Northampton's Royal & Derngate theatre announce RE-OPENING date one year on from when it closed its doors
Live performances set to return from May 17 - subject to Government guidelines
One year to the day that Royal and Derngate closed its doors on March 16 2020, the theatre has today (Tuesday) officially announced that it will be re-opening on May 17.
In a statement issued to the press at 1pm, Jo Gordon, Chief Executive & James Dacre, Artistic Director said: "A year on from closing our doors, we are delighted to announce that we will be welcoming audiences back to live performances at Royal & Derngate from Monday 17 May, subject to Government guidelines remaining to plan.
"Meanwhile, we will continue to deliver a wide range of shows and activities online through the “Royal & Derngate At Home” section of our website.
"Marking the beginning of our new annual partnership with the National Youth Theatre, we will reopen with our rescheduled co-productions of Animal Farm and Othello, presented in the Royal auditorium with socially-distanced seating.
"Tomorrow we will also be announcing a major new Made in Northampton production to follow in the Royal.
"In advance of these performances, from Tuesday 13 April we will be re-opening our in-person Box Office facilities, which will be in their new location in John Franklins bar, adjacent to the theatre on Guildhall Road.
"We had great feedback about our Covid safety measures from Northampton Filmhouse customers when we were able to reopen our cinema briefly in December, and so audiences can rest assured that we have all necessary precautions and procedures in place for their safety.
"We also have contingency plans in place for our opening productions, should alterations to the roadmap mean that live performances cannot yet take place on those dates.
"There is still much uncertainty in the touring show market, as promoters are juggling with rearranging tour dates across the country, so we do expect that there will be some further date changes to visiting Derngate productions scheduled in the summer. Please do bear with us – our Box Office team will contact tickets holders with any updates as soon as they can. We will also announce reopening dates for the Filmhouse as soon as we can.
"Planning and preparations for our reopening have been made possible by support from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund #hereforculture, via core funding from Arts Council England and Northampton Borough Council and through the extraordinary generosity of our audience’s donations to our Bring Us Back Together fundraising campaign.
"We are hugely grateful to all our customers and colleagues for their support and patience over the last year. We can’t wait to see you back!"