- A message from Chris Robins, Front of House Manager
Over the past 11 months, Oxford Playhouse has had to adapt the theatre to the ever-changing Covid-19 pandemic. Hand sanitizers on every available surface, face recognition temperature detectors upon entrance, QR track and trace code and fogging of the auditorium and main building. Who even knew what fogging was before May 2020! Risk assessments and operating procedures flew like paper airplanes holding the hopes of our future within them.
Opening OP’s doors to a minimal social distanced crown for comedy events over the winter weekends felt like a victory, procedures were impeccable, every eventuality had been thought and rethought, unfortunately it came to an end too soon as the new variants arrived, and the death toll rose even further. Lectures were being taught and streamed live from the auditorium by Saïd Business School and our DX postal collection service became available. Back to normal? No, but it was progress.
Whilst all of this was arranged and facilitated behind the scenes a separate performance was taking place. Air handling units were being reconfigured for fresh air circulation, general heating was being monitored as not to invite possible contamination, legionella water checks, arranging and re arranging deep cleaning of the theatre, procurement of PPE which became more popular than the Beatles, face coverings, face shields, hand sanitizers, mobile temperature checkers “touch point” stickers and one-way signs all became a standard part of the theatres make up. Was it all worth it, of course, would we do it again, most definitely.
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