Brighton Open Air Theatre, affectionately known as BOAT, burst back onto the Brighton scene post-lockdown with a celebration of local artists at the end of July. Since then, they've been taking advantage of the summer to present a jam-packed season of live performances, attracting stand up stars such as Shappi Khorsandi, Al Murray and Tim Vine, as well as improv from Mischief Theatre, Shakespeare adaptations and much more. With new COVID measures in place, we asked Will Mytum, BOAT General Manager, what to expect from an outdoor performance in 2020.
We're spoilt this year with an amazing array of companies
BB: What did you do during lockdown?
WM: Planned for reopening! It was actually very busy here during lockdown, as it hit just as we were ramping up for our season. Rescheduling, extending the season, introducing Covid-secure measures. Everything we could to get ready for reopening.
BB: What are some of the COVID measures you’ve introduced?
WM: Distanced queues, each bubble personally seated by a volunteer, a one-way system for the toilets, hand sanitiser, no cash. Being outdoors helps a lot too!
BB: You have a policy of continuing come rain or shine (except for extreme weather), what’s your advice to audiences battling the elements?
WM: We all know what the British weather can do, so be prepared! Sun cream and raincoats, umbrellas and picnic blankets. Check the forecast on the morning of the show you're coming to, and bring whatever you think you might need.
BB: Who are you most looking forward to welcoming back to BOAT?
WM: We're spoilt this year with an amazing array of companies, but we did really miss out on Shakespeare's Globe, which is normally such a seasonal highlight. We really hope they're able to return next year.
BB: What show would you love to see at BOAT in the future?
WM: The dream would be to commission an original piece that's written specifically for us. And all I'll say on that is ... watch this space!