Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Show Must Go On

Difficult to even think of posting anything in view of what's happened in my home country--until I came across this article. I think I should paste this phrase above my computer to remind me to keep the proverbial stiff upper lip and carry on. Because to alter my behavior because of misguided, to say the least, terrorists, would be to acknowledge they have won.

LONDON -- Thursday's terrorist attacks that struck at the heart of London -- causing over 50 deaths and numerous casualties in three bombs on subway trains on the Piccadilly and Circle Lines, plus a city center bus that was entirely destroyed -- inevitably had a knock-on effect on the theatre industry.For the first time since the Blitz during the Second World War, every West End theatre cancelled its performances that day. Several shows that were due to perform matinee performances cancelled those first; then, as the police urged everyone to stay away from central London, evening performances were cancelled, too. All public subway and bus transport in central London was suspended in the immediate wake of the attacks, making it impossible for performers or audiences alike to get to the theatres in any case. Some theatres, like the Royal Court, automatically refunded all patrons who had booked. Others are seeking to exchange tickets for future performances.There were reports of shows outside the West End making an attempt at going ahead as usual, but sometimes in unusual circumstances. At the Arcola, a fringe theatre in North London, for instance, a preview performance of their new production of an adaptation of Raymond Carver short stories entitled "Carver" went ahead, but one actor couldn't get there -- so had to be replaced by someone reading from a script. But the show(s) must go on. On Friday, Richard Pulford -- chief executive of the Society of London Theatre (the West End equivalent of the League of American Theatres and Producers in New York) -- announced, "Like the rest of London, theatre people will not be intimidated by terrorism. They are absolutely determined that life shall go on as normal. Tonight they will take to our stages, man our box offices and care for our audiences as they always have. London is the theatre capital of the world and will remain so despite yesterday's atrocities."


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