The coronavirus pandemic forced the venue to close its doors in March, but a spirited, entertaining selection of digital performances, workshops and outdoor events have helped preserve the local arts scene.
John Hewer, co-founder of Hambledon Productions, however, saw the importance of offering the community an indoor, traditional pantomime for the 2020-2021 season.
John said: “The theatre and its staff are extremely outgoing and positive, as well as treating the pandemic as an ongoing issue.
“Hambledon have always considered the Riverhead Theatre as a base for our work, and so this is the latest project to pull on our mutual resources and deliver live entertainment to the town and further afield.”
Most pantomimes across the UK have been cancelled, including the Louth Playgoers Society’s Peter Pan, which was due to be staged in January.
“When Peter Pan was taken off the table and postponed to 2022, I knew that any show would be a new challenge,” admitted John.
“To recreate and encourage the expected pantomime atmosphere is going to be difficult, but not impossible.
“Yes, we can’t have huge dance numbers and a big ensemble, but we can still offer first-class entertainment, with a professional cast, big sets and costumes, plenty of jokes, songs and general silliness.”
The theatre, which officially reopened its doors in October, is hosting a series of live shows to a new limited capacity, whilst adhering to all the necessary Covid regulations.
Manager at the Louth Riverhead Theatre Tracey Mackenzie said: “I was delighted when John approached me offering an alternative style pantomime, which will be rehearsed in Covid-safe settings, either online or socially distanced.
“John has written sell-out pantos for the society before, so we know that we are in for a treat and that he will still be able to deliver a fantastic production working with the current restrictions.
“We will obviously be monitoring any changes in the Government guidelines, but we are very hopeful that this production will go ahead, even with a smaller, socially distanced audience.
“Tickets will be limited for that reason, so book early! You don’t want to miss out!”
The show, which has just been announced as Mother Goose, is running from January 27 to January 31, including matinee and evening performances.
Tickets, which go on sale soon, are priced at £12.50 for adults and £8.50 for under 18s.
To book tickets, which are limited due to Covid restrictions, call the box office on 01507 600350 (open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 1pm).
• Special thanks are given to N. T. Shaw of Louth - the official pantomime sponsors.