Exeter Northcott has revealed it broke box office records with its upcoming festive production of Treasure Island.
Despite the fact audiences are social distancing and the venue has limited capacity, the venue recorded a massive drive in sales on its first public booking day.
Artistic director and chief executive Daniel Buckroyd told WhatsOnStage: "We're absolutely delighted that we've broken box office records for our first public booking day for Treasure Island. Yesterday's sales exceeded all previous on-sale dates for Christmas shows and it's a great sign that our audiences want to come back and see live theatre. We've put a lot of COVID-related measures in place so people have been booking in bubbles of up to six knowing that they can relax and concentrate on enjoying the show. It's been a tough year and we can't wait for the sound of laughter to ripple through the Northcott once again.
"This hilarious version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic has been created by Exeter-based company Le Navet Bete and it's a real joy to collaborate with such a fantastic local company. Developing new work with artists from our region will be a huge part of what we do in 2021 so that we can support our local creative community and audiences can be proud that new work is being made right here in Devon."
While there is understandably a reticence to re-enter venues and auditoriums given the ongoing pandemic, it seems as though Exeter audiences are comfortable with safety protocols to help make sure they remain as safe as possible while watching shows.
The three-performer version of Treasure Island was formerly shown at Plymouth's Athenaeum last year, with company member Al Dunn saying: "Exeter is our home town. It's where we started off as a company making work in studio spaces and performing on the High Street. Since then the scale of our work has grown massively: we tour midscale venues nationally and internationally and the quality of the production – the set, costumes, music – combined with a whopping dose of silliness enables us to offer a fantastic theatrical experience."