Nimax reopening six theatres for socially distanced shows – at a loss

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child signage at The Palace Theatre the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on people t
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child signage at The Palace Theatre the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on people to stay away from pubs, clubs and theatres, work from home if possible and avoid all non-essential contacts and travel in order to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nimax Theatres will reopen all six of its West End venues from October for a season of socially distanced shows.

The company’s venues, which include the Apollo, Palace and Vaudeville theatres, will host reduced audience numbers and therefore run at a loss.

Comedian and former junior doctor Adam Kay will launch the series with his This Is Going To Hurt show at the Apollo, from October 22 to November 8.

Adam Kay
Adam Kay (Charlie Clift/PA)

Details of other shows will be announced over the next fortnight.

The events will provide a stop-gap until social distancing ends and Nimax’s regular shows, which include Harry Potter And The Cursed Child and Magic Goes Wrong, can return.

Nimax’s decision comes six months after their venues were shuttered due to Covid-19.

Even with reduced capacities, Nimax claims to be able to host some 20,000 customers a week.

Chief executive Nica Burns said: “Although with reduced capacities it is not possible to make a profit, we will be earning a contribution to our costs.

“With the furlough support scheme ending on October 31, this income will help us retain Nimax’s highly skilled, experienced workforce and give work to some of the talented tapestry of freelancers onstage and backstage.

The Vaudeville theatre in London
The Vaudeville theatre in London (Ian West/PA)

“We will also be able to support some of the many teams and businesses which together give our audiences a night to remember.

“Our theatre community cannot wait to get back to work safely.”

Kay said: “It’s extremely heartening that Theatreland is starting to gear up again.

“The people you see on stage are the very tip of the theatre iceberg – behind the scenes are hundreds of hard-working staff, from electricians to stage managers to lighting techs to box office to carpenters, huge numbers of whom fell between the gaps of government support.

“I’m very proud to return to the West End, following the extraordinary efforts of Nimax to do so in a way that’s safe for staff and theatregoers alike, and doubly proud to open the run with a free show for NHS staff, who can clearly do with a night out more than anyone.”

This Is Going To Hurt will open with a free night for NHS staff.

NHS staff can apply for free tickets via a lottery system at


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