An immersive production of The Great Gatsby has unveiled plans to reopen in October with social distancing in place.
Actors and audiences will wear face coverings throughout the show, which has been reimagined as a 1920s masquerade ball.
Audience capacity will be significantly reduced in order to facilitate social distancing and to allow audiences coming as individuals or in household groups to move around during the performance and keep a safe distance from others throughout. The show’s content has also been altered to avoid any performance deemed high risk.
Temperature checks will take place upon arrival, the show’s central London venue will be deep cleaned before and after every performance and hand sanitiser will be available throughout, producers said. The Covid-secure measures have been developed following conversations with local authorities and unions.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Great Gatsby had been running in London, and in other UK locations, since 2017, and moved to its current venue, Immersive LDN, last year.
If it reopens on October 1 as planned, it will be the among the first long-running theatre productions to welcome audiences again following the industry’s closure in March.
Producers Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook said they believe smaller-scale immersive productions may be the first shows able to reopen while also adhering to government guidelines on large gatherings and social distancing.
"We want to offer something for people to look forward to following this extended lockdown. Our show has several inherent features that make it safer than a trip to the supermarket, so we’re embracing that and innovating. Hopefully we can provide a blueprint for other productions to open safely and be part of the process of restoring employment and the economy of the creative industries," they said.
Hartshorn and Hook said public safety would remain "the highest priority of all", meaning all the venue’s Covid-secure procedures would be under continuous review and may also be expanded.
They will also implement a "no-questions-asked exchange policy" in case the show cannot take place or individual audience members are unable to attend.
The Guild of Misrule’s production of The Great Gatsby is produced by Immersive Everywhere and Gavin Kalin Productions, with Glynis Henderson Productions, Theatr Clwyd, We Culture Connects and Damier NV.