Welwyn Garden City theatre turned red to shine a light on arts industry crisis

PUBLISHED: 09:50 07 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:20 07 July 2020

The Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City lit up as part of the Light It In Red campaign drawing attention to the challenges facing venues in the live events, arts, theatre and music industry. Picture: Simon Wallace / MeltingPot Pictures

The Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City lit up as part of the Light It In Red campaign drawing attention to the challenges facing venues in the live events, arts, theatre and music industry. Picture: Simon Wallace / MeltingPot Pictures

MeltingPot Pictures

A Welwyn Garden City theatre was turned red last night to shine a light on the crisis faced by the performing arts industry.

The Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City lit up as part of the Light It In Red campaign drawing attention to the challenges facing venues in the live events, arts, theatre and music industry. Picture: Simon Wallace / MeltingPot PicturesThe Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City lit up as part of the Light It In Red campaign drawing attention to the challenges facing venues in the live events, arts, theatre and music industry. Picture: Simon Wallace / MeltingPot Pictures

Members turned out in force on Monday night to see the Barn Theatre illuminated.

The theatre was participating in Light It In Red, a joint project created and managed by Clearsound Productions Ltd, a UK-based production company, in partnership with the Backstage Theatre Jobs forum.

Sound and lighting man James Rowles, who was responsible for the recent installation of the auditorium’s ghost light, flooded the silo and the front of the ancient building in red light – simultaneously with theatres from all over the UK, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Liverpool Everyman and the Minack in Cornwall.

The Wyllyotts Theatre in Potters Bar also took part.

The Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City lit up as part of the Light It In Red campaign drawing attention to the challenges facing venues in the live events, arts, theatre and music industry. Picture: Simon Wallace / MeltingPot PicturesThe Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City lit up as part of the Light It In Red campaign drawing attention to the challenges facing venues in the live events, arts, theatre and music industry. Picture: Simon Wallace / MeltingPot Pictures

The lighting was designed by Trevor Wallace, with floodlights generously loaned by Brian Canning of BDJC Events.

The aim was to raise awareness of the urgent need for discussion with politicians and Government to save the billion-pound events industry from insolvency, and the loss of thousands of jobs.

Despite the Government’s £1.57billion support package announced this week, the emergency fund will not save every venue.

Clive Weatherley, artistic director of the Barn, said: “The Barn is proud to be participating in the Light It In Red project.

The Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City lit up as part of the Light It In Red campaign drawing attention to the challenges facing venues in the live events, arts, theatre and music industry. Picture: Simon Wallace / MeltingPot PicturesThe Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City lit up as part of the Light It In Red campaign drawing attention to the challenges facing venues in the live events, arts, theatre and music industry. Picture: Simon Wallace / MeltingPot Pictures

“We need to draw attention to the dramatic situation in theatre at a time when the Government seems obsessed with pubs and restaurants.

“Obviously their recent announcement was very welcome but the situation is still concerning – we were the first ones out, and will be the last ones back in.”


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