Cinderella was a hit at the Southport Theatre but with the theatre shut there’s no cash

Ian Carrotte: chase invoices owed by theatres, pubs and the night time economy in general as many will not reopen

Theatres and to an extent the night time economy in general have in a way designed to allow Covid-19 and other virus’ to be passed on.

Last week Southampton Nuffield Theatres entered administration, with Southport Theatre and the Halifax Arts Centre following suit while even Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London in danger of financial collapse.

No fairytale ending: Southport Theatre is set to close due to the Covid-19 recession

Writing in the theatres’ trade magazine The Stage Matthew Hemley quoted the artistic director of the Leicester Curve Theatre Nikolai Foster as saying that the Covid-19 crisis had: “catapulted our already fragile industry into a perilous and uncertain future.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit warned that theatres and other aspects of the night time economy from pubs to night clubs and music venues to cinemas should be treated with caution as far as suppliers are concerned.

“A large theatre or arts centre have a wide range of suppliers from printers to food wholesalers,” he said, “much of which was invoiced before the lock-down and theatres went dark. Many of those invoices have not been paid and if you take Nuffield Theatre Southampton of Southport as examples then it is unlikely those places will reopen. My advice is to chase up all invoices relating to the night time economy whether it’s a pub, night club, cinema or arts centre as many will be gone come the end of the furlough scheme. At the moment many will have reserves but won’t want legal action so take advantage of our temporary free membership and free legal letters and act now.”

Tight purse strings: Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is feeling the pinch

Georgia Snow for The Stage reported: “The operator of the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre has gone bust due to the effects of coronavirus, forcing the Merseyside venue to shut indefinitely. Bliss Space (Southport) Ltd said the ‘devastating trading conditions’ wrought by Covid-19 combined with an uncertain future mean they had “no choice but to place the company into liquidation.”

To give an idea of the expanding nature of the crisis the BBC reported Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre as having major financial problems. It’s one of the most successful theatres in London but said it would need £5m to get its programme of shows back up and running. The BBC reported: “The Globe does not get annual funding from Arts Council England (ACE), meaning it can’t access ACE’s main £90m emergency relief fund. It said it was also turned down for a slice of a £50m pot for organisations outside the ACE annual funding regime. Instead, the Globe raises 95% of its revenue through ticket sales, guided tours, education workshops, retail and catering – which all depend upon the venue being open to the public.”

Southport Theatre has gone dark and may never reopen

Ian Carrotte said theatre was like virtually every sector of the night time economy as it has to pay its way without subsidy and relies on ticket sales, and its food and drink offering to pay wages and stage events.

“There will be a bloody bath of businesses if this carries on,” he said, “some pubs and venues have resorted to crowdfunding appeals pleading with their regular customers to help them pay bills in the meantime. It shows how bad things are but there is no sentiment in business. If you are owed money from a venue unless they offer a payment plan you must make sure you are paid.”

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel – while at the moment there’s a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach – ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website or email Ian at on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website or send an email to

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit