York Theatre Royal hails comeback a success as Covid restrictions ease

The York Theatre Royal has hailed its comeback as a success after opening its doors for the first time since the pandemic forced indoor venues to close.

Some theatre-goers were finally able to enjoy their first live indoor performance for more than a year.

Juliet  Forster Creative Director, York Theatre Royal, said: "We've certainly missed our audience that's really what we're here for and why we do it and people tell me they've missed coming as well."

Performers back on stage at York Theatre Royal Credit: ITV Yorkshire

A third of the staff who work here lost their jobs in lockdown. And this industry relies on freelancers.

Dominic  Bascombe from Equity said:" You had people who fell through the cracks for one reason or another. Forty per cent of our members did not get help or government support.".

Capacity is reduced and theatre-goers have to wear masks - but those in the audience said it was a relief to be back.

But the determination that the show must go on is keeping this  theatre going.

The gala night provided much needed work - and laughs - There has been a shortage of both in lockdown which has been a struggle for performers.

James Lewis-Knight, performer said: "It definitely has been a struggle yes especially for those who didn't get money or support they were supposed to get."

James Lewis-Knight on stage at York Theatre Royal

Harri Marshall's optimistic letters from her grandma inspired her work  - when Covid kept them apart.

She said: "I decided to write a more positive take on the last year and a half to reflect how it's important to be kind of yourself and to reflect on struggles you may have had and how you come out bigger and better."