Groundlings trust chair and Kings Theatre boss hope to see return to ‘normality’ as restrictions ease

THEATRES are also preparing to welcome visitors back as restrictions ease from next week.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 4:55 am
The Groundlings theatre 
Picture: Sarah Standing (060819-2699)
The Groundlings theatre Picture: Sarah Standing (060819-2699)

Helen Gibbs, chair of the Groundlings Theatre Trust, said the theatre has been undertaking face-to-face casting for its Wonderland production at the end of June.

However, the easing of restrictions next Monday means it can offer face to face drama sessions for adults and can open up its cafe. Fundraisers, pub quiz and ‘60s nights are also on the horizon.

‘We are delighted we can start getting back to normality and welcoming people back,’ Helen said. ‘It will be great for us as we took on the theatre in April last year so this will be the first opportunity to trade normally and show people what we are capable of.’

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Paul Woolf, chief executive of the Kings Theatre. Picture: Roger Arbon/Solent News & Photo Agency

Helen revealed the front of the building had been transformed after the theatre received an emergency grant from Historic England.

Volunteers had also carried out repairs and the inside now decorated, as well as electrical work carried out. ‘A lot of behind the scenes stuff has taken place for the theatre while we have Covid measures in place,’ she added.

The Kings Theatre in Southsea is set to open its box office on Monday, so that theatre-goers can pick up their tickets in person.

On the following Friday and Saturday, there will be open day events at the theatre for people to take tours and meet staff.

Paul Woolf, CEO of the Kings Theatre, said that he is looking forward to welcoming people back to the theatre, but he feels that people have been left confused and worried by the government’s changing rules.

He said: ‘We’re really excited to be opening the theatre again.

‘The government doesn’t seem to have any empathy with our industry – the truth is that money isn’t the answer for everything. Because of the confusing messaging, the public is still not comfortable to go inside, but we are extremely safe and we want to encourage people to come along.’