Theatre is back in business! The final lockdown restrictions were lifted in England on 19th July and theatres, cinemas and other live entertainment venues were allowed to open their doors to full capacity audiences without social distancing measures in place for the first time in 16 long months.

Trafalgar Entertainment’s Joint CEO’s Dame Rosemary Squire and Sir Howard Panter express their sheer joy at the return of live entertainment.

Rosemary, said: “What a delight to witness three standing ovations at the Barbican Centre as Anything Goes played to a SOLD OUT audience on its opening preview and how theatregoers relished in the return of The Rocky Horror Show in Southampton as the UK Tour got underway with a SOLD OUT performance.

“In Southend-on-Sea, Cliffs Pavilion became our first regional theatre to open last weekend with two SOLD OUT performances of Jimmy Carr’s Terribly Funny Tour, which was also being filmed for broadcast. Congratulations to the venue teams who pulled out all the stops to ensure that the weekend was a huge success. The fish and chips were excellent as well! 

“And 499 days later, following a forced closure, a name change and a major refurbishment, Trafalgar Theatre welcomed back audiences last week to yet another SOLD OUT performance, this time of the global hit phenomenon, Jersey Boys, and Oh, What a Night! Howard and I had tears in our eyes along with most of the audience, just so wonderful to be back in a full theatre again sharing in a fantastic experience.

She added: “The message to our industry is clear and we have known of this pent up demand for some time, but to finally see theatres full of happy people, cheering, singing, applauding, is just pure magic.

“And the message to our customers is clear. Our venues are safe and will continue to follow government guidance, and people know they can now book with confidence for fantastic shows, cinema events and live experiences through summer and beyond.”

In a press statement following the opening night of TE’s major revival of the classic musical Anything Goes, Howard, said: “We need people to know that West End theatre is very much open and the opening performance of Anything Goes at the Barbican demonstrated that in a major way. 

“The show was a complete sell-out and the 1200 strong audience went wild from the moment our leading lady, the Broadway superstar Sutton Foster, stepped onto the stage. This was followed by three showing-stopping standing ovations throughout the evening.

“There have been so many challenges for theatres all over the country, but this evening just underlined the important fact that going out to live theatre is what so many people want – it’s part of what makes our country great. 

“And Anything Goes is just the kind of feel-good musical that people need after the last 18 months or so – it’s the perfect tonic to lift people’s spirits.”


Main photo credit: Blaze Ezra Photography