With the help of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, Sunderland-based Theatre Space North East will be one of the first to return to live performances when they perform Hansel and Gretel in a mobile tent this December.
From South Tyneside to Sunderland, Hexham to Houghton, the story of bloody-thirsty witches, confectionary houses and a trail of breadcrumbs will come to life in a socially distant setting, under cover from the elements, in a purpose built modular (and bright orange) tent.
To comply with strict COVID policies, a limited number of 36 tickets, bookable in household bubbles of six or less are available each night, with stringent protocols introduced for cast and crew to make sure everyone can safely enjoy a much-needed spot of theatre.
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Attendees will be required to supply their own seating (to minimise clean downs) and wear a face covering inside the tent, unless exempt.
The show takes place twice nightly at 6pm and 8pm at the following sites:
::December 11: Bede’s World, Jarrow Hall.
::December 12: The Bike Garden in Newcastle
::December 15: Hexham Abbey
::December 16: Bamburgh Pavilion
::December 17: Gateshead Old People’s Association
::December 18: Moor House Adventure Centre in Houghton
::December 19: St Cuthbert's Community Centre, Crook
::December 21: TCR The Hub in Barnard Castle
::December 22: Shildon’s Locomotion
::December 23: St Andrews Church in Roker
The producers have secured alternative dates in January for all venues should the government extend the current lockdown period into December, with ticket holders automatically receiving valid tickets for the rescheduled dates if needed.
The company’s artistic director Corinne Kilvington has been calling for the government to step in to save the industry that collectively contributes over £100bn to the UK economy every year.
She said: “The UK’s creative industries are the lifeblood of the nation and it was the talents of creatives that saw the country through the darkest days of lockdown. The Cultural Recovery Fund will hopefully ensure that we protect our most precious cultural assets both here in the region and around the country.
"We fought tooth and nail to bring culture to back Sunderland from the moment we were able to do so safely and this award of £50,000 will help us to continue to innovate, delight audiences and support the wonderful creative industry we have here in the North East.”
Tickets for Hansel and Gretel are on sale now, priced £8 for general admission and £6 for concessions, (which includes Healthcare & Emergency Service professionals).
Tickets are sold through ticketing partner See Tickets at https://www.seetickets.com/tour/hansel-and-gretel. Booking and transaction fees apply.
As has been the case with the company’s previous winter productions, a collection for local food banks will take place at each performance. Audiences are asked to bring along any non-perishable food items, to be donated to those who really need the extra help this year.