Michelle Collins has urged the public to support a “fantastic” initiative to support theatres amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The It’s Curtains for Theatre Without You campaign will see the WhatsOnStage theatre publication offer a comprehensive guide of all the live and virtual performances which are being put on by venues across the country.
Collins said it is important that people help the industry to get through the pandemic.
“The whole point about theatre is it is a wonderful shared experience,” she told the PA news agency.
“It’s good for our wellbeing, it is educational and so I think what’s important about a lot of these theatres is it is not just the buildings, it provides a lot of other things for the community as well.
“Particularly theatres outside London are really important, they are like the hub of the community.”
The actress, who has previously starred in EastEnders, added: “Life without theatre would be joyless and very boring.”
Collins said the theatre industry is in a “bad state” and deserves to be given more support.
“Theatre brings a lot of money into the economy and I think we are renowned around the world and really respected for our theatre,” she said.
Sita McIntosh, chief operating officer of WhatsOnStage, said: “As the green shoots of theatre start to emerge, at WhatsOnStage we couldn’t be more excited.
“We know that our readers share that joy and we wanted to do our bit to encourage audiences back into auditoriums, inspire them to enjoy shows again and most importantly reassure them that they are safe doing so.
“There have been some impressive initiatives to ensure that buildings are Covid-safe including #SeeItSafely, so patrons can be comfortable in the knowledge that the industry has done everything it has been asked to do to comply with the latest Government guidelines.
“We have compiled a comprehensive guide to theatre now open or opening soon and we want to convey the message that unless audiences come out and support those shows it really is curtains for theatre.
“If we ever needed a moral boost it’s now.”