Former Strictly star Kevin Clifton announced the first socially distanced live show which is coming to the Cresset in Peterborough on BBC Breakfast this morning (Friday September 4).
The professional dancer and his sister Joanne Clifton have joined forces for a specially produced show and made the announcement to millions of TV viewers that they will be taking it on a tour which includes the city venue later this year.
It’s been many months since The Cresset has been able to host live events now that is all set to change, as tickets for this new socially distanced event go on sale on Monday.
An Evening with Kevin & Joanne Clifton is an intimate show which has been specially produced for a socially distanced audience. The talented siblings will sing songs from their CD, tell stories of their dancing lives and perform some of your favourite Ballroom and Latin dances with their professional dance partners.
Due to scheduling restrictions, this will be the only chance to catch the successful brother and sister duo on tour together.
The event producers, Strictly Theatre Co. said: “This production is suitable for a socially distanced audience and is being created and toured with the audience, theatre staff, cast and crew safety at the forefront.”
Two performances are scheduled at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday November 14, with tickets going on sale from 10am on Monday September 7. A special socially distanced seating plan has been devised, and staff at The Cresset are working to ensure audiences can enjoy the show safely. There’s even an opportunity to book VIP tickets with a socially distanced meet & greet before the show!
Penny Hansen, Head of Commercial Activity at The Cresset told ESP – “It’s huge for us, it’s been nearly 6 months since our last live performance so we’re absolutely thrilled to be working on a new show, and we’re hoping this is the first of a series of socially distanced shows that will allow people to come out and enjoy live events safely again.”
So how will they manage the social distancing? Penny says it’s been a challenge but they’re confident they’ve found the best way.
“We’ve worked very hard to develop a seating plan which allows social distancing between groups, so our audience members can feel safe and secure. Of course this means our usual capacity is greatly reduced so it won’t feel anywhere near as full as usual!
“We’ve also developed a full event management plan and risk assessments to allow us to operate in a covid-secure way. It will feel different of course, there will be one way systems and new procedures for things like queueing, bars and toilets, but we have a fantastic team of staff who will be on hand to guide everyone through and keep things safe.”
Here at ESP we’ve always been big fans of Strictly and we’re not the only ones – local shows featuring the stars from the TV series have always proved popular and Penny says they’re delighted to be the venue for this one.
“Well credit must go to the Strictly Theatre Company, and Kevin and Joanne for taking the plunge in putting this show together. It’s been specially designed to suit smaller audiences and with a smaller cast and crew than they’re used to, to make sure it can operate safely within the guidelines, and be financially viable for venues who can’t sell their usual amount of tickets.
“We’re absolutely delighted they have chosen to bring the show to us at The Cresset. As you know Kevin has performed here before, as have many other Strictly stars so it’s a real compliment that they have the confidence in us as a venue to deliver this tour in a way that ensures a safe and enjoyable time for everyone.”
Today’s announcement is a real boost for this Peterborough venue, which like all in the industry has been hit hard.
“Of course it’s been a very difficult time for us,” says Penny. “We were in the middle of a really busy season of events when lockdown hit and to date we’ve postponed over 80 performances which has been a mammoth task for our team, especially with many of them being furloughed.
“What is encouraging is that the vast majority of people have retained their tickets, and the feedback we’ve had from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve spoken to so many people who have offered messages of support for The Cresset and our staff, and we are incredibly grateful for these and the generous donations made by people which will help support our recovery and future projects.
“I can tell already from talking to people that they would like to come back to events again, so there’s definitely a demand for it, but of course they want to feel safe and so we’re absolutely committed to ensuring that they do. We’re working on several other events in the background, so we hope to be able to announce more socially distanced performances soon!”
All ticket information and details on how Socially Distanced events will work is available at www.cresset.co.uk.
Box Office: 01733 265705 / firstname.lastname@example.org