Leeds Playhouse and Sheffield Crucible set for live shows

A pre-lockdown Romeo and Juliet by Northern Ballet
Image caption,
The Northern Ballet company has not danced for seven months, it said

Two Yorkshire theatres have announced plans for their first live seasons since March's lockdown.

Northern Ballet is to perform at Leeds Playhouse and live theatre is to return to Sheffield's Crucible.

Both are to feature performances to a socially-distanced audience with reduced attendances.

Robert Hastie, artistic director of Sheffield Theatres said: "I believe starting to make work again is the right thing to do."

Government guidelines permit indoor performances under strict regulations.

Image source, Craig Fleming
Image caption,
Robert Hastie said: "Sheffield loves its theatre"

Northern Ballet's season in Leeds will be the company's first live performances in more than seven months. It is to perform three different one hour-long programmes starting 21 October.

All performances will be performed in full costume but without sets, the company said.

David Nixon, artistic director of Northern Ballet, said: "Although we are still far from business-as-usual, we are thrilled to be able to return to the stage and present a significant run of live performances.

"This year has been incredibly difficult for everyone and the arts is one industry that has been badly affected by Covid-19."

A limited-ticket test event of the Playhouse's reopening plans will also see actor Reece Dinsdale in a one-man show on 26 September.

The first Crucible production is the world premiere of Here's What She Said to Me by Oladipo Agboluaje as part of the Together programme, starting on 30 October.

Mr Hastie said: "Sheffield loves its theatre, and I've never felt that love more powerfully expressed than during the last few months, when people have told us how much they've missed it."

Image source, Sheffield Theatres
Image caption,
Sheffield Theatres said it would respond to any further coronavirus guidance and adapt accordingly

Ongoing social distancing restrictions also apply to the actors, dancers, musicians and backstage staff.

Audiences will be required to wear face coverings at all times.

There could be staggered audience arrival times and all performances would be completed by 21:30, said the Crucible.

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