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Arcola Theatre to work with Imperial College to understand venue airflow and viral transmission

The new experiment will allow for greater conversations around how risks can be mitigated

Arcola Theatre
© Lidia Crisafulli

East London's Arcola Theatre has unveiled plans to work with Imperial College London to investigate airflow and how viral transmission might occur in auditoria.

They will work out the extent to which increased airflow can mitigate risk and improve safety of visitors. The study will co-incide with the development of the theatre's outdoor space, Arcola Outside.

Ben Todd, executive director of the Arcola Theatre, explained: "Since the pandemic began, we have been trying to understand how the cultural sector can respond innovatively to the difficulties we have faced in bringing people together to enjoy culture in a safe way.

"We are delighted to be working with independent scientists from Imperial College London, through Imperial Consultants, to understand how airflow affects viral transmission in theatres, which will turn the challenges of the past year into learning and ideas for both Arcola and the wider theatre sector."

The project aims to provide long-term and sustainable advice for theatres, as the arts adapts to suit whatever world will come to exist when pandemic levels drop.

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