Live performances return to the Maltings Theatre in St Albans this week

The Maltings Theatre presents The 39 Steps to open its autumn season in St Albans. Picture: Pavel Gonevski

The Maltings Theatre presents The 39 Steps to open its autumn season in St Albans. Picture: Pavel Gonevski - Credit: PAVEL GONEVSKI

Live theatre performances in front of an audience return to the Maltings Theatre this week.

The 39 Steps opens the autumn 2020 season at the St Albans venue on Tuesday, October 6.

Based on the novel by John Buchan and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film, Patrick Barlow’s hilarious play runs every night through to Saturday, October 10 at 7.30pm.

Social distancing and COVID-19 measures have been put in place.

Maltings artistic director Adam Nichols said in an OVO newsletter: “We recognise that visiting the theatre in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic may feel quite intimidating for many of our regular audience members.

“We thought long and hard before deciding whether or not to reopen the Maltings Theatre, but ultimately decided that we could manage to create a good atmosphere whilst ensuring that our staff, cast, crew and audience are kept safe and healthy.”

Adam added: “We’ve drawn on the experience of our successful open air theatre festival at the Roman Theatre of St Albans in August to redesign the theatre to enable social distancing.

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“We’ve reduced our audience capacity by more than 50 per cent with generous spacing between seats, created additional ventilation in the auditorium, instituted a one-way system, introduced an at-seat bar service, and introduced additional cleaning, PPE and, of course, the ever-present hand sanitiser that is now an integral part of all our lives.

“In fact our hand sanitiser is so good that it received positive notices in the reviews of our summer productions!”

Following The 39 Steps, Henry V can be seen on stage from Tuesday, October 13 to Saturday, October 17.

It’s then another Shakespeare play, The Merry Wives of Windsor, from October 20 to October 24, and The Regina Monologues from October 27 to October 31.

For tickets, visit

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