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Leeds Playhouse, Sheffield Theatres, Watermill and more to stream shows following tier news

Many venues will either enter or remain in the more stringent tier three

Leeds Playhouse's A Christmas Carol
© Anthony Robling

Venues have reacted to the news today that many locations will be unable to perform live in front of audiences before the end of the year.

Multiple organisations were dismayed to find out their area's more stringent tier three restrictions (preventing venues staging shows in front of live audiences) will not be eased, while others will have to close from Friday night due to a rising number of cases.

The Watermill in Newbury will provide an on-demand version of its musical A Christmas Carol from 18 December after being moved into tier three, while Sheffield Theatres, which was hoping to be moved down into tier two (thus enabling shows to be staged) will stream their Damian's Pop-Up Panto! on-demand from next week.

Leeds Playhouse (also remaining in tier three) has gone an extra mile and will launch a fully-formed streaming service, Playhouse at Home. The company will be sharing its production of A Christmas Carol virtually, with tickets on sale now. The venue plans to share it for free with care homes, schools and hospitals.

Watermill artistic Direct Paul Hart said: "It's such a shame to have to cancel performances of A Christmas Carol just two weeks into the run. It's such a uplifting and beautiful show. However, I'm absolutely delighted that we've been able to make the show available for audiences to watch online from their homes instead. For anyone who's able to support us and buy a ticket via our website we'd be incredibly grateful and I take some comfort from the fact that this will allow many to still enjoy some theatre this Christmas."

The Bush Theatre in London has also revealed plans to stream its production of Travis Alabanza's Overflow, which opened to thunderous reviews earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Bristol Old Vic has revealed that it can stage shows in front of live audiences (the venue has moved down to tier two) with performances kicking off this weekend.

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