West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas is using the example of Porthcurno’s world-famous Minack Theatre to press Government to allow outdoor venues to re-open for performances immediately, if Covid-safe.
Like all other theatres and tourist attractions, the Minack was forced to close its doors to visitors during the Covid 19 pandemic.
From 4th July, the Minack will be able to welcome visitors who wish to experience this unique landmark in person and learn its incredible history but, says Mr Thomas, the Minack is “not just a tourist attraction but a living, breathing performance venue which provides an income for the staff who work there and a prized opportunity to perform in a unique setting for the theatre groups invited to put on productions”.
After being contacted by the Minack’s Director, Zoe Curnow, Mr Thomas has written to the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, arguing that venues like the Minack can reopen safely for live performances.
“The director told me that the Minack has planned to address the issue of performers socially distancing by including one-performer shows and other shows where small numbers of performers are either socially distanced at all times, or are performers who are in a 'bubble' or a 'household',” said Mr Thomas.
“Furthermore, being in the open air means that the risk of infection is proven to be much lower.
“At the same time, audiences and staff will be subject to measures to reduce the risk of infection, much like in a cinema venue which will be allowed to open.
“I know that the Secretary of State is keen to see theatres reopen as soon as possible – he has called them the ‘soul of the nation’ – and I believe that the suggestions Zoe Curnow has come up with offer a compelling reason why the Minack and similar venues, like for example the Penlee Open Air Theatre, can safely reopen this summer.”