- Title: The show is back on: London theatres start re-opening to audiences
- Date: 17th May 2021
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MAY 17, 2021) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF ST MARTIN'S THEATRE SIGN FOR 'AGATHA CHRISTIE'S THE MOUSETRAP' (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTRESS AND THEATRE GOER, BARBARA DRENNAN, SAYING: "I just think there's a richness that it brings to people's lives that as much as box sets and our Netflix have looked after us, there's nothing like this, there's nothing like getting straight into the heart of it and getting caught up in some escapism. And I think after the year that we've had, we all desperately need to get back to that." SIGN FOR THE MOUSETRAP AUDIENCE MEMBERS USING HAND SANITIZER/HAVING TEMPERATURE CHECKS AUDIENCE MEMBER HAVING TEMPERATURE CHECK/DRENNAN HAVING CHECK (SOUNDBITE) (English) THEATRE GOER, CHRISTIAN COLSON (WITH SON FREDDIE COLSON), SAYING: ''I came to see this play when I was about his age (gestures to son) so, 40 odd years ago as well I came with my aunty to this theatre, so it's lovely to come here with my son at the same age all this time later on the day everything re-opens, it's fantastic." COLSON AND SON IN QUEUE (SOUNDBITE) (English) THEATRE GOER, 10-YEAR-OLD FREDDIE COLSON (WITH FATHER CHRISTIAN COLSON, SAYING: ''It feels quite exciting because, I remember being locked down over a year ago, so it feels quite nice to finally be able to do some normal stuff." CHRISTIAN AND FREDDIE COLSON IN QUEUE VARIOUS OF AUDIENCE MEMBERS GOING IN THEATRE WORKED IN MASK CHRISTIAN AND FREDDIE COLSON GOING IN/OTHER THEATRE GOERS ENTERING BUILDING (SOUNDBITE)(English) THEATRE GOER, CATHY LONGWORTH, ASKED IF SHE FEELS SAFE, SAYING: ''Absolutely, I have had my vaccinations, both of them, thank you.'' AUDIENCE MEMBERS IN QUEUE
- Embargoed: 31st May 2021 21:23
- Keywords: London Mousetrap Theatre West End agatha christie audiences coronavirus covid londoners reopening
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM/ UNKNOWN LOCATION
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM/ UNKNOWN LOCATION
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Europe,Theatre
- Reuters ID: LVA001EDCQMH3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Lining up outside London's St Martin's theatre, actress Barbara Drennan eagerly awaits to see one of the first shows back in the West End.
It has been over a year since "Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap" last welcome audiences and Drennan will be among its first back as West End theatres began re-opening on Monday (May 17) in a further loosening of lockdown restrictions in England.
"I just think there's a richness that it brings to people's lives that as much as box sets and Netflix have looked after us, there's nothing like this ... and getting caught in some escapism," she said.
"And I think after the year that we've had, we all desperately need to get back to that."
After standing empty for months, indoor entertainment venues can now welcome back live audiences, though at 50 percent capacity to allow social distancing and with safety measures in place.
Describing itself as "the world's longest running play", murder mystery "The Mousetrap" is in its 69th year, and on Monday evening was showing its 28,200th performance.
"I've always thought that it was really important symbolically that 'The Mousetrap' re-open the West End," producer Adam Spiegel told Reuters.
"So although financially this is unsustainable for a long period of time, I made the decision that I thought it was worth doing first of all to get everyone back to work and secondly to say right the West End is open for business again."
Like elsewhere around the world, lockdown forced theatres to pull down their curtains in March 2020. A few briefly re-opened during a temporary easing of lockdown late last year.
About a third of London theatres will re-open this week namely smaller productions with lesser costs. Major musicals, which cannot afford to run at 50% capacity, are awaiting the final phase of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown - scheduled for June 21 - in order to re-open from the summer.
In New York, Broadway shows will return from mid-September.
In adapting to the new circumstances, "The Mousetrap" has two casts, 'Marple' and 'Poirot - named after Christie's famed characters - in case an actor should fall ill with COVID.
"The excitement is there," actor Derek Griffiths said ahead of Monday's opening. "The anxiousness is there and the hope that everything will go well."
(Production: Sarah Mills, Will Russell, Marie-Louise Gumuchian)
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