Search

Take 2 - Kenneth More Theatre set to re-open again after government U-turn cancelled initial post lockdown relaunch

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 August 2020

The Kenneth More Theatre is set to re-open for the first time post-lockdown with a celebration of all things theatre. Photo: Geoff Wilkinson

The Kenneth More Theatre is set to re-open for the first time post-lockdown with a celebration of all things theatre. Photo: Geoff Wilkinson

Archant

Let’s try that one more time with feeling.

Christopher Marlowe is planning on previewing this year's panto at Saturday's performance. Picture: Vision RCLChristopher Marlowe is planning on previewing this year's panto at Saturday's performance. Picture: Vision RCL

Ilford’s Kenneth More Theatre will re-open this Saturday, August 22 after the initial plan to stage its first live performance post-lockdown on August 1 was scrapped following a last minute change in government policy.

The theatre in Oakfield Road, run by the council’s culture and leisure partner Vision RCL, revamped the venue to put in place strict safety measures and was planning a performance to celebrate all things theatre.

That show is now set to go live and head of theatre Sally Polden said: “We are delighted to be opening our doors (again!) and fingers crossed nothing will prevent this Saturday’s re-opening night going ahead.

“The theatre is in lovely condition and we are fully confident that our audience will feel extremely safe and comfortable and incredibly welcome.”

The original opening on August 1 was scrapped after the government changed its guidelines on indoor performances at the last minute. Picture: Vision RCLThe original opening on August 1 was scrapped after the government changed its guidelines on indoor performances at the last minute. Picture: Vision RCL

To comply with social distancing guidelines the capacity for the theatre has been slashed in half, with seats for just 150 people, whereas the theatre can hold 365 normally.

Audience members will be separated and there will be multiple exits and entrances to minimise the number of people together. There will be a one-way system in place for performers and singers on stage will only be permitted to sing back-to-back.

The front row of seats has been removed to further extend the space from the performers and the audience.

Tickets will be booked online with contact information provided so in case anyone tests positive for Covid-19 the staff will be able to inform everyone for the Test and Trace service.

Performers from Redbridge Drama Centre rehearsing for the big show. Picture: Vision RCLPerformers from Redbridge Drama Centre rehearsing for the big show. Picture: Vision RCL

Since the Redbridge Drama Centre operates as a college course, which has been ongoing since June, the students are already in safety bubbles.

Those performers will remain in their individual bubbles for Saturday’s performance.

Sally said the performers are excited to be able to showcase their talents again and finally be back in front of an appreciative audience.

“It will be a night of celebration and emotion and I personally am incredibly excited to see our beautiful theatre buzzing with life again.”

For more information or to book tickets for Saturday’s performance at 7pm visit https://redbridgedramacentre.co.uk/

If you go to the show, email roy.chacko@archant.co.uk to let us know how it went and what you thought.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Most Read

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Most Read

Latest from the Ilford Recorder