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The Playground Theatre Reopens With Socially Distanced Live Shows

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The Playground Theatre has taken various steps to ensure the health and safety of those visiting the space.

The Playground has been working hard throughout the COVID-19 crisis, renewing its commitment to the local community by running a thriving programme of play readings, delivering 7500 meals to local people in need and offering use of the space to the theatre community for developing new ways of working. Now that Government guidelines allow indoor performances for audiences once again, The Playground Theatre has prepared a short season of shows with one and two person casts and socially distanced seating which will open this month.

First up, character comedians Marina and Maddy bring The Siblinginging Returns (17-19 September), absurd comedy filled with some of the best bits of their previous sell-out runs, as well as brand new material developed after months in lockdown with only each other for company.

In collaboration with opera festival Tête a Tête and The Cockpit Theatre, next up is a double bill drawn from the festival's programme of new works (21-23 September). Bread and Circuses features star soprano Camilla Kerslake and has been described as a mash-up between World Wrestling Entertainment, verismo opera, and 1990s-style video-gaming. The evening will be completed by The CroC in which opera, gospel, magical elixirs, profanity and high art with low morals are woven together in a tale about the Marquis de Sade.

From 25-27 September, Olivier nominee Gerard Logan will take to the stage in Gareth Armstrong's dramatisation of Oscar Wilde's letter to his lover from gaol in Wilde Without The Boy.

Returning to opera, Blue Electric (27-31October) is based on Alba Arikha's acclaimed memoir Major/Minor and will be directed by the internationally renowned Orpha Phelan, who has won awards for her work in opera in both the Netherlands and Denmark and whose work in in Britain includes the UK premiere of Wagner Dream at the Barbican. For this stage adaptation, Alba worked with composer Tom Smail to tell the story of a young girl in Paris and of her relationship with her father, who never talks about his experiences of the Holocaust.  

In recent weeks The Playground has reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to artist development and is working with a range of companies and individuals, both known and new to the venue, offering space and other support to enable live performances to restart.

Co-Artistic Director Anthony Biggs said "It is wonderful to be reopening The Playground. The past few months have been very challenging for us and our community, and we can't wait to welcome our audiences back through our doors. During lockdown we have been doing a huge amount of development and outreach work online, but nothing beats the feeling of live theatre."

The Playground Theatre is an off-West End theatre dedicated to nurturing new talent and staging an international programme of shows. Led by co-Artistic Directors Peter Tate and Anthony Biggs, this unique space is in a former bus depot located on Latimer Road W10. Its name is intended as an invitation to theatre makers and performers to come and play, and to encourage bold experimentation with new works for the stage. Since it opened, The Playground Theatre has cultivated relationships with international companies and practitioners. To date, this has seen the venue work with leading creatives from Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Japan and beyond.

The Playground Theatre has taken various steps to ensure the health and safety of those visiting the space. Hygiene is maintained to a high standard with frequent antibacterial surface cleaning, plus regular commercial grade fogging. To comply with Covid-19 Social Distancing guidelines, tickets to events are only available in seating clusters. All patrons are asked to bring and wear a mask in the theatre or purchase one from the box office. If anyone attending a performance displays signs of being unwell or receives a temperature test that indicates they may be affected by Covid19 the venue reserves the right to refuse admission in the interests of the health and safety of all patrons in the theatre.

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