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Show goes on at Christchurch’s Court Theatre

Show goes on at Christchurch’s Court Theatre
February 20, 2021

Christchurch's Court Theatre returned to catering for full houses as of Thursday, moving back to operating under New Zealand's COVID-19 Alert Level 1.

The move followed last Sunday’s announcement to operate under Alert Level 2, that saw the venue re-introduce safety protection screens to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in its auditorium and contingencies to keep patrons one metre apart.

Explaining how the venue coped with the restrictions, Court Theatre Chief Executive, Barbara George stated "over the last three days (Monday to Thursday) the Court Theatre was a business of two halves that kept our patrons safe under COVID-19 alert level two.

“We had literally split our building into two with separate zones that catered for up 100 people each.”

With the New Zealand Government’s announcement on Wednesday that Auckland was to move back to Alert Level 2 while the rest of the country will move to Alert Level 1, George said she was proud of her team’s effort to still be able to safely provide live theatre entertainment, noting “after a really successful season of Jersey Boys our next production Winding Up with Mark Hadlow and Darien Takle had just opened on Saturday night. We had sold out shows with lots of people really looking forward to a night out at the theatre so it was fantastic we did not disappoint them.”

George said staff had worked hard as bookings under Alert Level 2 were affected as The Court Theatre reduced the house size to create safe seating, noting "we want to thank everyone for their support and understanding over the past few days; the party just got a bit better returning to Alert Level 1.”

Restrictions that officially took effect at 11.59pm last Sunday night saw Auckland enter Alert Level 3 with the rest of the country moving to Alert Level 2 for 72 hours following the confirmation of three new cases in the community.

George said The Court Theatre had plans ready to roll out when needed to deal with Covid-19 alert levels, adding "our team works well under pressure and comes together with the safety of our patrons as our top priority,"

With its production of Winding Up having just opened last Saturday night, Theatre staff contacted those had bookings during the lockdown period to discuss seats and new entry conditions.

George concluded "during these times, we believe it is more important than ever to come together and support each other.”

Images: COVIDSafe screens at Christchurch's Court Theatre (top) and Court Theatre Chief Executive Barbara George (below). Credit: Court Theatre.

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