Norwich Theatre welcomes 5,000th visitor to Interlude in big top tent
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
A Norwich theatre company is keeping live performance going in the fine city this summer with Interlude in Chapelfield Gardens - and it’s a hit.
Norwich Theatre, which runs the Theatre Royal and Playhouse, has collaborated with circus company Lost in Translation to organise a six week programme of live shows in a big top tent, which ends on September 20.
Since launching on August 10 with Norfolk comedian Karl Minns, they have welcomed over 5,000 visitors and have been praised for the measures put in place to keep audiences safe.
To adhere to social distancing, stewards take people to their seats, the chairs are set out in bubbles and there is no interval to prevent crowding.
Stephen Crocker, Norwich Theatre chief executive, said: “The idea behind it was to bring people back together to experience amazing performance in a way that was safe.
“We have now passed the 5,000 mark, which I’m really proud of, and the feedback from our audiences and performers is that they are so excited to be back.
“One of the real challenges has been that we are the first to do something like this so we are flying solo, but we have been responsive in terms of making changes.”
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Among the highlights still to come are circus shows from Lost in Translation, including The Hogwallops (August 29 to 31), comedian Al Murray (September 7 and 14) and Interlude Fringe (September 13), which will showcase artists from across Norwich.
When Interlude ends, Mr Crocker has plenty of ideas in the pipeline for how they can adapt while the physical building can’t reopen.
Mr Crocker said: “I think it is unlikely to be this year as for large venues it is not economically viable to reopen until we know social distancing can be phased out.
“Interlude was always a six week project so when that ends we will go back to online stuff and focus on our learning and community activities.
“We are also are exploring other things that we may be able to do in a few months time to bring back live performance.”
Buy tickets to Interlude at norwichtheatre.org