Eat Me Café, which took over the theatre's first floor lounge bar in August, will continue its successful residency until at least the autumn.
Under the government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, entertainment venues are able to reopen from Monday May 17, playing to limited capacities to allow for social distancing.
The theatre will reopen with the first UK dates of a new tour of the highly acclaimed The Greatest Play in the History of the World…, a one-woman show written by Ian Kershaw and performed by former Coronation Street and Broadchurch star, Julie Hesmondhalgh from 18 to 22 May. A programme of live theatre will be announced for the summer and autumn next month.
The venue’s cinema will re-open a week later, with the first films planned for Tuesday May 25 – a full programme will be announced shortly.
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Eat Me Café will be open Mondays to Saturdays from 10am, with last orders at 6.30pm Mondays to Wednesdays, and at 7.30pm Thursdays to Saturdays. All the usual Covid restrictions will be in place.
The theatre's joint chief executives, Paul Robinson and Caroline Routh, say: “We can’t wait to open our doors again to our wonderful audiences – we know from their messages how much they’re missing being in the building for live theatre, films and, of course, the brilliant Eat Me Café.
“We’ll be keeping all the Covid security measures that made them feel so safe when we re-opened briefly last year in place for quite some time. These will include temperature checks and hand sanitising on entry, social distancing everywhere in the building, and regular ‘fogging’, or safe disinfecting, of the both auditoria in between shows or films.”
Martyn Hyde and Stephen Dinardo, owners of Eat Me Café, say: “We’re absolutely delighted to continue our residence at the Stephen Joseph – it’s a great space.”
Like all other UK theatres, the Stephen Joseph closed its doors suddenly when the first lockdown was announced last March, re-opening in August with rigorous safety procedures in place. It closed again in November, was able to re-open just in time to present its Christmas show, The Snow Queen, throughout December, and has been closed throughout 2021.
The Greatest Play in the History of the World… can be seen in the Round T at 7.30pm from Tuesday May 18 to Saturday May 22, plus 1.30pm on Thursday May 20 and 2.30pm on Saturday May 22. Tickets, priced from £10, are available from the box office on 01723 370541 and online at www.sjt.uk.com