This post was updated on 8 December 2021 in line with new government measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Panto season is almost upon us and, after cancelling last year’s live show due to covid, we’re chomping at the bit to get back on-stage in front of an audience.
The pandemic is still here though and it’s something we are taking seriously in our preparations for Rapunz’ull, which also happens to be our 10th anniversary panto.
We want to make sure the show goes ahead, but most importantly that our audiences and company are kept as safe as possible.
We’re certain you feel the same too. Middle Child fans are a warm and wonderful bunch of people who care for each other and show off the best of Hull.
That’s why so many of you have already bought solidarity tickets, so that people who otherwise wouldn’t get to experience a festive show can enjoy Rapunz’ull this Christmas.
So, in that same spirit of solidarity and community, we’d like to make a pact with our audiences this year: to look out for each other over the next few weeks, so that the show may go on and we can have a banging Christmas night out together.
We will do what we can to protect the cast, crew and show itself. In return, we’d like you to do a few things to help us out.
Take a test
First, we’d like you to take a lateral flow test before attending the show, for peace of mind that you are unlikely to be infected.
We won’t be asking for you to prove these tests on the door, though, nor do vaccine passports apply to a venue of Social’s size. We’re all adults and we trust that you will do the right thing by yourself and other people.
If you can’t attend Rapunz’ull because of a positive test, please contact the box office at Hull Truck Theatre, who are managing ticket sales, to discuss options, including transferring your tickets to an alternative performance.
Please do so at least an hour before the performance begins and note that, for evening performances, the box office at Hull Truck closes at 5pm.
Wear a mask
Second, while we had previously encouraged audiences to wear masks in the venue, unless exempt, a face covering is now mandatory following the government’s move to ‘Plan B’ on 8 December.
We will have masks available at the box office as you enter Social.
The magic of panto is in the audience interaction, which we can still enjoy with a little piece of cloth over our faces.
The bar will also remain open to serve drinks, alongside the delicious Neapolitan-style pizza from Costanza’s, making for the usual panto experience.
How about Middle Child?
Our performers and production team will take lateral flow tests every day from the start of rehearsals to the end of the run and will act responsibly in any social situations throughout.
We have an understudy – an additional performer who learns other people’s roles – who will be kept separate to the cast, ready to step-in should a performer fall ill.
Middle Child and Social will also provide hand sanitiser throughout the venue and maintain a high-level of cleanliness during the run, while the building itself is also fitted with a ventilation system.
Should the worst happen and shows be cancelled, audiences will be refunded for their tickets, as per our refund policy.
As we blogged before, our pantomime isn’t subsidised, unlike our other work, which makes it a financial risk at the best of times.
That’s why we need to take extra care in this of all years, to ensure Rapunz’ull goes ahead without a hiccup and we keep people as safe as possible.
We are also monitoring the situation with the new variant closely and will respond accordingly should the government introduce any further measures.
We’re sure you agree and will understand.
As always, we love to hear from our audiences about the work we’re doing and if there’s anything we can do differently.
Please do get in touch through social media or by email if you have any other questions or suggestions.
Rehearsals start tomorrow and the whole team is excited to get in the room again after two years away. We can’t wait to see you all soon!
Middle Child x