Ushers, stage hands, dressers and those who work on the stage door of the nation’s empty theatres are struggling to survive during lockdown, with some even contemplating suicide according to the industry charity, The Theatrical Guild. Now Sir Ian McKellen, the renowned stage and screen star, has helped to launch an emergency fund to support them .

英国剧院空无一人,居家隔离使引座员、舞台管理员、服装师,以及后台工作人员生活艰难,该行业的慈善机构The Theatrical Guild说其中有些人甚至企图自杀。现在著名舞台和荧幕明星伊恩·麦克莱恩爵士推出了一个应急基金来帮他们过活。

(图源:Getty Images)

The actor, famous for playing Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s Tolkien films, has kicked off the fundraising drive with a donation of £40,000 of the money raised from his recent 80th birthday tour of British theatres.


“Many people who work in the theatre industry have seen their livelihoods disappear due to the coronavirus lockdown,” said McKellen. “I, for example, have received a distressing letter from a stage manager who is facing eviction from his home and can’t access government relief.”


The actor, who has recently announced a plan to play Hamlet again, 50 years after the last time, and who is now attending virtual rehearsals for the role, added that the emergency fund scheme is “a wonderful opportunity”.


The guild was set up 125 years ago to support those who, with their varied sets of skills, are the unsung heroes of staged performances. Most are low-paid, self-employed or on zero hours contracts and as a result many have fallen through the safety nets put up by the government to protect those who lost work during the pandemic.