Evening Standard Comment: Let’s get live again | Go on Raducanu!

·2-min read
 (Tristram Kenton)
(Tristram Kenton)

Let’s get live again

So Greece is out and Cornwall is more expensive than Miami. But don’t worry, if you want to be transported, London’s galleries, theatres and concerts have got you.

Though they remain socially distanced, for now, the arts are well and truly back. In the last fortnight, we’ve been immersed in an exhibition at Tate Britain, watched Nicola Benedetti rock a violin concerto at the Royal Festival Hall, been pinned to our cinema seats by Black Widow and sobbed through La Bohème at the Royal Opera House.

How we’ve missed this. After 18 months of shrunken existence, to be together, sharing an experience that surprises, changes, shifts your equilibrium, is thrilling.

We need culture, it helps us understand the world. And London needs it. The economic impact of arts and culture on this city alone is in the billions of pounds.

It attracts visitors both centrally and locally, which in turn supports restaurants, bars, hotels. We mustn’t take it for granted. The cost of fully reopening the culture sector is immense, and there’s no safety net.

The Government has so far resisted calls to back insurance for live events, meaning that every show, every festival, is taking a gut-wrenching risk. Let’s make it worth their while. See you in row H.

Go on Raducanu!

Emma Raducanu, the 18-year-old superstar from south London, steps on court this afternoon with a place in the quarter finals at stake. Yet whatever the result, she has already won the nation over, not only with her fearsome backhand, but a maturity beyond her years.

Alongside the many impressive young sports stars grabbing the spotlight this summer, she stands out both on and off the court. Good luck, Emma! The nation is behind you.

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