Harborough Theatre News – June 2020


News from Harborough Theatre – June 2020

First, many thanks to everyone who took the trouble to send responses to last month’s newsletter and for your constructive comments.

It’s fair to say that the picture does not look any brighter now than it did a month ago and to quote Cameron Mackintosh in one of the Sunday papers ‘’While Social Distancing is in place – theatre is dead’’ and he is right.

We’ve looked at what a 2-metre gap between people would mean – and although this has only been done on paper, our theatre would probably have a maximum capacity of just over 20 – which is completely non-viable. It is, of course, possible that that number could be increased if people living at the same address could sit together but even that would not increase the capacity by much. Unlike, say, restaurants, who can move the seating around, our seats are fixed.

It’s also almost impossible to stage a play with a cast of more than one with no one coming withing 2 metres of someone else on stage

Some cinemas have said they plan to re-open in July and we’ve spoken to Octagon Films asking how they might do this. They tell us that the social distancing rules would apply, and that the auditorium would need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each performance. Much as they’d like to, they tell us will not be going down that route any time soon.

At the moment, it looks as if we will just have to wait and see, as I also think it probable that the majority of our audiences would be hesitant to come and sit in a crowded auditorium until the current fear surrounding Covid 19 has passed and stopped being headline news.

If we cannot open our doors in September/October then discussions have taken place about what we might do when we can re-open and to plan after that when we know when the re-opening will be.The favoured option is re-start with Skylight and A Bunch of Amateurs whenever this becomes possible but being flexible thereafter – there is no point trying to get Directors and others in place until we know if other plays can be performed.

There have been some suggestions that will be investigated further into the use of technology to allow meetings of things that a Drama Society (as opposed to a theatre) might get involved with – things like play readings which might then be rehearsed online and ‘performed’ to a wider online audience of members. This is just one suggestion and others would be welcomed. So, thinking caps on please and get in touch. The trustees will be meeting again, online, in about 3 weeks’ time.

Finally, for this month. If you are in town you might like to go and have a look at our freshly painted theatre. The local tradesmen who undertook the contract have, in my opinion, done a really good job and it’s nice to think that we have been able to make a small contribution to the resurgence of the local economy at this difficult time.

Thanks to member, Mike Allen, for overseeing the work and thanks also to Nick Lewis for preparing and printing the posters in the windows which make it clear that ‘WE WILL BE BACK’.

Take Care, Stay Safe and Keep Smiling.

John Foreman

Chairman MHDS