Art, Comedy & Shows

The London Repertory Players have very reluctantly and sadly cancelled this year's summer season, in negotiation with the Shelley Theatre. The Shelley Theatre will not reopen in time for the season to begin.

 Two of Dorset’s most popular arts festivals – Inside Out Dorset and b-side – are to be postponed until next year as a consequence of the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, 08 April 2020 12:04

Lighthouse Launches Lockdown Bedtime Stories

Award-winning storyteller Michele O’Brien is to share Sunday bedtime stories with Lighthouse Facebook visitors.

Generous ticket holders have donated more than £8,000 to Lighthouse since Poole’s centre for the arts closed its doors last week in line with the country-wide closure of venues and other measures to stop the spread on COVID-19.

As efforts continue to reschedule shows that have been postponed or cancelled Lighthouse is contacting ticket holders who are able to choose between a full refund, a credit note or to donate all or some of the cost of their tickets to the venue. Of the first 500 customers to reply to the email they received, 116 offered a full donation and a further 84 offered to split a donation with a refund or credit note.

“Lighthouse audiences are absolutely amazing; we cannot be more grateful," says Chief Executive Elspeth McBain. “Their support is as unprecedented as the times we are living in and as our incredible staff continue to work really hard in response to the virus emergency, we have been genuinely humbled by people’s goodwill.  Most of our income comes from ticket sales and the money our audiences spend when they come to Lighthouse and without shows there are no audiences. We're working hard to reschedule lost performances, but we're a small team and that will take some time so we ask our customers to please bear with us, we will be in touch. Meanwhile, we are truly grateful for this phenomenal generosity.” 

All ticket holders are being contacted by email or phone and of those contacted by phone, more than £500 was donated in the first two days alone.  

Adds Elspeth: “In troubled times it’s a natural response to turn to the creative arts and although we must all lead quite different lives for the time being, I look forward to the time when we can welcome our audiences back to Lighthouse – what a happy day that will be.”  

Lighthouse Ticket Office staff that have been phoning ticket holders have been moved to tears by some of the responses they have received.  

“People have been incredibly understanding and it’s fair to say some of the team have found it quite emotional,” says Ticket Sales Manager Steve Lambert. “Although we often hear how much our audiences enjoy shows they come to see it’s very rare to be told how much Lighthouse itself means to people and how big a part of their lives it is.  These are difficult days for all of us, but the good wishes and true kindness of our customers are making a tough time much easier to work through.”  

Ticket holders do not need to contact Lighthouse, all will be contacted in due course by the venue. Staff are responding to queries during office hours, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, but Lighthouse phone lines will remain closed until further notice.

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Arts by the Sea is 10! The popular festival returns 25th - 27th September 2020 and will explore ‘Journeys’ as the theme for our 10th anniversary!