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Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre announces socially distanced summer season

The Chester venue has announced plans for staging shows this summer

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
© Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre in Chester has announced plans for a socially distanced summer season that will kick off on 8 August.

The season will see the 600-seat auditorium cut its capacity to 25 per cent, with 4000 seats in total available for the entire summer run.

Until 30 August, the venue will present a version of The Comedy of Errors, with eight performers operating in a "bio-bubble" to prevent any transmission of the virus. It is directed by artistic director Alex Clifton, with casting and the creative team to be announced by the production.

A variety of safety measures will be put in place, with "customers asked to wear face coverings on the move but not when sitting down". The cast has been rehearsing via Zoom or outdoors, but never inside, and is being tested regularly.

Andrew Bentley CEO of producers Storyhouse said: "We're the country's leading pop-up open-air theatre producer and we had to postpone this year's entire season because the government couldn't give us the go-ahead in time. It's probably just as well, because 2020 was looking like a complete sell out so may well have been too busy".

"But here we are again, an opportunity to get out there and help lead our industry out of lockdown. The country's theatres are in hibernation but that's not our way, and Storyhouse has now been open safely since 4th July. It's the job of the UK's theatres to open and serve their communities where they can."