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  • I mean, I've lived in London now for 20 years, and I love this city and I left.

  • I left San Diego, California the beaches in the sun to live.

  • It's beautiful city, but I'll take this, uh, any day and twice on Sundays.

  • I love this city, and I love it for so many reasons, but it's it's the way I feel when I'm here.

  • It's the people.

  • It's the culture, it's everything.

  • And when you look at the office buildings there at, like, 13% capacity right now much lower than Germany and France, where I think they've got back to 50% or even 60% of the office workers back and there just seems like it hasn't been a real push to get people back into London Bond, I think people wrongly are believing that you know what we can work from home.

  • This is the new reality, but I actually don't think that's true.

  • I think that the longer London, um, stops becoming a viable cultural center innovation center center for people that work that after a while businesses will ask themselves, Well, then why are we even in England?

  • Maybe we'll just move all of those jobs offshore on DSO.

  • I think we're making a big mistake by not understanding that.

  • What, what London brings to the table in the UK Is this this great?

  • You know, this this proximity, you know, this critical mass of people, of ideas, of culture, which is why a theater is amazing because it's really people in the room having riel emotions that they'll pay five times more than a movie theater ticket.

  • Even though you got all the C g and you got Tom Cruise, you still want to see the real nous.

  • And that's what makes this city great.

  • It doesn't make it great because we've got Big Ben and we've got a couple landmarks and everyone's at home on Zoom.

  • And so I worry that in some way the struggle you're having culturally is just a lagging indicator.

  • That means the whole city is gonna fail on.

  • I worry that unless we get people motivated to come back into the offices and get this city back doing all the things that we love doing, um, it's gonna actually disintegrate.

  • I don't know.

  • What do you think?

  • You know this city?

  • Well, yeah, well, I'm in London.

  • Even though I've worked in Scotland for a long time.

  • Eso I I do.

  • My my first experience of theater was when I was 12 of my school teacher used to take us to the National Theater on the South Bank, and I saw amazing.

  • You know, I saw Paul Scofield on a fellow.

  • I saw Amazing Productions.

  • So yeah, I I've had a love of theater as a Londoner since since since since the Teenage.

  • But yeah, what you said about critical Mass is absolutely right when I was working in Scotland, which is a large bit landmass, but only five million people, I used to say to colleagues Working with etcetera in London is You've got critical mass, and that's important because artists, whether they're theater artists or visual artists or writers, film makers thrive on proximity.

  • Great creativity comes from people encountering one another.

  • I used to run a theater in Manchester, in northwest England.

  • We used to say that the conversation in the bar after the show is Justus important of the show, you know, in fact, even if the show has been shit, it doesn't matter if you have a great conversation in the bar after about why the show was shit, then that's a creative encounter of some kind.

  • So you're right.

  • That critical mass is important to the theater way.

  • Can't survive without it as to what people working from home means.

  • For that, I'm I'm sure I think the jury is out.

  • My personal view is out on that at the moment, because for a lot of people, theater is an event.

  • I still think people will make the effort to travel into London for that event.

  • You know, although 34 million people go to theater every year, the average is once a year for most people.

  • So for for most people, they go toe one big thing a year and they splash out.

  • And it often is a West End show because that's why they end up spending 83 quid.

  • Because it's like this is our one big night out.

  • We're going to go and see.

  • I don't know Mama Mia, and we're gonna have a fantastic meal, will stay in a nice hotel s o.

  • So I think people will still come to the theater even even if they're not living and working in the city in fact, that's kind of backed up by some research.

  • The Greater London Authority did We partnered with them a couple of years ago.

  • Now, research about who goes to the theater in London on DA um uh, the the most central London theater has visitors, people coming in on.

  • It's not even workers, it's not.

  • It's not really workers staying on on going to the shows.

  • These people just coming, coming in to see shows on then outside of central London, it tends to be more localized and people who live locally Um, S O.

  • I think a people will come in to London anyway, to see shows on B out of London theaters and maybe more Regional theaters will maybe benefit because people will work from home and maybe go to their local theater as well.

  • So you know, there there's things around about.

  • I think it's too early to say, but I'm not absolutely convinced that working from home means the death of death of theater.

  • Yeah, we'll have to see.

  • It's interesting point.

  • One of the great things about theater is that it can still thrive on national tourism, you know, because let's face it, I mean the Yanks are coming over for a while.

  • Ah, lot of Heathrow is dead, but your industry can still survive and maybe even thrive.

  • If we can just figure out, you know, some of these intelligence social distancing measures just on the UK alone again, people are clamoring for events, right?

  • I mean, if you can goto Spain or you can't go skiing, why not go to the West End?

  • Or maybe even a local theater, But something that gives you that that feel of a break or holiday?

  • So that is a good thing about your industry.

  • Is that you can pull in from Britain, Not just the tourists.

  • Yeah.

  • No, absolutely.

  • I think I don't know the percentages.

  • That r UK audience and tourist audience, certainly outside of the West End, its vast majority is local audience on God.

  • You know, you mustn't forget sort of centers like Edinburgh and Manchester.

  • Bristol, You know, that have two or three major producing theaters that are a big draw for the whole region, not just for their city.

  • So I think you're right.

  • I think we can survive.

  • We'd like tourists to come as well, but we can survive in the meanwhile with just kind of UK folk coming here.

  • My, my I love my wife Wild from my wife.

I mean, I've lived in London now for 20 years, and I love this city and I left.

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A2 theater london people critical thrive survive

LONDON THEATRE CULTURE: What Culture Does Theatre Bring To The City Of London - Jon Morgan

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/13
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