As new rules have been announced for the tier system in place for when lockdown is lifted on the 2nd of December, some theatres will now be able to reopen depending on the tier they fall into.

On the 23rd of November, the UK government announced the revival of the tier system which is expected to be a stricter version of the tier system used after the first national lockdown. The tiers: one, two and three will be allocated to each region based on the regional rate of infection. Tier one is the lowest level of restriction whilst tier three is the highest. Boris Johnson has made it clear that there will be more regions in higher tiers than during the first time this system was implemented

It has been announced that theatres that fall under tier one or two areas will be able to accommodate live audiences once again, slowly paving the way back to the full return of the live performance experiences. Social distancing will still have to be observed and there will be capacity restrictions- 1000 audience members maximum or 50% of the venues capacity if it is less than 1000- but this is undeniably a step in the direction we have all been hoping for.

Theatres that fall under tier three areas will not be open to live audience in the venues, but they will still be able to broadcast live performances to avid watchers at home. However, it is no secret that this will negatively impact the performers and theatres in these regions.

Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, stated “Closure of venues in tier 3 areas will mean cancellation of pantos and other shows, risking organisations' long-term survival and leaving theatre freelancers adrift with no compensation”.

Despite this, hope is still being held on to- many West End shows are hoping to continue and other shows such as pantomimes and ballets too. The National Theatre is still planning to stage the iconic Dick Whittington for live audiences from the 11th of December.

In the meantime, during this period of waiting, many theatres and performance companies still have methods of donations that we can use to help keep them afloat, and it would definitely do good to keep an eye out for areas that will face more consequences through the tier system.