CUSTOMERS with show tickets for The Playhouse Theatre are being asked to consider transferring the cost of tickets to future events, to help the venue survive during the coronavirus outbreak.

The theatre in Weston-super-Mare receives no public funding and is reliant on the income of its programme to keep it running.

Mark Thompson, The Playhouse general manager, said: “Following the Government’s announcement on Monday, we have taken the difficult decision to close The Playhouse until further notice to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our customers, staff and those who regularly attend The Playhouse.”

Currently, a total of 58 performances between now and the end of May are being rescheduled.

Mark added: “We hope to be able to once again open to the public as soon as possible but the effects of the Covid-19 virus have seen some future shows cancel entire tours as they also fight for survival. This is having a quite serious and damning effect on the venues programme of events throughout 2020.

“The venue runs as economically as possible, on the bare minimum and as we receive no public funding. The overheads of keeping this building accessible to the community are significant, even with reduced activity and we are all trying our best to ensure that it’s secure for the future.

“The Playhouse means so much to those in this community and the passion and excitement can be regularly felt by those who attend. The venue allows escapism to so many local residents in times of sorrow; for children to perform and dream of a brighter future where anything is possible, and for all of us to have an opportunity to experience live entertainment on our doorsteps.

"It is a huge asset to this town and something which works tirelessly to ensure that it provides opportunities for people of all ages locally.”

Those who have purchased tickets for cancelled shows, are asked to consider retaining a credit on their account which can be used in the future or to transfer the cost of their tickets to another show they would like to see.

The Playhouse are setting up an option that will allow customers to contribute the cost or partial cost of tickets to the theatre.

If none of these options are suitable, the theatre are offering full refunds.