Only 24 hours after the government re-introduced mandatory face-masks in cinemas and theatres on 10 December, Ben Jackson, founder and CEO of ticket booking firm, SeatPlan saw bookings nosedive at what should have been its busiest time of year.
“Theatre always seems to be on the hit list for draconian measures. You have to be hopeful we’ll ping back again,” says Jackson, who is the former founder of hotel comparison site, airporthotels.com. “We’re ten years old this year, and have been through numerous lock-downs and survived, so you just have to be circumspect," he adds.
It’s a stolid outlook, but if there’s one quality Jackson says he’s had to develop in spades over the years, it’s resilience. For despite SeatPlan generating £11million in ticket sales for the beleaguered theatre sector, the entrepreneur says he has never quite been accepted by the sector he is working to bolster.