The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have shown their support for London nightlife culture, paying a visit to Soho Theatre to see how the venue and its performers have coped through the pandemic.
Accompanied by the Mayor of London, London’s Night Czar and the Deputy Mayor for Culture, Prince Charles and Camilla watched a short rehearsal for ‘Half Breed’, a production that will be filmed at the Soho Theatre as part of the theatre’s new digital programming with the BBC and Amazon Studios to employ out-of-work performers and production crew during their visit on December 3rd.
Speaking to playwright and actor Natasha Marshall, who rehearsed part of her play for the royal couple, Prince Charles said, “I really enjoyed the performance and I am praying all of you can open soon. I wish you every success.”
According to Clarence House, Soho Theatre is hoping to begin a “socially distanced small-scale pilot performance programme as early as next week” that would see the first live performances in the space since March. The Theatre has been streaming content on its own Soho Theatre on Demand platform throughout the pandemic.
Prince Charles and Camilla spoke with the Mayor of London to discuss business support, including his Culture at Risk Emergency Fund, which provides £2.3 million to the most vulnerable small businesses; the London Pay it Forward scheme; and also heard how City Hall is providing support through “advice, lease negotiations and fundraising.”
The London arts and entertainment sectors were among the hardest hit when the coronavirus pandemic first shut down the industry earlier this year, with many venues facing permanent closure as lockdown restrictions continue. Clarence House said ahead of the visit, “many of the 1.6 million people employed at night, large numbers of whom are freelance, are still facing serious threats to their livelihoods as the industry continues to struggle.”