Clooney couple, playwright Ray Cooney help UK's only dinner-theater reopen
It's common knowledge that the global entertainment industry is struggling to keep up with film release delays and public places shut down for pandemic. Traditional theaters have bitten the dust with Cineworld temporarily suspending operations. Similar is the case with The Mill at Sonning Theatre in Berkshire, England, which would not have reopened sooner unless the Clooney couple volunteered for some much-needed financial help.
The Mill at Sonning to reopen with reduced capacity
"After nine months in lockdown, The Mill at Sonning, the UK's only dinner theater, is to re-open its theater on October 30 with a winter season of comedy, magic, cabarets, and plays," the theater posted on its Facebook page. The post adds how donations from Mill Angel supporters, neighbors, and the Clooneys have allowed the theater to reopen with a reduced capacity "of 70 customers."
The theater doubles up as a restaurant
Actor George Clooney and his wife Amal donated money to this local theater that closed in July due to stringent social distancing norms. With substantial help from the celeb couple and aids from other voluntary supporters, officials of the theater updated information about their reopening time on Facebook. The theater also doubles up as a restaurant and is the only such theater in UK.
Special thanks reserved for playwright and farce master Ray Cooney
Highlighting the moral support by playwright and farce master Ray Cooney, artistic director Sally Hughes stated how the creator stood beside authorities of the theater during trying times. "When we had to close down he was straight in there with financial aid. He has called me every week during the last five months to see how we are getting on," Hughes said.
Authorities have decided to name the auditorium after Cooney
Such favors deserve recognition which the theater will give by producing a special Gala night in 2021 and naming the auditorium after Cooney. The 2021 season starts with a new production of Cooney's farce Two into One. The theater will allow a maximum of 70 people per show and dinner as the empty auditorium seats are refashioned like cabaret-style tables for a relaxing experience.