Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Faces Closure Without Emergency Funds

The venue could be forced to close permanently if it can't reopen by September

Reconstructed Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, South Bank, London, UK
Reconstructed Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, South Bank, London, UK
Universal Images Group via Getty
By Bonnie Stiernberg / May 18, 2020 10:12 am

Cultural institutions around the world have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as Deadline reports, London’s iconic Globe Theatre is facing potential closure if it doesn’t receive emergency funding.

The theater, which is a replica of the Bard’s original 1599 open-air venue, estimates it will need about $6 million in funding to avoid closing for good if it’s unable to reopen by September.

“Without emergency funding and the continuation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, we will spend down our reserves and become insolvent,” the theater told a UK parliamentary committee.

“We are a model for the non-subsidized arts sector that is well-run, well-managed and financially resilient, but in the face of a crisis such as this one, there is no mechanism to help us. This has been financially devastating and could even be terminal,” the Globe argued in its plea for funding. “As an organization that contributes so much to the UK’s cultural life, that delivers public benefit, and that stewards one of the most important, recognized and well-loved buildings in the country, we would hope that we have earned the right to be supported in return through this crisis.”

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee chair Julian Knight called for the government to step in and fund Shakespeare’s Globe beyond September.

“Shakespeare’s Globe is a world-renowned institution and not only part of our national identity, but a leading example of the major contribution the arts make to our economy. For this national treasure to succumb to COVID-19 would be a tragedy,” he said.

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