If you’ve been to one of our film nights recently, or you’ve visited any of the West End theatres, you’ll know that things are being done a little differently these days to keep everyone safe. We thought you might like to have few details about the steps we’re taking at the Old Fire Station to make sure we’re complying with the law, but more importantly to protect our visitors and volunteers.
Cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Apart from regular, everyday cleaning, we’re disinfecting surfaces in between sessions taking place in the auditorium and in our rooms, and making sure that loos are spotless and disinfected before every event too. On show nights, we have separate loos designated for audience members and volunteers, and a one-way system to avoid people crossing over each other.
The building is now divided into different zones so that we can apply the rule of 6. The obvious exception to that rule is the auditorium (the new audience sizes are small enough as it is!), but of course audience members will be sitting in small, socially distanced clusters, depending on how many seats they’ve booked – more of that in a moment. For all the other zones, a maximum of 6 people can be in that zone at any one time.
We’re asking everyone to book online in advance now, and the booking system will ask you for details of everyone coming with you if you book more than one ticket, so that we’re complying with Track & Trace. TicketSource also blocks out any seats on either side of you and your companions so that they can’t be booked by others, to enable social distancing.
When you arrive at the theatre
We’re staggering arrival times depending on which row you’re sitting in. We’ll send you an email giving you an arrival time – please stick to it as closely as you can.
We’ll ask you to use hand sanitiser and ask to take your temperature using a non-contact thermometer. If your temperature is feverish, the thermometer shows this and we’ll have to ask you to go home.
Please wear a face covering (unless you’re medically exempt) and keep it on throughout your visit. Volunteers will be wearing them too of course. You can remove your mask while eating or drinking, but we ask that you put it back on when you’re done.
If you have the NHS Track & Trace app, please scan in. You don’t need to do any other kind of venue check-in if you’ve booked a ticket as we already have your details.
You’ll check in to the box office as normal, but we’ll then ask you to go straight into the auditorium. Box office now has a perspex screen to protect you and the box office volunteer while you talk.
Drinks and Ice cream are available for you to buy before the show, and all payments use a contactless card system. Drinks will be ordered from your seat – more below.
If you need to use the loo before the show, we’ll direct you via the one-way system to the loos in the bar area. (The accessible foyer loo will be open to anyone with mobility issues, as the lift isn’t in use for audience members.)
In the auditorium
Please sit in your designated seat/s, and remain seated. Sadly, you’re not allowed to move around and chat to people.
Our bar volunteers will take your order for drinks and serve them to you in your seats. They’re the only people allowed to use the lift to help them do this.
There’s no interval in any of the upcoming live shows, which only last around an hour each. If you need to leave the auditorium for any reason, we’re sorry but we can’t allow you to come back in.
The stage area is demarcated by a red line, which means the actors are 2m away from the audience at all times. They won’t be wearing face coverings, but will be the proper distance away from you and each other. The minimal set that we’re using is the same for all five shows this season.
At the end of the show
Please stay in your seat until we ask you to exit, so we avoid a rush for the door.
Please leave the theatre promptly as sadly we can’t allow people to congregate in the foyer
If demand is there and time allows, the bar team will take orders for a post-show drink and you can remain in your seat for that if you’d like to stay a while; but, as with other licensed venues, you must finish your drinks and leave the building by 10pm.
We know it’s a different world, but we’re so pleased to welcome you back to live theatre and hope we’ll see you very soon for our compact but varied one-act play season!
– SLT Theatre Committee