Horsham's Capitol enters second lockdown in buoyant mood

Matthew Effemey, operations manager at The Capitol in HorshamMatthew Effemey, operations manager at The Capitol in Horsham
Matthew Effemey, operations manager at The Capitol in Horsham
Matthew Effemey, operations manager at The Capitol in Horsham, and his team are determined to take the latest lockdown in their stride.

As he says, they have got great shows all ready and waiting assuming they can open again as planned on December 2.

“It is obviously a bit of a hiccough for us, to put it mildly – but putting it mildly is what we need to do to stay positive which is what we have been trying to do all along. We are going to aim that we can be 100 per cent ready for when we open again at the start of December.

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“This is just a little bump on the road. The team here are so resourceful and resilient and passionate that we are going to get through this, and that makes a huge difference. Everyone remains in good spirits.

“We had three sold-out shows as well as cinema lined up for November. And there were some Christmas films that hopefully we will be able to show in December instead.

“We had the comedian Henning Wehn for a sold-out show, but we contacted his people and they have moved the show until mid-December which is great news. It will be Friday, December 11. They moved it no problem. We also had a sold-out show with La Voix, a well-known drag act and that is now going to be moving to January 22. Again, customers will be disappointed that it won’t be happening in November, but they now know that it is going to be happening in the New Year.

“We knew as soon as this was happening that our customers come first and we needed to get these things sorted. With this whole situation, we want people to know that they can book in confidence that if a show doesn’t go ahead, they will get a refund – and that if they can’t make a rescheduled date they will get a refund.”

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Inevitably there is a sense of “here we go again” about the closure: “But this time we do feel remarkably positive. We are really hoping that on December 2 we can go back to the tiered system. There has to be some recognition that Horsham’s (virus) numbers were relatively low compared to the rest of the country and that Horsham should be back in a low tier and that we can continue with our socially-distanced auditorium.

“All the feedback that we have had has been really good. Everybody has been really appreciative of the steps we put in place. We have had no bad comments. We are just hoping that we can go back as soon as we can.

“If the lockdown is extended, then we will just make sure that we have got everything in place, and we will just have to hope that it won’t be extended for a long time.

“Whenever the end of the tunnel is, we have got to make sure that we have got great shows on offer.”

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If the venue gets the December 2 go-ahead, it will be able to boast comedian Paul Sinha with Hazy Little Thing Called Love on Friday, December 4. Soon afterwards, they will be offering A Night At The Musicals.

“As soon as we can, we have got a great programme. And the team are so resilient. There is real sense of solidarity. We will go marching through the next few weeks and making the best of the time to be ready.”

Highlight of the Capitol’s Christmas programme will be A Christmas Carol (December 12-29, featuring Jack Lane (Wisdom of a Fool & Dad’s Army Radio Show) and David Benson.

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