Alnwick Playhouse reveals when audiences will be welcomed back into theatre

Alnwick Playhouse has revealed when audiences will be welcomed back into the theatre.

By Ian Smith
Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 12:12 pm

The venue will reopen its auditorium to customers for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began on July 9.

However, the Government’s decision to delay the further easing of lockdown restrictions until July 19 means the venue is not yet able to reopen fully.

Playhouse manager Jo Potts, in the theatre’s latest newsletter, writes: “July 9 will be the first performance back on the stage since our closure with These Hills Are Ours.

The main auditorium at Alnwick Playhouse.

"The two hander show has been re-scheduled twice and it is going ahead on a socially-distanced basis with audience numbers as low as sixty five on a Pay What You Decide format.

“The following week was to be Alnwick Academy of Dance, demonstrations and although we have been in discussions to try and adapt to a socially-distanced format and a digital offer, unfortunately we have been unable to mitigate the high risks involved with the large numbers of non-professional performers in the building and on stage to a satisfactory level. This is a huge a disappointment for the Playhouse, Academy teachers, pupils and parents.

"July 19 shall hopefully be good news from the Government and a move to Stage 4 on the road map.”

It is also planned to run a reduced capacity film programme on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from July 22.

Alnwick Playhouse is set to start welcoming theatre-goers back in July.

“In the great scheme of things a four weeks delay is not a long time,” adds Jo.

“However due to how the theatre industry works, the delay of four weeks is a disaster to those who had scheduled premieres to celebrate and welcome audiences back in early July.

“The lead time required to schedule, cast, rehearse and market shows to the public in-order to be financially viable, means that the big West End producers are currently mid-process and heavily invested both creatively and financially. The financial implications are made worse due to no Government backed Insurance Scheme being signed off.”

The library and café, McKenna’s, opened in May but it is only the ground floor open at the moment.

The pandemic broke out just three months after the theatre reopened following a £3.3m refurbishment.

READ MORE: Alnwick Playhouse celebrates £200,000 lifeline from Culture Recovery Fund.

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