Theatres around the country have begun initiatives to make use of staff and resources during their closures, with Pitlochry Festival Theatre launching a telephone club for members of the public.
The club will allow people to have conversations with its actors and staff during the building’s closure.
The theatre, in the Scottish Highlands, has also announced plans to offer activities and stories for children at home during isolation, and online poetry performances.
Artistic director Elizabeth Newman said she wanted audiences to feel connected to the theatre even though they are unable to visit in person, and initiatives such as the telephone club and online poetry series could help combat loneliness in the coming months.
“If you’re at home and alone and you’d like to talk to somebody, you can contact us and we will give you a call. You will receive a call from a member of staff, or an artist or actor, and you can talk to them for half an hour on the phone,” she said.
She added: “We’re really sorry that it’s so hard for everybody right now but we want you to know that we are here for you.”
Elsewhere, Theatr Clwyd, in Mold, Wales, has used the time since closing its doors earlier this week to film digital content for educational and creative use, and make ‘creative home packs’ for vulnerable people.
It has also taken surplus food stock from its cafe to homeless shelters, as has Curve in Leicester.
Farnham Maltings arts centre in Surrey has issued an call out for artists working in the region to create theatre experiences for their local communities.
It is offering grants of between £500 and £5,000 for new theatre work to be created while many are experiencing social distancing.
“We will invest in theatre makers based in the south east to explore and deliver something new, big or small, but something with the intention of inspiring interest, warmth and moments of fun among our towns and small communities,” it said.