Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Kimberley Walsh hopes theatre return brings comfort for fans

Kimberley Walsh said she hoped the return of musical theatre provides comfort to fans following months of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic (Yui Mok/PA)
Kimberley Walsh said she hoped the return of musical theatre provides comfort to fans following months of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic (Yui Mok/PA)

Kimberley Walsh said she hopes the return of theatre performances provides comfort to fans following months of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Girls Aloud singer is starring alongside The Wanted’s Jay McGuiness in Sleepless, a musical based on the original screenplay for classic 1993 rom-com Sleepless In Seattle.

It is playing at London’s Troubadour Wembley Park, with social distancing measures in place and temperature checks for staff and customers upon entry.

Sleepless: A Musical Romance
Kimberley Walsh is tested for Covid-19, one of the safety measures introduced for the run of musical Sleepless at a London theatre (Yui Mok/PA)

Walsh said she hoped the return of theatre performances – albeit under heavy restrictions – would give fans a boost.

She told the PA news agency: “It’s just comforting for people to know that theatre is coming back and it’s moving in the right direction.

“It’s been a while of people at home worrying about the industry and where it’s going to be in a year’s time, and so I hope it puts people’s minds at rest a little bit just to see it’s physically possible and safe to put a show on if you do it correctly.”

Theatres across the UK closed their doors in March in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus. The Government gave the go-ahead to socially distanced indoor performances in England last month.

Due to the social distancing measures, the capacity of Troubadour Wembley Park has been reduced from 1,300 to 400, according to Sleepless: A Musical Romance producer Michael Rose.

Sleepless: A Musical Romance
Jay McGuiness and Kimberley Walsh star together in Sleepless, which has opened in London following months of theatres being closed (Yui Mok/PA)

A strict cleaning regime has been implemented in the theatre and Rose said the reduced capacity means the production “may just about break even”.

McGuiness said the cast wanted to make theatre-goers “comfortable”.

He told PA: “Tonight we felt like we were on our best behaviour. A lot of eyes are on us and we want everyone to feel comfortable and safe.”

He added: “Our producers always made it clear that as soon as it was safe we’d be back to work, so we had regular contact and our cast were constantly Zooming and Housepartying and all the rest of it. So I feel like we always had a continuous light at the end of the tunnel.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]