Beverley Knight in pilot gig ahead of theatre reopenings

Beverley Knight has spoken of her excitement at taking the first step towards the return of live performances ahead of a pilot gig at the London Palladium.

The singer will perform a live show at the theatre in front of a sold out, socially-distanced audience.

Sharing a video on Twitter, in which she is speaking through an embellished mask, she said: “I’m on my way to the Palladium. I cannot wait, the first gig in months.

“If this goes well it opens the door to live music and live performance getting back where it’s supposed to be, on a damn stage. So let’s do this thing.”

She wrote: “On my way to the @LondonPalladium to make some HISTORY! A pilot gig to show live performances can work despite Covid19.

“Thank you @lwtheatres. If today is deemed successful by Public Health England and the government, then live performance is BACK.”

The listing for the show on LW Theatres’ website said the show will use a socially distanced seating arrangement and the theatre will assign seats to ensure we maintain enough distance between each group.

Audience members will be given an assigned time slot for entry to the venue.

Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that live indoor theatre and concerts will be able to resume with socially-distanced audiences from August 1, subject to the success of pilots.

Theatres will be able to open with reduced venue capacity and limited ticket sales to ensure social distancing, while tickets will be purchased online and venues encouraged to use e-tickets to reduce contact and help with track and trace.

There will also be increased deep cleaning of auditoriums, and performances will be scheduled to allow sufficient time for cleaning before the next audience arrives.

The London Symphony Orchestra at St Luke’s in London is also among the arts venues piloting new arrangements.