Producers of the UK's longest-running immersive production are to trial a reopening of the show in the West End on Thursday 1 October. 

Olivier Award-winning producers Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook have re-imagined and re-set The Great Gatsby as an art deco masquerade ball, with audience members wearing compulsory face coverings to complement their attire.

The capacity of the venue will be significantly reduced to help patrons - coming as individuals or in household groups - to keep a safe distance from others. The nature of the show means that audience members can choose where they stand and move throughout the performance, naturally enabling social distancing. The show content is being altered and updated to avoid any activity that would be considered high risk, and the actors will be further trained to keep groups of audience following the story, whilst remaining at a safe distance.

Amongst other measures to ensure full compliance with government Covid-secure guidelines, temperature checks will be undertaken for audience and staff on arrival. The venue will be deep cleaned before and after every performance, bar equipment sterilised, and hand sanitisers will be available throughout the venue.

The producers are confident that smaller-scale immersive productions are inherently suited to social-distancing measures and will be able to open safely in that time-frame, complying with the expected government guidelines on mass gatherings, social distancing and good hygiene practices.

The hope is that the immersive nature of The Great Gatsby might enable it to be the first long-running show to responsibly re-open in 2020.

The producers are also planning for the eventuality that the show can’t proceed, or individual patrons can’t attend, and are offering a no-questions-asked exchange policy.

Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook said: “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. 

"Naturally, public health is the highest priority of all, and this will be the driving force behind all of our decisions. We’re implementing a no-questions-asked exchange policy so that if circumstances change, whether in general or for any individual, our patrons will be fully protected. We would like to thank our landlord, Grosvenor Estates, and our producing partners and investors for their creativity, camaraderie and continued support”.

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