We’re Nearly There…
Well, as long as the government doesn’t decide to move the goalposts just before the final whistle, we should now be exactly three weeks away from removing all social distancing, not only in theatres, but everywhere.
That, of course, may end up being the easy bit. Rebuilding the public confidence we require to not only fill our auditoriums again, and, our rehearsal rooms… may take a little longer. But it can happen. It will happen. We promise you.
Fairly recently Mr Sardines made it to the West End for his first review in over a year. Admittedly, it felt weird at first. I was being very ‘British’, looking around at the socially distanced audience and tutting at those who were much more keen to throw caution to the wind. In reality, this is a process we all need to go through. We must break the ice and get around people once more. It’s a good job the review didn’t require too much deep thinking; and the cast of ABBA Mania at the Shaftesbury Theatre looked genuinely thrilled to be performing in front of a real-life auditorium full of people again, rather than another computer screen.
I think we’ve all probably had enough of Zoom to last a lifetime, and aren’t we quick to forget how modern technology has succeeded in keeping us in touch with each other for the previous fourteen months.
What a life-saver it has been. In fact, it’s technology and social media that has been the big difference between losing 50million people one hundred years ago and suffering a much reduced death rate of 3.5million throughout this latest global pandemic. Well, that and our NHS delivering the vaccine to us!
This new edition of Sardines represents our return-to-print as we attempt to make our own way back to some kind of normality. It was an interesting debate, whether to use the time in ‘lockdown’ to grow our online audience (coinciding with the new website) to the point where we might even consider ditching the entire print version altogether. But in the end it was a no-brainer.
We’re all quick to moan at the banks for possibly moving their closing hours forward on a more permanent basis – arguably using the excuse of in an extension of ‘lockdown’. But we believe that people still want a physical magazine to pick up, flick through and read. So here we are; but it will take some getting used to, just like it did in the West End a week ago.
When you think about it, as long as we’ve all had our two jabs each and been fully vaccinated, there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t feel fully confident about rubbing shoulders in a theatre again. Even if we need to show a ‘passport’ or negative test result to get in. We’ve all been through so much; this next step ought to be a walk in the park in comparison.
Of course, being our first printed edition in fourteen months does mean you have a packed issue. With the professional theatre industry desperate to reopen, all we amateurs need to do is hold on the their coat-tails to follow suit. It might just take a bit longer for us to catch up, that’s all.
So, let’s not blow it now. Let’s relish all the things we’ve discovered over the last year and bring it into this new normal. By the way, if you do need some help with the new website just google ‘Sardines Magazine YouTube’ and watch our tutorials.
Email us at email@example.com with your thoughts (and shoutouts).