At time of writing, I’m afraid our fire alarm continues to cause problems. We don’t yet have a date for reopening our building (you can read more about the fire alarm saga here). Nevertheless, we are determined not to let that stop us and so, here we are, finally sharing our autumn events and workshop plans. We had intended to tell you all about these once our building was open, but even the best-laid plans can go wrong. So in order to give you some good news we are now sharing what we have planned.
It is fair to say that arranging the programme for this season has been… well, challenging. Many of the things we had intended and hoped to bring you simply can’t happen or have been delayed into 2021. The programme we will be presenting brings together the events which are possible with social distancing and which we hope will encourage you back. We are delighted that some of the events we didn’t think would be possible will still go ahead thanks to the generosity of the artists who are prepared to work in a way which makes the events viable (I’m looking at you The Noise Next Door!), so please do come along and support them and us.
So, social distancing. We all know it is hugely important in helping to stop the spread of the virus and it is something we take extremely seriously. That is why we have reduced our theatre seating capacity to just 36 and to only eight in our regular art workshops.
We are instigating a number of other measures to ensure your safety and to give you confidence in joining us. These include taking temperatures of audience members, asking you to wear face coverings and use the print at home function for tickets and of course, encouraging the use of the ubiquitous hand sanitiser. Our staff and volunteers will be wearing face coverings too, our cleaning regimes will have increased and we will all be working in accordance with our latest training and risk assessments. You can find a full explanation of how we’re keeping everyone safe in our guidelines for coming to an event in the theatre here, to an art workshop here or to a dance workshop here. All of the guidelines have been developed in accordance with the latest government advice and will be updated as regulations change. We believe we have gone above and beyond the requirements and have made the decisions to ensure that we are working safely and that you – our wonderful audiences – are happy to return.
As we all know, things are changing rapidly and it seems as though advice is updated weekly. To give you further confidence and to be completely transparent, we have updated our refund policy. This explains that we will be happy to arrange a refund if you experience symptoms of Covid-19 or if government advice means you are unable to attend an event or workshop. It also explains what we can offer if you change your mind about coming along. You can find out more about this here.
Our team have been working hard to ensure your safety and to get all of these events ready. All the live events and films we have planned to the end of October are available to book now. You can also read about the events we have planned in November and December and these will be available for sale from 1 September.
Our regular workshops this term will start in October. This gives just three weeks before half term and seven weeks afterwards. We have designed this so that our building is ready for you but also so that you can try coming for three weeks to see if the changes we’ve made work for you. With the capacity in sessions reduced by half The Spring is not covering all the costs associated with these but we really want to see you back with us! You can read all about our workshops – including our new Acrylics Essentials sessions – here. Workshops will be available for booking from 1 September.
For those of you who do not feel ready to come back in person, please don’t worry – you haven’t been forgotten! We will continue to run events online, including our monthly book group, fortnightly film review discussions and some heritage talks. All these events are detailed in the what’s on section of our website. We will also continue to use our Digital Performances page to show live events where we can.
We have said before that The Spring doesn’t belong to us. We just look after it - for you. We hope that the measures we’ve put in place and the events we’re able to share with you meet and even exceed your expectations. It’s not the season any of us would have hoped for a few months ago, but we’re really pleased to be able to share it with you. I hope you can join us to come back together.
Live experience – in whatever form it takes – is important and we will continue to offer as many ways as we can for you enjoy it.
Love from Sophie and the team
P.S The events we have planned start from 2 September. If the fire alarm continues to cause us problems by this date we will be getting in touch with all audience members affected, either to reschedule or offer refunds. But we really hope by then we’ll be back!