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After six months without a live performance, the first ever Lighthouse: OUTSIDE season of outdoor performances in the grassy amphitheatre to the side of the building has been a complete success. 

Spanning four Saturdays with an afternoon and an evening show for socially distanced audiences the season has firmly established the amphitheatre – created when Lighthouse opened in 1978 but never previously used – as a performance space.  

“Welcoming back audiences to Lighthouse after six months has been such a wonderful feeling and the positivity that their support brings to the team here is immeasurable,” says Head of Programming Tim Colegate, ahead of the final shows this Saturday (10 October) featuring The HandleBards’ take on Romeo and Juliet and their family show Gnora the Gnome’s Daytime Disco. 

“In fact, it has been so successful that we’re already looking forward to presenting Lighthouse: OUTSIDE in summer 2021 – who said that the Arts aren’t viable?” 

The programme of live music, theatre, comedy and magic has included performances aimed at children and families, as well as shows that would otherwise have played in the Theatre or Sherling Studio. On the one Saturday when bad weather made performing outdoors impossible the show was moved indoors to the Theatre where the audience was able to sit a safe distance. 

Saturday’s final performances will be on the temporary stage set up in the amphitheatre with the area dressed with special lighting. There is access to the Studio bar facilities and ticket holders can bring picnics and sit in household bubbles at a distance from their neighbours. 

"Lighthouse: OUTSIDE was born out of the need to give our community access to live performance whether that be music, magic, or theatre at a time when we don’t know when ‘normal’ service can be resumed,” adds Tim.  

“It has also meant that we have been able to provide work opportunities for artists, all of whom have seen their workload reduced significantly as a result of the pandemic. 

“It’s true that these are challenging times for Lighthouse, but it does not feel right to simply sit on our laurels and wait for this to blow over. We work in a creative industry, so we need to be creative about how we can still deliver art to our audience. Over the course of the series, there has been something for everyone and we have worked with artists both from our locality and further afield who have nationally respected reputations for delivering quality work. 

Lighthouse is once again hosting live performances indoors in the Theatre and its Concert Hall is home to Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s weekly autumn concert series. 

All measures have been taken to ensure a safe, COVID-secure environment for artists, audiences and staff alike with a limited capacity for all shows and households and social bubble groups seated at a social distance from each other in line with the latest regulations. 

Tickets for all performances need to be booked in advance. 

More information and bookings at www.lighthousepoole.co.uk 

Published 8 October 2020