Almost 12 months since the closure of Llandudno’s Venue Cymru

IT HAS been almost a year since the last staged performance at Venue Cymru, Llandudno.

The theatre rocked to the songs from Queen on March 14 2020 at We Will Rock You the Musical.

The week following the sell out show run, the venue was transformed for the televised World Snooker Championships – a tournament that was all set up but never played.

Venue Cymru and Theatr Colwyn, along with all others theatres, closed their doors on March 16. A global pandemic, which everyone initially thought would last a few weeks has changed the world, and live entertainment venues forever.

Ysbyty Enfys Llandudno. Picture: Paul Sampson

Ysbyty Enfys Llandudno. Picture: Paul Sampson

The building was transformed into a field hospital Ysbyty Enfys (Rainbow Hospital). It has been used as an outpatients clinic facility and more recently, a key location for the mass vaccination roll out.

A Venue Cymru spokesperson said staff, many who are on furlough or have been redeployed, are “beyond proud” that the building has played its part during the crisis.

The spokesperson said: “2020 was set to be an impressive year with a full calendar of West End hit upon hit, legendary music acts, world class opera and much more.

“There is a lot more manoeuvring of schedules to happen well into 2021. We’ve rescheduled over 90 per cent of our programme, and added in some brand new show titles, notably the new musical Waitress, Chicago, comedian Sarah Millican, Children’s TV hero Justin Fletcher and Strictly star Giovanni Pernice.

“It’s encouraging to see these shows, as well as new ones are making future plans.”

Venue Cymru went dark, properly, for the first time in its history

Venue Cymru went dark, properly, for the first time in its history

A small number of Venue Cymru staff have remained on site throughout the pandemic. Others have returned to assist the health board with portering roles, car park marshalling and queue management.

The spokespseron added: “Our technical team who, were originally on furlough were redeployed to ITV to assist at Gwrych Castle for the hit I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here show, their expertise was utilised for the original set-up of the studio and sets used, but many stayed throughout filming.

“The programming, events, marketing, finance and some of the box office team have worked throughout to plan ahead for our reopening of both conferencing and live events. It’s been a busy time rescheduling, and then rescheduling again whilst keeping our clients, patrons and ticket holders updated throughout, but we’re planning ahead.

“All other staff have been redeployed to other Conwy County Borough Council departments, all of whom are overcoming and adapting to new and different challenges.

“Venue Cymru are tirelessly planning ahead, there is a lot of work to do to return Venue Cymru to its former glory as North Wales’ Premier venue. Multiple procedures are in place for a variety of scenarios.

“We don’t know what our seating plans will look like yet, or even the scale of the shows on the stage, but our clear message is – We Will Be Back.”

North Wales Pioneer | Llandudno