UK ballet boss: 'No Christmas shows' without state help

London is famous for its West End theater productions of shows like Les Miserables.

But there's little hope of such shows returning any time soon.

Tamara Rojo, the artistic director of the English National Ballet, says financial support from the UK government will have to continue if the industry is to survive - and some big decisions will have to be made soon.

"One of those decisions is to cancel Christmas. We need to plan now if we are able to perform in Christmas. We need to commission choreographers. We need to commission designers. We need to hire freelancers. We need to start by creating the productions and rehearsing them and casting them. And that takes many months."

With no income, the English National Ballet has furloughed 87 per cent of its staff and asked employees to take pay cuts of 20 per cent.

Even with social distancing rules being reduced from two meters to one this week, a 2,500-seat theater would only be able to hold 900 people, making a production unprofitable.

As the the ballerinas wait and hope for a return to action, they have been joining Rojo for virtual training sessions from her kitchen.

"There's only so much you can do in your kitchen. So it is important that we find safe ways to return our workforce into the studio so that they can start the long journey into getting back into performance shape.''

For now though, West End theatres remain closed, with dancers and theatre-goers alike longing for the day they can reopen once again.