Storyhouse Chester is reopening its flagship open-air theatre from August 8 – just weeks after the entire summer trio of plays was postponed to 2021.
Grosvenor Park’s highly-acclaimed production of The Comedy of Errors, directed by artistic director Alex Clifton, will now play from August 8-30 in the iconic pop-up theatre, with 8 actors working in a “bio-bubble”. The actors are rehearsing online or out of doors.
The play will perform to an audience of 150 – just 25 per cent of normal capacity, meaning only 4,000 tickets are available for the entire run. The theatre’s stage-side deckchairs have been removed to provide further distance to the performers, and both performers and audience will need to manage social distancing. Customers are asked to wear face coverings on the move but not when sitting down.
Entrance times will be staggered to avoid queuing, and part of the ticket price is a donation to help to manage risk in case of a local lockdown.
Said Storyhouse CEO Andrew Bentley: “The open air is the right place to start. We pushed the button on Thursday and started rehearsing on Monday; the crew is in the park now, building the theatre, and opening night is less than two weeks away. There’s not going to be a better opportunity to get back into theatre this year.
“There are a few privations of course, but that’s all part of the fun of being in it together. All 33 performances are in daylight only and last 85min with no interval, no rush to the loo, no bar. Actors won’t be jumping on anyone’s lap this year or throwing stuff at the audience, and we’ll ask our customers to hold back on the wolf whistling. We may have to rejoice inside a little, but that’s ok.”
The theatre is in the city’s main municipal park. Tickets are on general sale from August 3.
More info here