So, back in September of last year, I went on a backstage tour of the Shaftesbury theatre in London, organised as part of a wider open house event. It was mainly an architectural tour, but as a fan of & Juliet, the show based at the Shaftesbury theatre (and with tickets being free) I decided to book. A lot of fans of the show had the same idea from what I saw on social media - and in fact quite a lot of us on my tour were & Juliet fans. I suppose the first thing to mention is that covid rules were being followed throughout the tour, with masks being compulsory (unless exempt), temperatures being checked and hand sanitiser available. We all also stayed as distanced as possible from each other within our small group.
The theatres had been empty for 6 months at this point, with many shows, & Juliet included, cancelling performances from Monday 16th March 2020, after the announcement that social distancing was needed and a week before lockdown 1.0 happened. The timing of these decisions meant that many of the theatres were set up ready for that night's show and there were several props in the wings of the stage. We started in the foyer and headed downstairs into the auditorium, where all of the show's fans within the group had a bit of an emotional moment at being back in the auditorium of a show we all love so much, before we headed onto the stage. After a stop to take photos we then headed under the stage, and then up, walking through some of the dressing rooms, and up onto the roof. We then headed back down through the wigs department and production offices, with an opportunity to go out onto the fly grid (where scenery that flies in and out is controlled from), although I opted out of this because I'm not a fan of heights!
All in all, it was a great day. I'm hopefully going to be at the reopening show of & Juliet and I cannot wait.