Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, has told British MPs that theatres need clarity to know whether or not Christmas is cancelled.

“Christmas for theatres is absolutely essential…pantomimes, Christmas musicals, Christmas shows…it’s where they can make profits that they use later in the year for other productions”, he said. “It’s vital. Do I think it’s cancelled yet? I very, very much hope not.”

Bird warned that 70 percent of theatres, which are at the “heart of our communities”, could run out of cash by the end of the year and said: “I don’t think we should underestimate, if they go away, what that means for the future of our country.”