‘Acts of kindness’ praised after coronavirus closure

Emma Butler Smith, Marina Theatre chief executive. Picture: Marina Theatre

Emma Butler Smith, Marina Theatre chief executive. Picture: Marina Theatre - Credit: Archant

The chief executive of a popular theatre has been touched by the support of the community ever since its temporary closure was announced.

As the coronavirus crisis deepens, management at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft closed the venue on Tuesday, March 17 following government advice and alongside other UK theatres.

The venue has now officially cancelled all events for March and April.

The popular Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: VistaViews

The popular Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: VistaViews - Credit: Archant

Emma Butler Smith, Marina Theatre CEO, said: “We’ve been expecting this announcement would come, and have been working hard behind the scenes to be as ready for it as possible.

“We appreciate the difficult decisions that our government is facing, and we’re willing to do everything we can to help.

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“These are very uncertain times, and many people in our community are facing difficulties.

“We’re also aware that The Marina is a very large organisation, employing 44 local people who are financially reliant on us.

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“We have an expensive building to run, and unlike a lot of other not-for-profit theatres of our size we do not receive any core Arts Council revenue funding, and instead rely very heavily on ticket sales and the generosity of our customers.

“Although this announcement is in the best interests of our community – and we support it wholeheartedly – my priority is also to our theatre, and these measures will undoubtedly hit us hard.

“We are however already receiving a number of messages of kindness and support from our customers, many of whom are asking to donate the value of their lost tickets instead of receiving refunds.

“We are all very touched by the sentiment behind these acts of kindness, and would like to strongly thank everybody who has come forward with offers of help.

“Your generosity is overwhelming – thank you.”

The announcement means that any customers who have purchased tickets to any events taking place from now until Thursday, April 30 will be contacted by the venue directly, via email in the first instance.

All shows scheduled after April 30 “are in theory still going ahead,” but this may change.

A theatre spokesman added: “Shows taking place between Friday, May 1 and Friday, July 31 have been temporarily taken off sale until our future is clearer.

“Shows taking place after Saturday, September 1 are on sale as normal.”

Visit www.marinatheatre.co.uk/ for further details.

Events cancelled

The following events have been cancelled at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft.

The Bear March 17 and 18; The King Is Back March 20; Michael Starring Ben March 21; Jimmy Buckley March 22; The Personal History of David Copperfield (film) March 23 and 25; The Fairy Queen March 24; Jonas Kaufmann ‘My Vienna’ (screening) March 25; Rich Hall March 26; The Rocket Man March 28; Michael Ball and Alfie Boe – Back Together (screening) March 29; Romeo & Juliet (screening) March 30; Bombshell (film) March 31; Happily Never After – Marina Youth Theatre April 2; The Fureys April 3; The Simon & Garfunkel Story April 4; Tech Club April 4; Dolittle (film) April 6; Easter In Art (screening) April 7; Giovanni Pernice – This is me April 9; Emma (film) April 14; Onward (film) April 14; Astronaut (film) April 17; Military Wives (film) April 20; Jewels (screening) April 20; Herman’s Hermits April 24; Misbehaviour (film) April 27.

Many of these shows will be rescheduled at the theatre during the autumn 2020 and spring 2021 seasons.

Customers can ask for the value of your ticket to be put on your account as credit, which can be used on future performances – including any rescheduled dates.

Alternatively – like many customers have already – you can donate all (or part) of the value of your tickets to The Marina. Or, you can have a full refund.

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