Up to 1,000 jobs for people working in the theatre will be created in Manchester in the spring of 2021, when the world’s first DriveINSIDE Theatre opens at the Trafford Centre.
The DriveINSIDE Theatre has been specifically designed to be COVID safe and has been approved for operation even at Tier 3 restrictions. The ingenious venue has a team of Theatrical Drive Jockeys, who welcome the audience in their cars and escort them to their unique space. Each vehicle has its own dedicated parking space under the 68,000 sq ft marquee – Europe’s largest. People are only allowed to exit their vehicles on the driver’s side and then sit outside of their cars in their own private socially distanced, isolated area. The organisers can then allow people to enjoy the thrill of real live entertainment, with the comfort and security of knowing they will be safe from the virus.
Creators of the venue, Beyond Theatre, will be hosting more than 30 productions during a four-week run starting in March. With a venue capacity of 800, this means a potential 24,000 theatre goers could once again be safely enjoying live entertainment in the city.
Creator of the venue, Paul Levin, said: “We are really an immersive theatre production company, but when COVID shut down our productions we started thinking about how we could put on live performances again. The DriveINSIDE Theatre is our answer, and we cannot wait to bring the thrill and excitement of live events back to the people of Manchester.
“Our industry has suffered terribly throughout the pandemic. The vast majority of people working in theatre are contract based and usually supplement their income in slow periods by working in hospitality. With both industries being hit so hard we are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer the lifeline of some real work for around 1,000 industry people in Manchester next March.
“We’ve all turned to the arts to keep us going during this crisis, whether by watching films and tv, listening to music, reading books or getting involved in creative hobbies, so it should be clear to everyone how important the arts is to us all. We hope that people in Manchester will be as excited as we are about the fantastic shows we will be bringing to the city and that they will come out and support the industry.”
Details of the shows will be revealed over the coming weeks, but there will be a very varied line up with something to suit every audience, including variety, comedy, musicals, tribute acts and more.
“The Trafford Centre is our first location, but then we will be moving the Drive INSIDE Theatre around the country with dates in London, Glasgow and Birmingham being finalised,” explained Paul.