Actress Liz Carr calls for theatres to host facemask-only performances
Ms Carr hopes theatres will remain accessible to those with health conditions
Actress Liz Carr has called for theatres to host facemask-only performances for audiences who want to be Covid-safer.
She made the plea at Sunday’s Olivier Awards, where she won the best supporting actress prize for her role in A Normal Heart, a play about the AIDS crisis in 1980s New York.
Ms Carr, one of the most high-profile disabled actors in the UK, said: "Theatre should remain accessible even to those of us who have health conditions."
After accepting her award, she spoke backstage at the Royal Albert Hall.
She said: "If I'd had a five-minute speech, I would've talked about how I haven't been to the theatre in over two years. This is a frightening night for me.
"Now, you could say 'yeah but you did a play, Liz, in front of 1,200 people every night.'
"Yes, but I was on stage with everybody who was testing, everybody in the cast tested every day, so I felt safer than being a random member of the public in an audience around people I didn't know."
The requirement to wear a facemask in the UK ended in late January of this year.
NHS Confederation chiefs have since called for them to be re-introduced as a legal requirement as Covid cases soar, putting immense pressure on hospitals across the UK.
Ms Carr added: "I'm not sure about [the issue of] everybody wearing facemasks, personally I think yes, they should, in indoor environments because Covid-19 is airborne.
"But I think theatres could think about having safer performances. I think they should have facemask performances that are more socially distanced. In the same way you might have a British sign language performance, I think you should have Covid-safer performances."
She recalled: "Some of my friends who weren't ready to come and see the show, they came to see the dress rehearsal, because they didn't feel safe enough to come.
"So I think performances with less capacity and mandatory facemasks, every show should be doing that to make sure theatre remains accessible even to those of us who have health conditions."