With less than a week to go, rehearsals are in full swing for Christmas musical Little Robin Redbreast at the Salisbury Playhouse.
It has been an unusual rehearsal process this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, with many of the rehearsals having to be online. The performers have now moved into an isolated space on the top floor of the Playhouse to limit contact with anyone outside the production team.
The family friendly, muscial show runs from 7th - 27th December and it will be a slightly different experience at the Playhouse overall this Christmas. Huge amounts of work have gone into social distancing arrangements and re-configuring the auditorium – which is now down to 147 seats from 500. The Playhouse has received the official UK Theatre 'See It Safely' badge to confirm that they are adhering to industry guidelines on best practice.
New safety measures include pre ordering drinks and ice creams and cleverly designed tables (handmade by the in-house workshop) which are used to separate bubbles and ensure drinks are waiting by your seats.
The space will be feeling as festive and jolly as ever though, with the team starting Christmas decorating on 1st December ready for opening next week. The perfect place to come and shake off those lockdown blues and boost those festive feelings.
It has been a terrible year for local theatre and arts venues because of the pandemic lockdowns and social distancing rules. On top of the loss of ticket income since March, the loss of Pantomine ticket income is a massive blow. The Playhouse really hopes the community will get behind this production and support live theatre. They are one of only 20% of theatres in the UK who have committed to opening for Christmas, feeling it is very important to spread festive cheer and magic at the end of what has been a tough year for all.