I thank you for leaving all these comments. We treat every comment seriously and fully appreciate that we all look at this from different angles. These are also very useful as we will be using these in a response to some of the conditions set out, as a lot of these comments are accurate and at times the Scottish Government one rule fits all advice does not seem to make common sense, but it is disappointing and worrying that some indicate that they will not return to the theatre for us trying hard to ensure everyone’s safety within the Scottish Government guidelines. In all my years, I have never come across comments about people going to “boycott” the theatre, “rebelling”, accusing us of “discrimination”, and being “absolutely shocking”, especially for something as simple as wearing a face covering.
Fortunately, this seems to be a minority and thank everyone for their positive and supportive comments.
For me, this is especially frustrating as I have spent the last 30 years trying to retain our customers by continually updating and remodelling the theatre, making shows affordable for all and treating customers fairly when it comes to cancellation of shows by quickly refunding in full, but as time goes on, hopefully all customers will return when restrictions are lifted and things get easier and we get this awful virus behind us and we ask for everyone’s support at this time as it is important that we come out of this safely and can continue to provide good quality, affordable entertainment for the next generation and beyond.
Every customer lost makes things harder for us, but safety for all must be a priority at this time.
Since this pandemic started, I have fought long and hard with the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland to get recognition for the Pavilion. We have been ignored continually by Glasgow City Council, MP’s MSP’s and Local Councillors and there is only so much time you can spend getting doors slammed in your face and have to remember each year we have to apply for our theatre licence and rocking the boat at times is the wrong thing to do and it wouldn’t be the first time I have been told to shut up or our licence could be in jeopardy, so we have learned very quickly when and what to shout about and when to shut up. Politics at times is very hard to fight against and more often than not, you really do not get anywhere, despite numerous promises and political rhetoric.
What we posted yesterday is suggested encouragements and conditions for everyone’s safety as it is issued to us by the Scottish Government. Unfortunately, our posts and conditions to customers are as vague at times as theirs are to us. They don’t say “enforce” but what we ask is that we all take a moment and think of each other when sitting in the theatre enjoying a show, think of who is around you and what COVID-19 would mean to them if they were infected? We still need to remember that in Scotland 1 in 3 people with Covid are currently asymptomatic. We are all members of a family, and I am sure none of us would put our own family’s health at risk, so if a simple thing like wearing a face covering can help this then let’s all do it together for hopefully what will be a short time.
Let’s remember what life has been like without live performances and entertainment in the past 18 months.
For panto, if mask wearing is still mandatory, we hope to encourage funny face covering competitions which will be a way of getting everyone involved. I have seen some funny ones, some light up ones, some rude ones, some clever ones and some very innovative ones, so there could be a lot of fun here for everyone but let’s hope that mask wearing will be over by this time.
A lot of comments made were, one being “what is the difference between theatres and cinema as you don’t need to wear face coverings in the cinema?” The answer to that is there is no difference and it is currently law that face coverings should be worn, which can be seen here https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-use-of-face-coverings/pages/where-face-coverings-should-be-worn/The difference being is that cinemas don’t seem to enforce this. Yesterday because of the comments made, I stood outside a cinema very close to the theatre and it was clear that most people thought the same as every one that went in and came out had no masks on and I think that this is caused by no security or staff on the door advising customers of the current restrictions, no one seemed to use the Check in Scotland App and even some going in and out smoking, but that is their problem to sort as it’s confusing and disappointing that so many people think that they do not need to wear a face covering in the cinema.
Currently, we are just happy to be open after a long eighteen months with a modest number of shows in the autumn period as we are still not confident that there will not be a further lockdown and our short term outlook is looking forward to the panto season and we are now working hard to make sure this is a panto for all, with all the usual Pavilion fun and singalong songs and ask everyone to support us by booking now with safety in mind with our refund polices in place, we will not let you down.
Sorry, this is so long and hopefully you fully appreciate what we need to do and what the restrictions mean to us, we will continue to raise the questions in the right places but probably won’t get the right answers, in fact probably won’t get any answers.
We hope to see you back at the theatre when the time is right.