A top choreographer has said theatres will continue to be resilient when they get the go-ahead to reopen as part of Boris Johnson’s roadmap back to normality.

Olivier Award winning, Tony and BAFTA-nominated choreographer Stephen Mear CBE said: “I think it’s made the industry even more connected and stronger than ever.”

Mear who has choreographed highly successful shows such as Mary Poppins, White Christmas and Sunset Boulevard shared his passion as well as uncertainty on the future of the theatre industry after the coronavirus pandemic is over.

The industry has faced uncertainty throughout the pandemic, with theatres across the country being closed for almost a year.

Stephen Mear (credit: Simon Mayhew)

Mear’s main worries are for individuals in the industry, not to mention all the companies outside the theatre that usually provide products from merchandise, alcohol, food and printing of programmes.

Mear started his career at the prestigious London Studio Centre and went into a very successful career of choreographing shows from not only all over England and the West End but to Broadway, Paris and Athens.

“It’s a part of who I am, my passion, it’s my first love,” he said.

Students training for a career in the theatre industry have showed their uncertainty and struggle by making effective short films showing the impact of not having an audience.

“It’s the escapism that theatre provides which contributes to people’s mental health and wellbeing”
Stephen mear

“I feel for the next generation of students as I’m sure there must be a lot of anxiety in feeling like they are behind or not going to get a job as fast as they hoped.

“It’s the escapism that theatre also provides which contributes to people’s mental health and wellbeing.

“People are missing the contact and social aspect of gathering – these are hard times for everyone.”

He added: “Things will get better we just have to ride with it for now and use this time to research new songs, watch clips on YouTube of legends of the past and absorb what you can, keep taking lessons online if you can and watch all the musicals and plays that are on offer online or on Sky Arts, just make good use of the time to build on the knowledge of your field.

Stephen Mear at work (image: Roy Tan)

“I think it will take a little time to fully recover but the adjustments online that were made to move forward and continue the arts and support students will only help towards the future and has prepared us and added to the ability to reach a wider audience by making theatre available to all.

“Oh my goodness, I miss it all, being in a studio creating, working with the cast and other creatives. I’m not good if I’m not working as I really need the creative outlet.”

Mear has said that the industry is “extremely resilient” and will survive and thrive “with sheer determination by joining together in support to help continue and further the message that theatre and the arts are needed by everyone”.