Plan B rules will 'not dampen festive spirit' says Norwich Theatre boss

Stephen Crocker, Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive, preparing to open the theatre with all new C

Stephen Crocker, Norwich Theatre chief executive, has announced its theatres will introduce mandatory mask wearing. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2020

The chief executive of Norwich Theatre has said the new Plan B rules will "not dampen festive spirits" of its Christmas shows. 

The three Christmas shows – Robin Good at the Playhouse, Jack Frost in Stage Two, and Dick Whittington and his Cat at Norwich Theatre Royal – will go ahead with audiences wearing face masks unless exempt.

It comes after Boris Johnson announced further Covid-19 rules on Wednesday, December 8.

The new measures include face masks being brought back for most indoor venues, vaccine passports for larger events, and working from home for those who can.

It is hoped the new rules will help curb the spread of cases of the new Omicron variant.

Stephen Crocker, chief executive of Norwich Theatre, said: "In light of the advice to the public issued by the government and with contingency plans we already have in place, we will immediately implement the new measures.

Norwich Theatre Royal.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Norwich Theatre Royal has had a new misting system installed that will sanitise the auditorium between shows. Picture: Anthony Kelly - Credit: Archant

"This includes mandatory face masks for customers and visitors, except those under the age of 11 or who are medically exempt.

"This applies at all times in the theatre, including in the auditorium, except when eating or drinking."

As well as introducing mask wearing, Norwich Theatre Royal has installed a new misting system in its roof that will sanitise the auditorium between performances.

Pantomime cast and crew are in Covid bubbles and the backstage areas have been zoned to keep people safe.

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Mr Crocker added: "We had a successful festive season last year, with three productions as part of A Right Royal Christmas, with audiences feeling safe, assured and entertained.

"We are confident we can ensure the government’s new measures, and the renewed focus on Covid-safety, will not dampen festive spirits or enjoyment of our Christmas shows and we thank all our customers for their support."

The venues will not implement vaccine passports as the measures only apply to unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people.

All ticket holders will be contacted in advance to remind them of these new guidelines.