It's the news we have all been waiting for, West end theatres are going to start reopening from next month.
The Sunday Times today reports that Nimax Theatres, who own the Apollo, Duchess, Garrick, Lyric, Palace and Vaudeville Theatres in the West end, will begin a phased reopening of its venues from October.
The first shows due to re-open are Everybody's Talking About Jamie at the Apollo and The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre, both in November. Jamie is tentatively due to reopen on November 12th.
The Apollo will reopen in October with a special version of Adam Kay's This Is Going To Hurt from October 22nd to November 8th. The other five venues are expected to announce temporary shows in place imminently.
The groups biggest production, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre, is set to return in early 2021.
Chief executive of Nimax theatres, Nica Burns, has drawn up a 200 page guide for each of the six theatres with her team. These guidelines include socially distanced seating for each of the six venues and other safety measures in accordance with government guidelines. Seats will be removed in each venue to create more legroom.
People can buy up to six tickets online and will have to fill out a health questionnaire before they arrive.
The venues will be operating at half capacity but will make a loss. Burns said "We can entertain more than 20,000 customers a week who we hope will re-energise the beating heart of our city, particularly the cafes, bars and restaurants that are an essential part of the fabric of the West end".
The Lyric Theatre was home to Thriller Live which was due to close before the pandemic. The Bob Marley musical Get Up, Stand Up is expected to be its next production but it has been heavily rumoured that Six will be announcing a transfer from the Arts Theatre to the Lyric tomorrow morning.
This is the shot of energy we all needed. Seeing all the major West end theatres gathering dust has been heartbreaking for so many of us. While we still have a wait for shows like Hamilton and Les Miserables to come back, this is definitely a step in the right direction!