Save the Lyceum workforce!

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Recent press reports describe The Royal Lyceum as being put into “hibernation” until spring next year. What is actually being proposed are plans to make 43 of its staff redundant. This is being put forward with no hope of re-employing those lost staff when the theatre begins to produce work again. The Technical / Production team is bearing the brunt of these redundancies - Workshop, Wardrobe, Lighting and Sound, Stage Management and Crew, not to mention many losses from Front of House. In addition to the devastating effect this will have on people’s livelihoods, the skills and passion of these hardworking staff members - and many of the facilities - will be lost; in some cases forever.

The Theatre's management have stated that these redundancies are needed to ensure they have sufficient funds in the bank to cover the production costs for work next year. But how can you produce a Lyceum show without any of the skilled and talented staff there to create it? There is a great concern that this time of crisis is being used to “fast track” an ideological restructuring within the company; something that would be very difficult to do under normal circumstances.

As for “hibernation” - well, to quote one staff member, "I have never owned a tortoise but I am pretty sure that when you hibernate it, you don't scoop out all the bits that make it work".

The Lyceum Theatre Company isn’t the building. It’s the people - the people who have spent countless, long, hard hours making the work for which The Lyceum is so well known. Please call for the Scottish Government to intervene to stop the destruction of this long established and hardworking theatre company. In addition to the lost jobs, the loss to the community as a whole would be colossal - it would be a fantastically short-sighted dismissal of an Edinburgh institution that has brought joy to so many.