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Statement from Play to the Crowd regarding Coronavirus

Play to the Crowd, the arts and education charity that runs Theatre Royal Winchester, Hat Fair and Playmakers, has announced that, following the briefing by the Prime Minister and the government’s health advisers on Monday 16 March, all live performances at the theatre will be suspended for the time being.

Deryck Newland, Chief Executive of the charity comments:

It has been a truly heart breaking decision to suspend all performances with many ramifications. However, it is the right decision in these unprecedented times as we deal as a society with the outbreak of Covid-19. The health and safety of our staff, audiences and artists is paramount. We will be contacting all ticket-holders, theatre companies, hirers and artists over the next few days – please bear with us as we systematically go through everything. The temporary closure of the theatre is going to have a serious impact on the charity and our mission to delight and unite our community, but we are determined to overcome the challenges we face and find creative ways to continue to support the well-being of local people. If you are in a position to, please help us by making a donation or purchasing a membership; it will be hugely appreciated. We fully understand that not everyone can but we need to find every way possible still to be operational when this crisis passes, as it eventually will.

We are also painfully aware of the immediate and very challenging impact on the whole creative and arts sector and are thinking of all those independent performance companies, artists and practitioners whose livelihoods are at risk. If you were due to be attending in the next few weeks our Box Office will be in touch. Please can I ask that you refrain from calling the Box Office directly and allow our team to work through the huge volume of bookings in an orderly way.

We will be updating our websites and social media channels regularly and we hope to back as soon as possible. Our Box Office remains open at this present time for people to buy tickets for future productions including our pantomime, Aladdin. Please be assured that full refunds are always available for any cancelled events so you don’t need to worry. Our Cafe Bar will also remain open.

We thank you for your continued support and patience. Our thoughts are with those in our community who have been affected by Covid-19.

Finally I would like to thank our incredible team here at Play to the Crowd for all their hard-work and dedication in these uncertain times.

If you would like to make a donation please visit www.playtothecrowd.co.uk/support-us/individual-support or call Becca our Fundraising Manager on 01962 673 746 or email becca@playtothecrowd.co.uk.


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