Musical Theatre

Is stage set in Sheffield for socially-distanced theatre?

Reduced audience sizes, no mingling in the interval and a ban on actors hugging are among the changes that could be coming to Sheffield's theatres because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sheffield Lyceum
PA Media

The ideas are being discussed as theatres, including the Crucible and Lyceum, look to change the way they work in order to reopen safely.

It could see the Crucible's auditorium, which usually sees audiences of just under 1,000 people, being cut to just 150 seats.

There'd also be issues with things like using the bars and hand dryers in toilets, as well as ensuring actors didn't have physical contact on stage.

The Crucible
Getty Images

Chief executive of Sheffield Theatres, Dan Bates, says social distancing poses huge issues.

He said: "We are up for it. We are creative people. I have a team of people - 92% of them are furloughed at the moment - and they're all thinking about the different ways they can come back to work and different opportunities for us and that is absolutely amazing."

West End actors 'to get support' amid Covid-19 lockdown

Thomas Mackintosh

BBC London News

West end theatres
PA Media

An agreement has been reached between performing arts union Equity and the Society Of London Theatre (SOLT) to support actors during the current suspension of West End shows due to the coronavirus crisis.

The deal "covers every eventuality and perspective, from long-running musicals to plays with limited runs, productions yet to open and shows still in rehearsal when the shutdown began," the organisations said.

Julian Bird, chief executive of SOLT, said: "Equity and ourselves have worked tirelessly since the shutdown to protect jobs and address the needs of our West End workforce during this crisis.

"We all need to work together to ensure that we can get through this as an industry, and are ready to welcome audiences back into our theatres as soon as possible."