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We'll be opening our doors soon!

We're looking forward to welcoming you back this autumn.

An update from our Director:

When I look back over the four and a half months that have passed since we closed the doors to the Corn Exchange, it feels like both the longest and shortest amount of time. In that period we have helped thousands of people to engage in creative activities online but we, like the rest of the theatre industry, have been waiting for the moment when we can get back to doing what we do best - presenting live performances and bringing our community together. I am very excited to share with you the news that we will be reopening from the beginning of September, as well as presenting some free outdoor performances over the summer.

For our first outdoor performance we'll be welcoming Gorilla Circus to Newbury on Saturday 22 August. They'll be here with their giant trapeze rig, wowing us with their acrobatic skills as they perform for a socially distanced audience. Luke Jerram will then present In Memorium from Wednesday 16 to Tuesday 22 September - a large-scale outdoor installation to honour those who have lost their lives and to pay tribute to the NHS health and care workers who have been risking theirs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Corn Exchange will reopen on Saturday 5 September with a performance of Unlocked and Unbolted, a new performance written and directed by Bryn Holding to reflect the thoughts and feelings of young people during the lockdown period. Inspired by a series of online conversations, an ensemble of young performers aged 16 – 21 will present this physically distanced performance, either to a socially distanced audience or as a broadcast to be watched from home, depending on the current guidelines for the theatre industry.

Our programme of films returns from Monday 7 September with screenings taking place in both the cinema and the main auditorium. There will also be a range of broadcasts screened, including popular NT Live titles, musicals, ballet and opera. With a significantly reduced capacity, spaces will be left between groups to ensure social distancing and full details of the film programme will be announced later in August.

The Learning Centre will also reopen in September, offering plenty of ways for people to take part in creative activities with its courses and workshops. Sessions will be delivered in a variety of formats with some taking place in person with reduced numbers and adhering to social distancing, some will be delivered live on line, and some will be a combination of the two.

Throughout our closure, we have been working with producers and promoters to explore which of our live indoor events can take place safely for audiences and artists. We will continue to communicate with those customers who have tickets booked, and we hope to have more guidance soon on when live shows and of course our annual pantomime will be possible.

Our programme of events will naturally look a little different from usual but there are plenty of activities, some in person and some digital, for all ages to enjoy. We know the arts have a positive impact on people in our community, and we can’t wait to give our audiences a warm welcome back to our buildings.

We'll be sharing further details about booking and on sale dates soon and you can find the most up to date information on our website, along with details of the Contactless Creativity, Raising Wellbeing Warriors and Singing for Wellbeing projects that we are running over the summer.

I look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards,

Katy Griffiths