CFT joins designers' #MissingLiveTheatre initiative

With the news of the Government financial package to safeguard the future of the arts, culture and heritage industries, #scenechange (a collective for stage designers) continue to wrap theatres across the UK and Ireland in a message of hope. 

From early on in lockdown, the community of set and costume designers have been uncomfortably aware of the negative visual imagery and sadness around closed buildings. This July, in collaboration with theatres across the UK, #scenechange has launched #MissingLiveTheatre – wrapping theatre buildings with pink barrier tape reading ‘Missing Live Theatre’ in a positive message of hope and visibility.

Beginning with the National Theatre, the baton was passed to the West End and regional theatres nationwide; today Chichester Festival Theatre joined in, in conjunction with internationally-renowned and locally-based designer Lez Brotherston.

#scenechange said, “Whilst we navigate a way back to live performance, we continue #MissingLiveTheatre to bring joy and colour to theatres across the UK and Ireland, to celebrate these incredible buildings, and the key role they play within their communities. We welcome the Government investment announced yesterday, and see this as a key moment for the industry, a time to renew and reset, build a stronger future for all, and safeguard the sector for future generations. However, at this time theatres remain closed, and as freelancers we stand together with those dependent on the furlough scheme and financial aid packages – all of us unable to work in our chosen careers and all of us #MissingLiveTheatre.”

Our Executive Director Kathy Bourne said: ‘We’re delighted to be part of this uplifting and creative response from the brilliant design community. Many thanks to Lez Brotherston, who designed the installation for us, and to our superb technical staff who rose to the challenge of making it a reality.’

#scenechange began as a small email exchange ‘Dialogue in Strange Times’ between a group of set and costume designers. Now it is a wide community of designers covering the breadth of the discipline and growing to over 1000 members, promoting ways of coming together in conversation and action in support of theatre.

The tape will be recycled and reused by #scenechange to envelop another theatre. Follow @_scene_change_ on Instagram or Twitter to see photos of other participating theatres around the country.