Royal & Derngate sets timeline for re-opening theatres
Royal & Derngate, Northampton has announced an imminent reopening plan for both of its main theatre spaces. Performances will resume in the Royal auditorium from Monday 16 October with Murder in the Dark and in the Derngate auditorium from Tuesday 24 October with Northampton Musical Theatre Company’s production of Kinky Boots. The news follows the announcement earlier this month of the reopening of the Filmhouse which continues to show its usual varied programme across both screens.
Following the discovery of the presence of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in the Royal & Derngate, Northampton’s foyer spaces in September, the building was forced to close with immediate effect in line with new government health and safety guidance around the material.
The theatre and West Northamptonshire Council have worked tirelessly with a team of experts to ensure a safe way for audiences to return. The venue is very grateful to all parties involved for their patience and support while they have worked through the path to reopening. The show experience for returning audiences to both auditoriums will be completely unaffected, with changes expected only to the visitor experience in entry/exit routes and the availability of some facilities. These changes mean that audiences will remain separate from affected areas of the theatre foyer at all times.
All ticket holders will receive full welcome instructions in advance of their visits.
In the meantime, the theatre and filmhouse teams have been able to return to the administration block and back of house areas, and the 260+ young people and adult community members taking part in weekly activities will be shortly back in the building, having taken up residency in the nearby Vulcan Works during the period of closure. The rest of the show-specific teams look forward to their own imminent return.
Jo Gordon, Chief Executive said: “We’d like to thank everyone for the support and encouragement we’ve received over the last month, including all the offers of help we’ve had from local businesses. We are so pleased to be able to open our doors to audiences safely again. The experience may feel a little different in terms of getting to your seats, but the staff teams are working hard to ensure that everyone will receive a brilliant welcome and once again enjoy the high-quality entertainment they expect from Royal & Derngate”.
Shows due to take place between now and the reopening dates will be rescheduled and all bookers will be contacted directly.