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Spalding actors hit out at 'retrain suggestion'

‘They are asking them to give up hope’ of returning to normal is the warning given by members of South Holland’s cultural scene to the Government.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak sparked controversy from musicians and artists last week when he appeared to suggest that they retrain.

Chairman of Spalding Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society (SADOS) Jodie Schweikhardt fears that people working in the arts will give up hope of ever returning to normal.

Spalding Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society in rehearsal for Stags and Hens - The Remix. (20909221)
Spalding Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society in rehearsal for Stags and Hens - The Remix. (20909221)

She said: “They’re asking a whole industry to retrain, now for the majority of people within this industry, it is not just a job, it is a passion, and they may have trained many years to fulfil that passion.

“By asking them to retrain they’re asking them to give up hope and indeed the rest of us hope that things will ever return to normal. We also run the risk of losing their skills and talents forever, because once the industry is back on its feet, they may fear going back to jobs that the Government has so far shown little regard for.”

She also added that the industry is facing an uncertainty which will have a ripple effect for societies such as SADOS.

She added; “We are so blessed to have the South Holland Centre and the wonderful staff who work there. It is at the heart of our community, putting on live theatre, events, entertainment, corporate and private functions and not forgetting the cinema.”

Karl Gernert, director of ACT II, said he sympathises that the Government does not have a bottomless pit of money but warned that the arts do make an enormous amount of money for the country.

He said: “Theatre is and was thriving and there is no reason why it cannot thrive again.

“The NHS are the ones that helped us to live but the arts give us cause to live.

“Regional theatres are where the future David Tenants and Judi Denches are grown but the provincial theatres are going to be hardest hit in this.

“I don’t think we are going to feel the impact of this for a decade as the talent will not be there as they have not had time on stage.

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