Look inside a Covid-safe Norwich Theatre Royal ahead of Christmas shows

Stephen Crocker, Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive, preparing to open the theatre with all new Covid-safe measures in place

Stephen Crocker, Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive, is preparing to open the theatre with Covid-safe measures in place for its A Right Royal Christmas programme. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2020

From divided queues to a misting machine, Norwich Theatre Royal has been transformed into a Covid-safe venue ahead of its festive programme A Right Royal Christmas.

The theatre is temporarily reopening its doors from December 16 to 24 and three shows will alternate during the season, which are Panto in a Pickle!, A Circus Carol and She Go Does It Under the Christmas Tree…with Friends. 

At A Right Royal Christmas there will be four partitioned queues and a one-way system, where people can also buy refreshments to take to their seats Picture: Danielle Booden 

At A Right Royal Christmas there will be four partitioned queues and a one-way system, where people can also buy refreshments to take to their seats Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2020

The shows have been made possible by the £3 million grant the venue received from the government's Culture Recovery Fund and it has also paid for modifications to make social distancing possible.

The auditorium has been split into four sections, with separate entrances for each, and in the venue these are partitioned into four queues, with a one-way system and floor markers to indicate where each group needs to stand.

Norwich Theatre Royal prepare to open, with all new COVID measures in place, for their A Right Royal

During A Right Royal Christmas, there will be four separate entrances - two for both the stalls and the circle. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2020

Ticket checks will be contactless and theatregoers can buy refreshments on arrival, which must be consumed when they are seated, with no interval to prevent crowding. 

Audience members will need to wear masks, unless eating, drinking or exempt, and a misting system has been installed on the auditorium roof to clean seats between shows.

Norwich Theatre Royal prepare to open, with all new COVID measures in place, for their A Right Royal

A misting machine has been installed on the auditorium roof to clean seats between shows at Norwich Theatre Royal. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2020

Stephen Crocker, chief executive of Norwich Theatre, said: "We thought really carefully about how to create the safest environment we can and we feel really confident that we have satisfied all the guidelines. 

"Christmas in this building is special every year and the pantomime is a highlight of Christmas for so many people and we wanted to keep that tradition alive."

Panto in a Pickle! stars Richard Gauntlett, who has been in the Theatre Royal pantomime for 20 years, A Circus Carol sees Charles Dickens' classic tale turned on its head by Lost in Translation Circus and She Go Does It Under the Christmas Tree…with Friends is performed by Norfolk comedian Karl Minns. 

Lost in Translation Circus rehearsing ready for Norwich Theatre Royal to open for A Right Royal Christmas

Lost in Translation Circus rehearsing ready for Norwich Theatre Royal to open for its A Right Royal Christmas programme. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2020

Mr Crocker added: "We open on the day the tier restrictions review takes place, but if ever there was a time for hope that is Christmas and we are going forward with optimism."

Buy tickets at norwichtheatre.org or call 01603 630000. 

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

Stephen Crocker, Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive, is preparing to open the theatre with all new Covid-safe measures in place for its A Right Royal Christmas programme. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2020


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