through the ticketing companies, vendors etc,” he said.

“So to all of a sudden be at a point where everybody is out of work and with no firm return date in sight, it certainly proves most challenging to be able to plan for the future.”

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While the arts sector generates billions of dollars for the economy, the industry now needs support from the government, according to Cassel.

“There’s been a lot of conversation, particularly over the past twelve months about some form of business interruption insurance that would support producers, promoters and venues,” he said.

“To date we have no commitment from either side of government … (business interruption insurance) would allow producers and those that are taking the risk to proceed with some confidence, with the hope that there is some back-up and support should lockdowns continue in our future.”

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