Norfolk theatre company restructure performance for ‘covid-secure’ shows

Award-winning theatre company Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society (FADLOS) is pressing ahea

Award-winning theatre company Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society (FADLOS) is pressing ahead with rehearsals for its ‘COVID-secure’ production of Chicago at the town's community centre from December 8 to 12. Picture: FADLOS - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk theatre company is determined the show will go on, despite restrictions, as they prepare for their biggest performance yet.

Award-winning theatre company Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society (FADLOS) is pressing ahea

Award-winning theatre company Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society (FADLOS) is pressing ahead with rehearsals for its ‘COVID-secure’ production of Chicago at the town's community centre from December 8 to 12. Picture: FADLOS - Credit: Archant

Award-winning theatre company Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society (FADLOS) is pressing ahead with its ‘COVID-secure’ production of Chicago at the town’s community centre from December 8 to 12.

With the current lockdown due to end on December 2, the company has gone above and beyond to make sure they can hold the performance in the market town, including a 24-page risk assessment.

They have entirely restructured the show to maintain social distancing for their cast, band and the audience.

The musical, which was due to be performed this May, was sidelined due to the pandemic that has sent the country into two lockdowns.

Award-winning theatre company Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society (FADLOS) is pressing ahea

Award-winning theatre company Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society (FADLOS) is pressing ahead with rehearsals for its ‘COVID-secure’ production of Chicago at the town's community centre from December 8 to 12. Picture: FADLOS - Credit: Archant


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They promised the most spectacular musical, with the most demanding dance routines they had ever attempted. However, to make sure they could raise the curtain this December they had to make some changes.

The cast was cut down to allow for social distancing, the dances were scrapped and the band was moved to a purpose-built stage at the back of the stage to protect them.

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The venue has also changed to allow for a safe environment, and something more suited to the performance.

The usual red theatre rows, which would seat 242 people, have been removed and replaced with 20 cabaret-style tables, seating up to six people on each.

Award-winning theatre company Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society (FADLOS) is pressing ahea

Award-winning theatre company Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society (FADLOS) is pressing ahead with rehearsals for its ‘COVID-secure’ production of Chicago at the town's community centre from December 8 to 12. Picture: FADLOS - Credit: Archant

There is also a one-way system in place and FADLOS’ own marshals will be on hand to make sure people are wearing face masks and are following the guidelines.

While they are disappointed to be losing out on money from fewer ticket sales, director and FADLOS chairman, Ben Francis is just pleased they can hold the show.

“We will make a substantial loss, but we have been fortunate to be able to build up some cash reserves over recent years thanks to the wonderful support of the audiences and businesses of Fakenham,” he said.

“We had intended to invest this money to continue to improve the stage area and theatre lighting at the community centre. But acting now to help preserve the arts for our local community is far, far more important.”

Tables can be booked via the FADLOS Box Office which opens on 16th November. Tickets are £10 per person and the Box Office can be reached by phoning 07500 043001, or emailing info@fadlos.co.uk

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