Oxford Playhouse Foyer CREDIT Geraint Lewis

Oxford Playhouse staff are bracing themselves for a series of extreme cost cutting measures, including 20% staff redundancies, to ensure the long-term survival of the theatre, after the Covid-19 crisis.  


The Playhouse, which prior to its closure in March was achieving record sales, relies on earned income for 87% of its turnover and has one of the lowest subsidy rates in the UK.

The planned measures are a result of its extended closure due to the Coronavirus pandemic as well as the expected reduction in income due to continued social distancing measures, and the likely reduction of performances available for presentation, when the theatre is finally permitted to open.

The measures planned to protect the future of Oxford Playhouse include coontinuing to furlough 80% of staff until October 31, entering a consultation process of redundancies estimated to affect up to 20% of the 50 contracted staff and suspending all operations in August, including the box office to reduce costs.

However, the Playhouse Plays On fundraising campaign, which has already raised over £100k in donations from the local community, will continue and we urge you to donate and support one of Oxford’s most revered arts institutions at this difficult time.

Director and CEO Louise Chantal commented: “The decisions I and the Board of the theatre have taken are necessary to safeguard the future of Oxford Playhouse and enable the charity to survive an extended period of closure and significantly reduced income.

Louise Chantal CREDIT Geraint Lewis

“Oxford Playhouse plays a crucial role within the cultural life of our city, the region and beyond. We are determined to ensure it continues to entertain and engage our communities. We would like to pay tribute to all our fantastic staff and the talent, dedication and loyalty they have shown to Oxford Playhouse during a hugely challenging, difficult and uncertain time.”

All performances at Oxford Playhouse, the Burton Taylor Studio and Blenheim Palace (Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour) have been suspended until Monday 3 August 2020. In addition, the performances of SIX (13 to 23 August) and Russell Howard (28 to 30 August) have been rescheduled to Summer 2021.  It is anticipated that a further period of closure to cover August and September 2020 will be announced shortly.

As massive fans of Oxford Playhouse we urge you to donate now to help save Oxford’s precious landmark theatre. Go to https://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/support-us/make-a-donation

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