Loft Theatre awarded ‘See It Safely’ mark, ready for the return of live theatre to Leamington

A summer and autumn busily working to make Leamington’s Loft Theatre Covid-secure has paid off, as the Loft has now been awarded the Society Of London Theatre & UK Theatre’s ‘See It Safely‘ mark.

On hearing the news, Artistic Director Sue Moore said “We wanted to reassure audiences, actors, staff and volunteers alike that you can be confident in coming back to the Loft. The See it Safely mark is recognition of our determination to be a safe and secure theatre. We are not only complying with government guidelines, but in some cases going above and beyond to be as sure as possible that everyone can continue to enjoy our shows safely.”

Kim Green, Production Manager at The Loft, explains how the team – made up almost entirely by volunteers – pulled together to overcome the same challenges that any large, commercial organisation would have to face in order to survive the pandemic.

“In the early days of the pandemic, we undertook a risk assessment to identify what we needed to do ready for reopening. Measures we have taken include providing sanitiser, implementing social distancing, ensuring the wearing of face masks – all the things that are becoming second nature as a result of Covid. But in addition, we have had the whole building ‘fogged’ by Leamington company Fogging Now. ‘Fogging’ involves using an organic, non-toxic, non-hazardous, alcohol and chemical-free substance similar to that used on aircraft. All surfaces and seating have been treated. We will continue to Fog for every production.”

Ensuring everyone’s safety includes managing auditions, play readings, and rehearsals under strict conditions – and these have been underway over the past few weeks as the Loft prepares to reopen in December. Kim explains how this has been managed: “The actors in the cast of the re-opening production, are divided into two teams of six, creating two ‘bubbles’. They work in those bubbles, still maintaining social distancing. We have devised a strict one-way system for the cast and crew, which starts at the stage door, and doesn’t stop until they leave the theatre via the workshop door.

“Our actors have also been ‘colour coded’. They each have a different coloured plastic storage box, containing their script, a bottle of hand sanitiser (both also colour coded), and anything else they need to keep with them. Anything an individual actor needs moving on stage will be moved by that actor. Each actor has a dedicated area in the dressings rooms for their use, their costumes and personal props.

As news about the reopening of our covid secure venue is publicised, audiences are of course being asked to play their part to help maintain safety, including wearing masks, sanitising hands on arrival, pre-ordering drinks, and buying e-tickets.

For full information on what customers can expect, please visit our Safety Q and A page.