The Phoenix Arts Club plans August reopening

The Phoenix Arts Club will be one of the first theatre venues to reopen for live indoor socially distanced performances next month.

“We are incredibly fortunate that cabaret is one of the genres of live entertainment that is able to return to indoor venues sooner than shows that require a large cast, or ensemble singing; meaning that  we are able to open our doors to public performances whilst adhering to social distance from August. However much as we are grateful that we can embrace the next phase of emerging from lockdown, we are still feeling the pain of the severe financial knock we have experienced, and that our performers have experienced.” – Ken Wright, Managing Director The Phoenix Arts Club

The West End’s legendary entertainment venue, The Phoenix Arts Club, has confirmed that it will be one of the first theatre venues to reopen for live indoor socially distanced performances, which will take place from Saturday 1st August 2020 and from there on, will host events on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Cabaret shows will run at a reduced capacity for parties of between two and six people seated at socially distanced cabaret tables in the newly refurbished space. Table service will be provided throughout via The Phoenix Arts Club’s drinks ordering app. Ticket holders will be granted access to the venue from 6pm to allow guests to catch up with friends before enjoying the show. Shows will run for 90mins and will include an interval.

The venue has also put a huge amount of work into being COVID-19 secure: and have just received the “Good to Go” sign-off from Visit England. Guests will be able to access a walkthrough explainer video, available online from next week.

For over four months, since the start of lockdown, The Phoenix Arts Club has kept cabaret alive with its TV-quality virtual live streams, watchable for free through Facebook Live, Twitch, and on YouTube. The show has regularly seen audiences of over 25,000. Despite receiving no government funding or subsidy, it has continued to provide paid work to over one-hundred artists located across the globe throughout the COVID-19 pandemics. Behind the scenes, the Phoenix Arts Club Team have volunteered their time to assist performers in adapting to the digital shift, providing free video editing, home studio set-ups, and even covering the cost of broadband upgrades.

“Alongside the reopening, The Phoenix Arts Club is launching a crowdfunding campaign to enable us to become a CIC (community interest company); a special form of non-charitable limited company, which exists primarily to benefit a community and with a view to pursuing a social purpose, rather than to make a profit for shareholders. By doing this we will be able to build on our artistic programming (which already at pre-COVID stood at 600 shows a year), and to provide much-needed research and development to meet changing technology and performance space needs, so we can develop and continue vital community work. In order to achieve this, we realistically need to raise £100,000. And we’ve updated our logo; introducing a crest to reflect the fact that this campaign is designed to ensure that  The Phoenix Arts Club rises from the ashes – stronger than ever before” – Ken Wright, Managing Director The Phoenix Arts Club

The Crowdfunder campaign is being launched specifically with a focus on the venue’s community work and the plan is to help cement the future of the venue so that it can support emerging and established artists for years to come. It will allow the venue to continue providing heavily discounted rental and marketing support for shows and rehearsals and expand its community outreach programme with the introduction of workshops, talks, showcases, and networking events.

In return of donations, the club will offer a number of rewards and experiences ranging from show jackets and jigsaw puzzles to a limited edition print by illustrator Mark Reeve, masterclasses and even the opportunity to record a Musical Theatre Album with West End legend Greg Arrowsmith.

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