THEATRE bosses have expressed sadness at the news that playhouses are facing closure or making redundancies.

Octagon Theatre chief executive Roddy Gauld and artistic director Lotte Wakeham issued a statement yesterday after the news that the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester could make 65 per cent of its staff redundant because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Octagon is currently staging a fight for survival, having launched its first-ever Crowdfunder.

In the statement, Roddy and Lotte say: “Everyone at the Octagon is very sad to see so many theatres announcing redundancies and closures. We’re all working together to fight for the theatre and cultural sector to survive. The arts are an integral part of our emotional, social and economic wellbeing, we need them more than ever. Our thoughts and best wishes are with our colleagues .”