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Nica Burns states Six and Everybody's Talking About Jamie will open after 17 May

Burns chatted with Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2

Shaftesbury Avenue
© Alex Wood

Nica Burns has spoken to Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 about her plans to reopen her venues in May.

As it stands, 17 May is the date when the government's reopening roadmap hits "Step Three", when indoor shows can be mounted with social distancing and risk mitigation measures in place.

Chatting to Vine, Burns said: "I'm going to open my six theatres [the Lyric, the Vaudeville, the Duchess, the Apollo, the Palace and the Garrick] with social distancing at 50 per cent capacity in May...If you come down Shaftesbury Avenue, you will see Jamie and Six who are opening with social distancing from 17 May. So there's a bit of good news there."

Six opened at the Lyric Theatre in December while runs at the smaller Arts Theatre (the musical's usual home) remain impossible. A newly revised socially distanced version of Everybody's Talking About Jamie opened in the same month, though both WhatsOnStage Award-winning pieces were closed again from mid-December when case levels rose.

Burns has also stated her intention to run socially distanced concerts in her other venues where long-running shows cannot feasibly open with social distancing (such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). This will be similar to her programming plans from last winter.

Burns stressed the vital importance of a government-backed insurance scheme to give producers greater confidence as strategies for reopening shows are put in place.

With regards to the "step four" phase of reopening from 21 June (when performances may be able to begin without social distancing restrictions), Burns is more cautious, stating that "you can't start planning for reopening from 21 June now, as we don't have any certainty that they will be open...we don't have that absolute green light yet." This green light will depend on a marked decrease in case levels as the vaccine roll-out continues.

You can find out more about what to expect over the coming months here.

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