Why Live Entertainment Matters
By Kevin Quilty
Over the past four weeks we have all reviewed what’s important to us. Family, friends and health are definitely up there. And whilst scrolling through social media, I can’t help but notice the number of ‘list posts’ have increased ranging from favourite albums and books, to concerts you’ve seen; and not forgetting the best meal you’ve had out. If anything, it’s lovely to revist and share fond memories of our pre-lockdown lives online.
It’s made me realise how much entertainment is also a big priority for us too. Theatres are posting their archives on YouTube, performers are sharing virtual duets online and you can even tour museums from the comfort of your own chair! All this content is being watched by vast numbers of people. If you look at the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors which launched their NT at Home season it was seen by over 1.5million people over a week. The live version at the National, West End, Broadway and a global tour would have been seen by a maximum of 500,000 people in total. It’s amazing what’s been acomplished during this time.
This continued cultural appetite is great news for when we reopen our doors again – we can’t wait to welcome you back. But it is the difference between live performance and watching something online that interests me.
As custodians of great theatres and venues across the South of England, it is a privilege to play a part in the delivery of live theatre and performances to so many people in our communities, night after night. We join others for escapism as we soak up the performance in front of us. We can switch off, explore new places, meet new characters and absorb exciting scenes of passion, drama, intrigue, sometimes sadness and often amusement.
I’ve truly enjoyed watching theatre online as an alternative, but it doesn’t always allow us the same fantastic experience. That special ‘in the moment’ feeling shared with those around you can’t be replicated from home. Making eye contact and connecting with the musician or actor as they deliver their lines, and wear their hearts on their sleeves, is so special.
And going back to the ‘lists’, I would create a What Live Entertainment Do I Want to See (when out of lockdown) list.
On my list would be:
- Elbow at Bournemouth International Centre
- Sh*t Faced Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet and LMP at Fairfield Halls, Croydon
- The Commitments at Bournemouth Pavilion
- Barenaked Ladies performing at Pyramids, Portsmouth
It is also something I’m looking forward to once we are out of lockdown so I can relive these events with family and friends.
What will be on your list?
Finally as well as being of great benefit to people’s health and wellbeing – the live entertainment and creative industries contribute massively to the economy too – supporting millions of performers, stage crews and technicians, costume and makeup artistes, ticket agents, and more.
When the time is right, we need you to come back to our venues again so we can keep giving you these wonderful experiences, along with keeping heritage and cultural appreciation alive in our communities. Our venues are the beating hearts in our towns and cities. As well as the economic impact, they bring people and our communities together. From free community activities, concessionary tickets, to open days and tours we are keeping our venues accessible and affordable. We can only do this with your support.
If live entertainment is one of your passions and you would like to support us while we are in lockdown you can get involved in different ways:
- Donate or share our ‘Support Us’ page on our website with friends and family. Donations can be made here
Choosing to donate either your whole booking value or a nominal amount to the venue instead of claiming a refund helps to keep our services going while our doors are closed and supports future cultural initiatives.
- Instead of a refund choose a BH Live gift voucher which can then be used for any future performance via BH Live Tickets.
- Look at your ‘to see list’ get your tickets today. Go on – give yourself something to look forward to.