Tue, 08 Sept 2020
picture Eden Harrhy
And the good news is... live theatre is returning to The Watermill auditorium in a couple of weeks.
The Bagnor theatre's artistic director Paul Hart and his team have announced that further to the recent announcement of stage 4 of the Government’s roadmap towards reopening theatres, enabling socially distanced indoor performances, they will present an autumn reopening season of work featuring shows with smaller cast sizes, reduced capacity inside the auditorium and socially distanced seating.
The programme will be:
Bloodshot – 'a tantalising film noire-inspired thriller starring Simon Slater, returning to The Watermill nearly a decade after its first critically-acclaimed run there in 2011, from Tuesday, September 22, to Saturday, October 17.
Lone Flyer – The Last Flight of Amy Johnson will also be revived after its original production in 2001. Ade Morris’ powerful play about one of the most inspirational women of the 20th century will play from Wednesday, October 21, to Saturday, November 21.
While the 2020 Christmas production of The Jungle Book has been postponed, with performances rescheduled to November 18 to December 31 next year, audiences will be able to enjoy a new festive production of A Christmas Carol.
Mr Hart said: “After a hugely successful outdoor summer season we’re delighted to announce plans for reopening our indoor space this autumn. I think what we’ve all missed is the opportunity to share stories – something that’s always been pretty magical in The Watermill’s beautiful auditorium."
Strict social distancing measures have been implemented and this includes significantly reducing the number of audience members that can be welcomed in the theatre at anyone time.
The auditorium has been reconfigured to allow for social distancing between audience members.
Seating bubbles will be able to accommodate groups of one to five people, with all seats in a bubble purchased in one transaction. Social distancing between bubbles will be observed in the auditorium.
Audience members will be required to wear face masks. There are hand sanitiser stations, a one-way system for accessing the toilets and signage to indicate routes and procedures.
A fogging machine will be used to regularly sanitise all public areas and to avoid recirculating air in the auditorium, the theatre will be heated before the audience arrive and then fresh air will be continuously fed through during performances.
The Watermill theatre will be operating in accordance with Government guidance at the time of the performance and will be constantly reviewing and adapting to the Government’s guidelines. In the event that a show is unable to go ahead, ie because of a local lockdown for example, patrons will be contacted as soon as possible via email or phone and offered a transfer or a refund for their tickets.