Jam-packed year ahead as theatre bounces back
- Credit: Danielle Booden
A community theatre has welcomed the news of lockdown easing and has promised a jam-packed season for the year ahead.
Throughout the pandemic, the Seagull Theatre in Pakefield has held events online, shopped for the vulnerable and continued to entertain.
The theatre was able to reopen in July 2020 after the first lockdown and ran dementia activities through to the November lockdown and hosted successful socially-distanced shows from September 2020.
Theatre manager Karen Read has been working around the clock both during the pandemic and as lockdown begins to be eased.
She said: "The past year is certainly not what we expected as a theatre group.
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"Over the past three months I have been doing jobs that I just never got round to in normal times.
"We are now in the process of reopening our support groups and our youth activities under Covid guidelines.
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"It has been financially hard but the culture recovery fund has helped and it is just lovely to start seeing and welcoming people again.
"Our dementia sessions are busy and people are thrilled that we are open again.
"Our children’s groups are all back and it is lovely to have them back taking part in sessions."
The theatre is also hosting a new youth choir that is fortnightly for ages 12-24, which is free for members to attend.
The theatre has a jam-packed year in store with singing, dance, puppetry, performance skills and world music workshops, with shows starting again in June.
A girls' group at the theatre is aiming to improve young women's confidence and self-esteem and has already proved to be a big success, selling out.
Once social distancing is over a singing for lung health group will be set up and a singing for Parkinson's group.
Karen announced an exciting development with First Light Festival as well where the theatre will be hosting twelve concerts and supporting local talent.
Karen added: "Lockdown easing is being done carefully and at the right pace this time.
"If people are happy to follow the rules I see nothing wrong with the Covid roadmap.
"The community need to be entertained and we will always be at the heart of this."