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Royal Court Liverpool to stage Christmas show after culture funding boost

Liverpool’s Royal Court has announced it is planning to stage a Christmas show thanks to a cash injection from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Theatre bosses are set to discuss more detailed plans for the festive season this week after receiving news that the venue is to receive a £729,915 grant as part of the announcement of £257 million for arts organisations nationwide.

The money means the Royal Court will now look at staging a scaled back, socially distanced, Covid-safe Christmas show, and also start to plan for two new productions for spring 2021.

The organisation usually makes 90% of its income from tickets and food and drink sales.

Staff at the Roe Street theatre have been paid by a mix of the Government’s furlough scheme and from Royal Court reserves since the venue was forced to close in March, but the Job Retention Scheme ends at the end of this month while theatre bosses say the reserves were due to ‘run out soon’.

Executive producer Kevin Fearon said today: “This funding is hugely important to the business and is the difference between us being able to plan for an exciting future with the great team we have here and the potential closure of the theatre.

“We recognise this is an incredibly difficult time for the country but particularly this region, with hospitality businesses everywhere struggling to survive.

“The support we’ve been offered not only gives us the chance to give our audience that shared experience we’ve all been missing but it also means that everyone involved with the theatre and their families will be able to get through the next six months.”

In addition to planning for new shows, the money will also enable the Royal Court to continue running its socially distanced youth theatre for young people in the theatre, and from January onwards, include partners Positive Impact, Catalyst, Capoeira for All and The Comedy Trust in the delivery of free to access activity for people living in some of the most deprived communities in the region

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