Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment
in association with Edward Prophet and People Entertainment Group presents
The Last Five Years
Written and composed by Jason Robert Brown
The Last Five Years returns to Southwark Playhouse after its critically acclaimed run was cut short in March. From 1st October this ★★★★★ (The Stage, WhatsOnStage) production will resume performances in a newly configured socially distanced auditorium with limited seating capacity.
Jason Robert Brown’s Drama Desk Award winning musical, The Last Five Years, is an emotionally powerful and intimate show about two New Yorkers who fall in and out of love over the course of five years.
The musical’s unconventional structure unfolds as Cathy tells her story in reverse, from the end of their turbulent relationship, whilst Jamie tells his story chronologically from the spark of their initial meeting. The two characters meet only once, at their wedding in the middle of the show.
Now, this iconic musical returns to London in a bold new actor-musician production with the actors on stage at all times and playing the piano to add a new narrative dimension to the story, accompanied by a four piece band.
★★★★★ “You won’t have seen a better production of The Last Five Years… It is the definitive production. Beg, borrow or steal a ticket.” WhatsOnStage
★★★★★ “Jason Robert Brown’s song cycle revitalised.” The Stage
★★★★ “A quicksilver delight… Restlessly inventive.” Time Out
Written and composed by Jason Robert Brown.
Originally Produced for the New York stage by Arielle Tepper and Marty Bell
Originally Produced by Northlight Theatre, Chicago, USA
Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited
Set & Costume Designer
Deputy Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Production Photos by Pamela Raith featuring Molly Lynch and Oli Higginson
What extra measures do you have in place?
We have reconfigured The Large to allow for social distancing within social bubbles. There are two rows spaced just over 2m apart, and we are using Perspex/see-through screens between each booking. The space is operating at just under 50% of its capacity. So there will be screens either side of your party but not between you and the stage area. The performers, band, stage crew and all Southwark Playhouse staff will also follow strict social distancing and cleanliness protocols.
We are also operating a one-way entry system through the building with hand sanitiser placed at regular intervals in the front of house area.
We will not be using paper tickets, instead just requiring audience members to show us their confirmation email (one per booking) either on their phone or via a print-out if that’s easier.
We will also be operating a cashless bar and box office, and only admitting online bookings. There will be no latecomers.
Will I be sitting in the seats that I’ve chosen on the plan?
Yes. You will be sitting in the exact same seats that you chose on the seating plan when you booked so if you choose a single aisle seat, you will be on an aisle (with a Perspex/see-through screen to separate you from any other parties). If you booked a party of 4 in the middle of the second row, you will be in the middle of the second row with 4 seats together, with a Perspex/see-through screen either side of your party. If there are any issues or reasons for us to change your seat(s) we will get in touch with you prior to your booking to discuss this but please be assured that it’s highly unlikely we will have to do this.
What happens on the day?
When you arrive for your performance, you will be asked to wait in the front of house area until we can seat you.
A member of staff will then take you to the auditorium. We will be taking one party at a time through to the auditorium and getting them seated before admitting the next party, to allow for social distancing between each booking.
At the end of the show, you will be led out by a member of staff through the backstage area, rather than the bar, to keep the one-way system in place. You are then more than welcome to come back in through the front door to join us for a post-show drink in our socially-distanced bar.
How will the cast be socially distancing or will they be in each other’s ‘bubble’?
Full information on casting and social distancing measures around the actors performing in the production will be announced in the coming weeks. If you’d rather wait until then to book, that’s fine. Please subscribe to our newsletter via the home page to get the latest information.
What happens if the show cannot go ahead?
We will be operating under government advice, so if we are unable to open the show on October 1st, we will of course be issuing full refunds to all bookers. On 13 August it was announced that live indoor theatre can go ahead with social distancing from 15 August which is great news but, of course, we will be closely monitoring government advice in the lead-up to October in case that changes.
If we find that we are unable to go ahead with the performance, we will contact you as soon as possible via email. Please make sure that we have your most up to date contact information, so you don’t miss anything.
What will happen if I book tickets but then have to self-isolate or have symptoms?
If you have to self-isolate or have symptoms then we will refund your tickets. You should not attend the theatre. Please email or call to let us know and we will issue a direct refund.
Can I sit with friends?
You can sit with people who are in your bubble or household. Please only book tickets with people who you are living with or have formed a support bubble with. If you are not in the same household or bubble then we ask that you book tickets separately so that you have a perspex/see-through screen between you when you are in the auditorium and maintain at least 1m distance during your visit.
I am coming on my own. Can I buy a single ticket?
Of course! You can do this via the website as usual. This just means that you will have a perspex/see-through screen on either side of you.
I am in a wheelchair. Can I still come to the newly configured auditorium?
Yes, definitely. We have wheelchair spaces which you can book in the usual way online or you can give us a call on 020 7407 0234 and we will sort your booking for you.
Do I have to wear a mask?
Yes, we ask all audience members to wear a mask. The exception is if you can’t wear a mask for health reasons in which case you should download and print a card here to explain to anyone who asks why you are not wearing one. Because government advice around wearing masks may change we will include a ‘current advice email’ 24 hours before performances and will update our website with information on the day too. We know some of you don’t use email or have a smart phone – if this is the case then please give us a ring to let us know and we’ll arrange for someone to call you the day before your visit to advise on current government guidance and how it relates to your visit to the Playhouse.
Can I order a drink?
Yes. Our bar has been operating on a socially distanced model since the beginning of July and it will be open before and after the performances for you to purchase a drink or snack. Additionally, we are looking into a couple of pre-ordering systems which we will send you information on via email nearer to the date of the performance.
Can I buy a programme?
No. All programmes will be available as e-programmes supplied as a PDF document emailed to you prior to the performance. This is to avoid queuing, cash payments and to minimise the number of things you need to touch when you arrive at the venue and, also, to save the environment.
Will your toilets be open?
Yes, our toilets will be open before, during and after your visit to us. You will notice that there will be fewer cubicles – this is for social distancing purposes. To avoid congestion toilets will remain open throughout the performance and audience members will be permitted to leave the theatre and re-enter at any point.
Will the bar be open as usual on performance days?
Yes. The bar will be open to members of the public but we will ensure that we do not admit too many people during busy times so we can always adhere to strict social distancing measures inside the venue.
How should I travel to you?
You can travel to us however you like but if you are coming via public transport we ask that you wear a mask (unless you are exempt). There is a bicycle rack outside the theatre if you are cycling. Unfortunately we do not have a car park but there is an NCP car park 10 mins walk away on Kipling Street. There is information on that here. If you’re coming by Uber or taxi, you can be dropped off right outside the front of the theatre on Newington Causeway.
How often do you clean the space and toilets?
We already have a strict cleaning schedule in place for our bar and front of house areas, including The Little theatre space. This will be extended to include a deep cleaning of The Large theatre space before and after every single performance including wiping down seats and spraying them daily with a special anti-bacterial spray which remains active on upholstery between 5-7 days (your seat will remain dry though!). Toilets are cleaned regularly every 2-3 hours and deep cleaned every evening after the show and every morning/afternoon before the show. We have a full risk assessment which we will share on the website nearer the time and also have copies of in the venue.
I have a question that you haven’t answered. How can I ask it?
No problem! Just email one of our friendly box office wizards on firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.