Vaccination Proof - Delfont Mackintosh Theatres has become the second major theatre group to require audience members to show proof of vaccination before seeing a show. The company follows Ambassador Theatre Group in introducing the requirement, after all social-distancing measures were lifted.
DMT owns eight West End theatres, including the Novello, the Noël Coward, the Sondheim and the Prince Edward Theatre. The company states on its website: “As capacity restrictions are lifted, we ask that all audience members bring with them proof of double vaccination, a recent negative lateral flow test or natural immunity.”
Audience members providing “proof of full vaccination” can do so through the NHS App. Those without both vaccinations are able to “present proof of a negative lateral flow test”, either via the NHS App or from a text message, and this test must have been taken within 48 hours of seeing the chosen show. Attendees under the age of 18 will be asked for verbal confirmation (by them or by a parent or guardian on their behalf) that they have not received a positive test for Covid-19 and are not displaying symptoms of Covid-19.
The theatre company is also requesting audiences continue to wear masks when they watch a show.
Hollywood Dream - Plans for a £700m "world-class" film and TV studios facility in the UK have been announced by a Hollywood studio. The owners of Sunset Studios in Los Angeles and an investment firm have bought a 91-acre site in Hertfordshire for £120m. Subject to planning permission, the production centre would be built in Broxbourne.
The government said it was "supporting" the development of such stage spaces across the UK. Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: "This new studio is yet another vote of confidence in the UK's booming film and TV industry. "Through the British Film Commission, we're supporting the development of stage spaces like this across the UK - boosting the local economy and backing our world-class creatives to make the next Bond blockbuster or bingeworthy box set."
Pop-Up Service - A circus, festivals and sporting events are among the ‘pop-up’ vaccine clinics opening to encourage more people to get vaccinated against Covid-19. NHS England said more than 31.5m people were double-jabbed and it wanted "as many vaccinated as possible". Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it was "saving thousands of lives".
Spectators and passers-by at the Circus Extreme in Halifax were being offered a jab outside a tent of jugglers, acrobats and stunt performers. John Haze, circus director, said: "It may not be the normal thing you expect to see when you enter the Circus Extreme Big Top, but we are really proud to be supporting the NHS Covid vaccination programme.
"We had no hesitation in letting the NHS host a walk-in clinic in the tent so that more people can get their jab at a convenient time, and we hope lots people will take up this offer."
Gatsby’s Back - London’s ‘longest-running immersive production’ The Great Gatsby has announced it is to return this autumn. The production will reopen at Immersive LDN from 16 September. It is currently booking until January 2022. Forced to close in March 2020 due to the pandemic, The Great Gatsby reopened with social distancing and changes to the show to incorporate safety measures at the beginning of October 2020. The show was then forced to close again in November due to a second lockdown. It will return to its pre-pandemic format, with the venue at full capacity.
(Jim Evans)
3 August 2021

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