last Thursday 640 spectators – theatergoers, journalists and the technical team visited the first post-pandemic performance in the palladium, one of London’s largest theatres of the West End. However, a fiery speech producer Andrew Lloyd Webber and a 30-minute medley of the singer Beverly knight proved not optimistic predictions under existing conditions, the theaters will not be able to work.
within two hours of the day Webber opened the London palladium for the experimental event is a test show with a minimal number of viewers and the highest level of security. Stepping onto the stage to rapturous applause 640 spectators in masks and gloves (30% room), he explained why they were all gathered.
“I Have to say, almost empty hall is a sad sight,’ he began, looking down at the empty seat with printed letters “X”. Theatre is my life. So the only thing I can really do is try to return the profession to the people.”
This meeting was the first of two scheduled in August. Recall that on 5 July, after several weeks of pressure from the actors the UK government has provided unexpected assistance in the amount of $ 2 billion. Otherwise, the theaters threatened to close forever. Then, on July 17, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the theatres in England reopened from August 1 and until then, keep social distance. In Britain, it is two meters from each other.
the news seemed like a lifeline for the industry. But most theatrical producers stated that they simply uneconomical to resume operation. To the palladium, Lloyd Webber did the same thing. “It is impossible, – he told the crowd. It is imperative that the theatres were again full.”
He added that he wants to get rid of social distance. “Palladium” is supposed to be full. And today’s show is convincing proof that social distance in the works. I know it is a misfortune for artists”, he added.
the audience met in the theater for about three hours and was able to move between the auditorium, the cafeteria and restrooms. The palladium pre-sent them numerous emails and even a clip on YouTube with a description of security measures, including thermal imaging cameras to check the body temperature of visitors.
Many of these measures Lloyd Webber borrowed from South Korea, where the success of the phantom of the Opera the audience without distancing. “We brought these methods from Korea. One of them is to obscure theatre with special chemicals. It helps within four weeks, but we are going to disinfect every two weeks,” said WebbEP.
He spoke about another important thing – the quality of air in buildings. “To the palladium and all of my theatres the quality of air is vital, as it helps the audience to experience a long seat in the hall. No one wants to be stuffy. Air is drawn from the top of the building, and then filtered and distributed on the premises. So here the audience is more secure than on Oxford street.”
One of the spectators, a 50-year-old Nicola Haines, said the only concern was with respect to the machine, spraying people with a disinfectant. “I don’t want to spoil my dress. But if it will help to restore the theatre, then ready,” she said. In the end, the machines used as the British health and safety were convinced of their futility.
After a fiery speech in the main theatre impresario of London appeared on the scene, the singer Beverley knight on stage in the West End, who performed a medley of 2 musiclover hits about 30 minutes with intermission. “We may be few, but we are determined – she sang at some point and pointed to an empty chair. And they were 1657.
640 lucky people in the hall couldn’t sit in their seats. And after the next song, tapping and nodding in time to the music. But as soon as the knight sang “Stand by Me” from the unreleased musical “The Drifters Girl”, the audience applauded standing.
Later 19-year-old student Peris Barnes admitted to journalists that for a moment he rubbed his head from happiness. “I thought I was watching regular show in the West end, and then turned around, and saw people in masks and suddenly came back to reality”.