Coronavirus: Seagull Theatre closes at ‘difficult time’
PUBLISHED: 11:05 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:06 17 March 2020
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A popular community theatre is to close for the next few weeks as the coronavirus crisis continues.
The Seagull Theatre in Pakefield announced on Tuesday, March 17 that the venue would be closed with immediate effect “until April 6.”
A statement on the theatre’s website said: “Although there is no specific ban on our operation as a theatre, we believe it is our responsibility to take action to safeguard our performers, staff, volunteers and audience members.
“In light of the updated advice, we have therefore reluctantly decided to close the Seagull Theatre with immediate effect.
“This period of enforced closure will last initially until Monday, April 6. In light of the changing nature of events, we will review our decision at the end of this period with a view to publishing further information at that point.
“As well as operating as a Theatre, the Seagull also hosts a range of other hirers and community events.
“We have considered how best to manage these in the light of the government advice.
“We do not wish to put individual hirers in the difficult situation of having to make the same judgement calls which we have been forced to make.
“Therefore with reluctance we have decided to close the building to all events.
“Hirers will not be charged for any bookings they have made during the period of closure. We apologise for the obvious inconvenience this will cause. All of our community events and classes will also cease during the period of closure.
“Ticket holders of events which have been cancelled during the closure period will be dealt with in the following ways: You may ask for a credit note so that the value of your purchase can be used for a performance at a later date; You may simply wish to donate the value of your ticket to the Seagull to support us in this financially challenging situation; You may request a full refund from us. We appreciate this situation may cause financial hardship to some of our patrons and we therefore are happy to issue full refunds if this will support you.
“We hope you appreciate that in the absence of an explicit ban from the government, we have been forced to make decisions which we believe are in the best interests of our customers and partrons.
“We hope that we will have your support at this difficult time.
“The Seagull is a community venue and has always offered support to our local family in Lowestoft.
“In this extraordinary time, we wish to continue to offer this support in any way we can.
“Therefore despite having to close the building for social contact, we wish to support any ideas to offer support to the community.
“In particular we continue to be willing and able to deliver supplies to local people, or just offer a chat and some contact on the telephone.
“Please get in touch if there is anyway we can support you.”
The closure of the popular Pakefield venue comes after the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft announced its closure on March 17.