It’s with great sadness that we bring you the news that The Place Telford will be closed until the new year.
Theatre management and Telford & Wrekin Council have had many things to consider including our relationships with our visiting artists and patrons, the financial viability of performances with the limits of a socially-distanced seating plan, the safety and wellbeing of the audience, artists and theatre team, and the ongoing uncertainty of venues being able to open at all in line with government guidelines; so the decision certainly wasn’t made lightly. It’s astonishing to think that our wonderful venue hasn't stirred with the excitement of performance and all that entails for nearly nine months, and we can scarcely express how keenly we’re missing our friends from the audience and performing artists alike.
You're probably wondering what we’ve been up to since March, and it seems strange to report that we’ve had plenty to do, even without our usual performance activity. Venue Management has kept up communication with the visiting artists and their promoters, agreeing new dates, agreeing even newer dates, amending contracts and keeping a very close eye on the diary (the last thing we want on reopening is to discover a clash of dates!). We’re very fortunate to have agreed new dates with nearly all our visiting shows. This is the situation in the middle of November:-
- 82 performances haven’t gone ahead as planned and
The admin and box office team have been busy keeping ticketholders informed about the new dates, transferring bookings and issuing refunds. We’re really grateful that so many of you are keeping hold of your tickets for the rescheduled performances (even though some of them seem a way off in the future), and it’s been a real pleasure to have a chat with many of our regular attenders. This, in a nutshell, is what the team have achieved so far:-
- 115,712 email communications
The front-of-house team have been helping elsewhere in the Council by doing what they do best – engaging directly with folks who need to access services. They’ve devoted 87 hours to delivering school lunches, managed queues and provided guidance at the household recycling centres and Southwater car park for 324 hours, ushered people attending the VJ75 Day and Festival of Imagination events for a combined 82 hours, and been the friendly face at the library in our venue for no less than 361 hours. They’ve also pitched in with the Council’s cleaning team to keep our schools spick, span and Covid-safe. They’re a versatile crew and no mistake!
The theatre technicians have taken the opportunity to give all our technical equipment a good overhaul. You would marvel at the sheer number and variety of lights, speakers and microphones (to say nothing of the miles of electrical cable) that have been brought down to ground level for the expert ministrations of our trusty techs. This is a taste of what they’ve been up to:-
- 26 moving head intelligent theatre lights
They’ve also updated and reprogrammed 2 lighting desks and 2 sound desks.
They’ve also been making different parts of the venue available to contractors who are engaged in a variety of improvements to the building including new fire doors, new lighting and complete re-decoration. We’ll be very proud of our updated theatre when we reopen and you can look forward to being safer and more comfortable at The Place Telford than ever.
So that’s our update so far for the strange year that 2020 has been. If you’ve got tickets for performances currently scheduled for for early 2021, look out for communication from the box office as some of the touring shows are having to move to later in the year (or even 2022). Artistes are keen to return to the stage as quickly as possible, but tour managers are having to consider the logistics of it all. We’ll also update you with our plans for reopening in the new year just as soon as possible.