COLUMN: REORGANISED SCHEDULES FOR ISLAND THEATRES FOLLOWING DELAYED EASING OF RESTRICTIONS

Our columnist Maureen Sullivan gives us an update on the Island’s theatre scene following the announcement that Government restrictions will remain for an extended period.

We were all hoping that by now theatres would be able to open to full audiences, but the Government decision to extend their roadmap means that we are still working under the same regulations for up to another month, and this has caused some local theatres to review their plans.

Bembridge Little Theatre Company had already organised Full Circle under current restrictions, so the show will go ahead as planned on 25th – 27th June with a maximum of 30 in the audience and Covid-safe arrangements in place.

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The Isle of Wight College Performing Arts students also have 2 weeks of shows coming up and 2 of them are outdoor productions, allowing a larger audience capacity. Level 3 students are presenting Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at 17.30 on Thursday 24th June at the Isle of Wight College. For more details and to register your interest in attending please e-mail [email protected].

Another Level 3 group are staging Alice In Wonderland at 18:00 on 29th and 30th June in the open air at Ventnor Botanic Garden. Bookings can be made at https://puyaboutique.co.uk/product/iw-college-presents-alice-in-wonderland/.

Both shows will conform to current Covid regulations, including a very limited audience capacity for Much Ado, but if you can, please come and support an amazing group of students at the end of a very challenging academic year.

The Apollo Theatre has taken the difficult decision to postpone the 3 plays by John Mortimer: new show dates are 30th June – 7th August (not Sunday or Monday) at 19.30. The plays have been rehearsed separately under the existing rules, but putting them all together under one roof presents a bit of a logistical challenge!

The good news however is that tickets are now on sale for the combined programme which the Apollo have entitled ‘A London Affair’. The plays present a variety of subject matter to appeal to a wide range of tastes: in a smart middle class ‘Knightsbridge’ setting, we discover the unexpected, whilst simmering tensions smoke at ‘Lunch Hour’ in a seedy King’s Cross Hotel. We then mingle with high society in luxurious ‘Marble Arch’ as attempts are made to avoid scandal at all costs.

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Tickets may be booked online at https://www.apollo-theatre.org.uk/a-london-affair/ or by phone on 01983 210010.

The 2 Shanklin Theatre shows affected by the change in circumstance, TheatreTrain’s Summertime Special and CurtainCall Creative’s Fame – The Musical, are similarly postponed until dates to be confirmed in early August. Further information can be obtained from the theatre website at https://www.shanklintheatre.com or by calling the box office on 01983 868000.

Horsebox Theatre are currently in consultation with venues regarding their shows at Bar 74 on 16th July and Northwood Village Hall on 17th July but the Ventnor Fringe shows should be unaffected. Book online at www.horseboxtheatre.com

As always, if you have upcoming shows, please send us details so that we can let everyone know about even more contributions to the thriving and rich Island theatre scene.

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Maureen Sullivan is a regular contributor to Island Echo’s coverage of the Arts on the Isle of Wight. Maureen has been actively involved in the Island’s amateur dramatics scene for several years, appearing in many different roles and guises with several theatre companies. In her free time, Maureen also writes and reviews at iwtheatre.org.

Catch Maureen’s column each month for the latest theatre and art happenings...

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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