Richmond Theatre is preparing for what is set to be a packed start to the new year.
After an 18-month period in which the theatre, located next to Richmond Green, was closed, it is taking a range of measures to make sure the venue is safe in the ongoing fight against the pandemic.
Masks are now mandatory inside the venue, and guests will be asked to produce proof of double vaccination or a negative lateral flow test to attend shows.
Mark Bell, the director of the smash-hit West End show The Play That Goes Wrong will put on a brand-new thriller spoof of the classic board game Cluedo from 7 – 12 March featuring Michelle Collins of Eastenders starring as Miss Scarlett.
Some of the highlight shows get underway tonight, as Moscow City Ballet perform Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and The Nutcracker throughout the week, and theatre director Rachel Crocombe-Lane is looking forward to a busy 2022.
She said: “We began 2021 with so much uncertainty surrounding what awaited us, yet the team at Richmond Theatre worked tirelessly to reopen the venue for September and we’ve been going from strength to strength since.
“I am so proud of everyone and thankful to our producers and customers for supporting us. I’m thrilled to go into 2022 with such exciting, high quality productions.”
Other highlights include more Eastenders stars, such as I’m a Celebrity’s Adam Woodyatt and Laurie Brett, who acted together as Ian and Jane Beale in the BBC One soap.
They will feature in the stage adaption of Peter James’ best-selling Roy Grace series, Looking Good Dead, from 14 – 19 February.
For Music fans, folk singer Teddy Thompson also takes to the stage in February, along with tribute acts to Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, The Dubliners and George Michael up to the end of March.
For those looking for comedy, Jason Manford, Paul Chowdry and Jimmy Carr are also featuring.
Richmond will be one of the venues for the self-explanatory An Evening Shared with Jasper Carrott and Alistair McGowan.
Beyond productions, the theatre also has something for the community with its Creative Learning team.
The team has announced its latest programme beginning with Storytime, an interactive story telling experience for 2–5-year-olds.
Finally, older children can fine tune their skills with a Songwriting Workshop: Hooks, Lines and Bars and Special Effects Make-Up Masterclass, both for ages 11-18.