Friday 19 June 2020
It is now three months since the Princes Hall hosted its last show and we closed our doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since this time, the lives of many of our staff and customers have changed dramatically.
As restrictions are lifted, there continues to be considerable uncertainty about when theatres will be in a position to reopen. We are constantly monitoring developments, and are of course desperate to welcome you back as soon as we possibly can. However, we need to be absolutely clear about what the Covid-19 restrictions mean for the way we operate, and the implications for visitors to the theatre. The priority must always be the safety of our staff and customers, whilst at the same time ensuring we can continue to provide the great customer experience we are known for, albeit in a different way.
From an operational point of view, we are now working with a skeleton staff, and our Box Office is currently closed. You are still able to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can. It is worth being clear that anyone holding tickets for any of our shows that need to be rescheduled or cancelled will be entitled to a full refund if required. We continue to present various online activities, and I hope you and your family have had a chance to enjoy some of them.
As always, we really appreciate your continued support and patience. When the time does come to reopen our doors, it will be extremely important to ensure that our customers feel happy to return, and are reassured that they are coming back to a safe environment. If you have any thoughts on the things that will be important to you when returning to the theatre, or what your future theatre experience might look like, then we would love to hear them. Please share them with us at email@example.com
Finally, on a personal note, I would just like to say how proud I am of our team of staff. They are a tremendous bunch, and their attitude and support throughout this difficult time has been hugely appreciated.
We really hope to be in a position to welcome you back to the Princes Hall soon.
Friday 19 June 2020
Friday 17 April 2020
The Shows Must Go On! ... we're just not quite sure when?
It's now been exactly a month since the Princes Hall postponed its first show due to the coronavirus outbreak. Since this time, the lives of everyone involved with the venue - our staff, customers, artists, promoters, hirers, contractors and suppliers - have been turned on their heads, with people having to adapt to challenges they had never previously imagined.
We are particularly aware of the immediate and extreme impact on many of our friends in the industry - artists, small independents, and other creatives - whose livelihoods have been affected.
The number one priority at the theatre is, of course, everyone's health, and I'm pleased to say that our team are all currently fit and well. Like most, we have had to adapt to working from home and, with the nature of the business, this has presented some challenges.
We have also been busy setting up the venue as the Council's new Food Hub. The role of the Food Hub is to support the tremendous work of our existing food providers, (including the Vine and the Foodbanks), and supplement their offer should demand for food parcels continue to rise over the coming weeks. I have always known that we have had a strong voluntary sector in Rushmoor, and have always been the first to shout about the community spirit of the people of Aldershot, but to witness first-hand the generosity and kindness of so many wonderful people over the past few weeks has been incredible.
The theatre continues to be closed on a rolling basis, and all of our professional shows until the end of May have now been postponed. We have managed to reschedule almost all of them to later in the year, or to the Spring of 2021, which is great news for those people who have already purchased tickets. Our reduced Box Office team are contacting ticket holders directly as shows are rescheduled.
You may have noticed we have been a little quiet on Facebook over the past couple of weeks. Our social media ethos has always been about 'quality not quantity' - which I've always hoped helps explain why we have so many followers - but you will see our content and activities ramped up a bit over the coming weeks. Since the virus outbreak, so much great stuff has been made available to do online, that we're keen to try to differentiate, rather than duplicate, our offer.
Looking ahead to the future, it's hard to predict when this is all going to end, and what the world will look like as we come out the other side. One thing's for sure, the Princes Hall will still be here, with all of us doing our very best to provide great family entertainment to our customers in a variety of ways. It's reassuring to know we can continue to count on your support.
Finally, it's worth saying that the thoughts of everyone at the theatre are very much with those in our community who have been affected by COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the advice issued by Government, and update our approach and actions accordingly.
"Cheerio, but be back soon. I dunno, somehow I miss you..." (Fagin, Oliver!)
With very best wishes,
Friday 17 April 2020