Local theatres and music venues are facing difficult times as they close down again for Lockdown 2. However, they are all expecting to open again on December 3rd, in time for the Christmas season.
Here’s a round-up of what’s happening at the Watermill Theatre, Corn Exchange, and the Arlington Arts centre. You’ll find details here of what’s happening and how you can help.
The Watermill Theatre
The Watermill Theatre at Bagnor is closed until December 3nd. Their Christmas show, ‘A Christmas Carol’, was due to start performances on 26th November, but will kick in again after re-opening. (See Kennet Radio’s article here) https://kennetradio.com/a-christmas-carol-comes-to-the-watermill-theatre/
All customers affected by cancelled performances during Lockdown 2 will be contacted directly by a member of the Box Office team. They ask that you do not call the box office at this busy time, and will be in touch with customers as soon as possible
Their Full House appeal asks supporters to ‘Support an empty seat and make a dramatic difference – please help us to continue to tell brilliant stories in imaginative ways for all to enjoy.’
Artistic and Executive Director, Paul Hart said, ‘There is no doubt that this has been a difficult year, but we are proud that since 17 March, when we first closed our doors, we have engaged with 1774 people through our online outreach and education workshops, created 4 brand new productions (two of which were outdoors!) and presented 103 performances where we have welcomed back 3,389 audience members to enjoy live theatre, both inside and out!…….We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has played a part in helping to sustain The Watermill Theatre during this challenging time. The response from audiences has been fantastic and the uplifting effect of our work has made us even more determined to get back up and running again after this next period of lockdown.’
One online Watermill event for young families to enjoy from home during lockdown is a brand new interactive storytelling performance of The Three Little Pigs performed by Lizzie Lewis on Saturday 21 November at 4pm. Tickets are £8. Find out if Three Little Pigs can outsmart the Big Bad Wolf!’
Newbury’s Corn Exchange and its Learning Centre are also closed until Thursday 3rd December. Box office staff will be contacting those who have booked tickets for events during this period, and are aiming to move workshops and classes into an online format.
The pantomime, Aladdin. was due to begin rehearsals next week, and the Corn Exchange is currently awaiting specific government guidance as to whether this will be allowed. The hope is that performances can begin as soon as reopening is permitted from 3 December.
On their Facebook page, they write ‘We understand you may be disappointed if you have booked to see a show or film. As a charity, the financial implications of having to close again are significant, having already suffered a substantial loss of income this year. We will be offering refunds, but we need the support of our audiences to get us through these difficult times. If you can afford to consider donating the cost of your tickets to our Save Your Corn Exchange – Fund the Future campaign, we would be truly grateful.’
Their Facebook page reports, ‘Arlington Arts will be closed to the public from Thurs 5 Nov until further notice. We will contact all customers with tickets to shows during November over the next few days. Thank you for the continued support’.
They are inviting anyone joining the event page on their website to ‘Pay What they Can’ to help support them thought the closure.
Arlington Arts is also hosting a Virtual Christmas market on Sunday November 22nd, from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm. Shop from a range of local businesses, from artwork, ceramics, skincare and make-up.
So, for all these venues, it’s a challenging month but the show will go on !
Philippa Harper for Kennet Radio