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West End Show Announces Return Despite Increasing UK Coronavirus Cases



The London Six, a hit show for Henry VIII’s unfortunate wives, is set to be the first musical to reopen in London’s West End after the UK closed in March.

The musical, which was scheduled to debut on Broadway the day New York’s theaters closed, will be screened for 11 weeks at the Lyric Theater on November 14th, show producers said in a press release Monday. However, with the resurgence of coronavirus cases in the UK, some show plans are questionable.

The show’s main producer, Kenny Wax, said in a phone interview:

Tighter measures were implemented in the UK on Monday, including making it illegal for more than six people to socially meet. (Previously the limit was 30.) Cities such as Birmingham also introduced regional closures this week to contain outbreaks. The UK reported 3,300 new cases on Sunday.

Wax said he hoped it would only take two to three weeks if the British government ordered the show to close. He added that he could not get termination insurance.

The return of the musical will benefit not only actors and musicians, but also workers in the wider theater ecosystem, such as wigs, set makers and even accountants, Wax said. It’s all about the job. If the show doesn’t come out again, Id should start firing in October.

Wax said it would make a reasonable weekly profit if the run sells out. However, he said he was keenly aware of the dangers of restarting the show during the pandemic. In June, he said that Six would be returning for a series of drive-in events across the UK, but two weeks later the tour was canceled due to uncertainty about local closures.

Since the musical only takes 6 actors on the stage, there will be little change due to the virus. The choreography of one song will be readjusted so that the wives do not sing directly to each other, Wax said.

Offstage, he said, a number of steps will be taken to ensure the safety of employees. The cast will probably depend on government guidelines and the availability of tests, but will be tested weekly during execution. The cast will not be banned from wider social interactions during the entire run as planned for the drive-in tour because of its length, Wax said. Containing the cast would be incredibly expensive, he added.

On the audience side, the theater operates in a reduced capacity from 967 to around 550 to maintain social distancing and keep people at least 3 feet apart. All attendees must wear a mask required by the UK government.

This production is one of several smaller shows that hope to spark a revival in London’s theater district this fall. The Mousetrap, claiming to be the world’s longest play, said it would return to the Saint Martin Theater on October 23rd in July. British comedian Adam Kay said he would perform for six weeks on Sunday. of This is Going to Hurt is a show about the time he served as a doctor at the British National Health Service at the Apollo Theater from October 22nd.

Wax said it plans to bring back two other West End shows, The Play That Goes Wrong and Magic Goes Wrong, in November and December. All Waxs shows and Kays are held at venues operated by major theater group Nimax. It announced on Sunday that all six West End venues will be reopening this fall.

British cultural secretary Oliver Dowden told The Mail earlier this month that his staff were working on a project to get the entire theater back by Christmas, based on measures such as a rapid coronavirus test in an audience. I wrote. This project was called Operation Sleeping Beauty.

The Six announcement and other planned West End resumptions contrast sharply with the situation on Broadway. Broadway will be shut down at least for the rest of this year.

Wax fingered that Six would successfully resume and not suffer the same fate as the planned drive-in place tour.

It would be really heartbreaking to get close again and undo everything, he added.

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