After 15 long months the Headgate Theatre is counting down the days until it can throw open its doors and welcome performers and audiences into the theatre once again. It’s looking forward to seeing its patrons back at the Headgate to enjoy a programme of, initially, socially distanced performances. Tickets are on sale from Tuesday 11th May. It’s also launching a new Friends scheme designed to help support the theatre and its community engagement activities
The theatre has been working hard to meet the See It Safely standards established by UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatres. It means that audiences can feel confident and safe knowing that the venue is COVID-secure and will be following the latest government and performing arts guidance. There are sanitiser points around the building and a one-way system in different parts of the building, with signs and markers to guide people round the theatre. Cleaning in the building has been enhanced and everyone entering the building will be expected to wear a mask unless they are medically exempt. The standards will be adjusted in accordance with changes in government guidance, but at all times the safety of the audience, performers, volunteers, and staff is paramount.
Due to social distancing guidance, until the end of June the auditorium can only accommodate 50% of the usual capacity. From the 9th to 12th June the first show in the new season is “Two” by Jim Cartwright. Two actors play the landlord and landlady, and their 12 customers. The auditorium will become the Headgate Arms, with chairs and tables on the floor and just a few seats on the usual raised area. All tickets will be pre-booked and available to household bubbles, with names required for all attending. Events later that month include “Strictly Sherlock”, a one-man show based on the characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and at the end of the month Ronnie Buckingham returns with an Evening of Clairvoyance.
From 1st to 3rd June the half term workshop for those aged 8 to 12 will bring magic, mayhem and monsters to the theatre. The workshop will take participants on a whistle stop tour of Shakespeare’s The Tempest in an easily understandable and fun format, using physical theatre and song. The start of June sees the return of our drama based workshops for seniors. Held on Monday mornings the “Act V” sessions cover a wide variety of topics and new participants are always welcome.
Exciting new developments include,
A Junior Choir launching in June and meeting each Saturday morning. The theatre is interested to hear from potential participants as well as possible choir leaders.
The Headgate Young Company is another new project being developed by the theatre. Young people aged 16 to 21 will be involved in all aspects of creating exciting and challenging drama. Introductory workshops for actors and those interested in technical aspects of theatre such as lighting, sound are being held on the 20th June. The company will meet weekly from September, but launches with a production of Jessica Swale’s play “Blue Stockings”. The play follows the fortunes of 4 fictional young girls in 1896 at Girton College, Cambridge, the first to admit girls. Despite their academic excellence, at the time girls were denied the same opportunities as their male counterparts. Auditions for the play are on 24th June with the production scheduled for 1st-4th September.
And finally, the theatre is inviting patrons to join as a Headgate Friend to support the work of the theatre both on and off the stage. As well as supporting the creative programme and on-going development of the grade two listed building, members will enjoy priority booking, receive regular Friends newsletters and invitations to season talks.
The theatre is planning a full programme of shows and events from September until the pantomime at Christmas. Their new brochure will be available in August.