First of all many thanks to you all for your support and patience over the last year . Improvisers, teachers, students, venues, performers and our support team have all adapted to so many different things so thank you and we’re happy to say the improv flag is still flying high at Hoopla!
Since September 2021 we’ve had various safety measures in place and we are very thankful to everyone for coming along and making improv fun through these times!
From 19th July most of the legal restrictions on workshops and shows have been removed, but we understand many of you may still have some concerns regards covid and we also acknowledge the wider covid situation may change, so we are gradually phasing our safety measures out rather than removing everything at once.
As always we will be very flexible to the wider situation so we can roll back various measures if needed, and we also won’t be forcing anyone back into things before they are ready. Our teachers are also free to add any additional measures they want.
We also offer full flexibility on bookings to give you peace of mind when planning ahead.
Staying away with symptoms or if needing to self isolate
We’ll still be asking people to stay away from workshops and shows if:
- They are unwell or have symptoms.
- They have recently tested positive for covid.
- They have been asked to isolate by track and trace.
If that happens to you please get in touch ([email protected]) and we will be able to give you some extra classes at an extra date to make up for the missed ones.
Ventilation is staying
Having windows open and good ventilation in workshops is pleasant at all times, so we’ll be keeping this in place for all workshops longer term.
For shows from 19th July we’ll have doors closed to prevent outside noise, but the air conditioning has now been improved and uses outside ventilation and will be staying.
We have lots of different rooms we use for workshops and we’ll keep priority booking the larger rooms to give lots of space to play. If we have to use smaller rooms we’ll still then lower class sizes accordingly. So from now on the class size of each course will depend on the room size for that course, and we will also be able to vary that if the covid situation changes.
Social distancing gradually phased out from 19th July
Since September our classes have been operating with at least 1m+ social distancing in place. This means 2 metre distancing where possible, and occasional dips to 1m+ during exercises. From 19th July this will be gradually phased out week by week and distancing in games will gradually go back to normal.
The last games to come back will be the closer contact games that involve clapping hands with another person or standing closer together face to face.
Since September we’ve also been spacing out seating in workshops with a set seat per student, from 19th July this will also gradually be phased out and be returning to normal.
If the wider covid situation gets worse we can easily roll back increased distancing in workshops, as we found improv games at 2m distancing are still lots of fun.
The level of social distancing within groups performing at our venue will be up to each group. We advise that groups have a chat about that in advance so they know what everyone is comfortable with.
Smaller working groups phased out from 19th July
Since September we have had a system of having set smaller working groups within the class each week. For instance if the whole class is 9 people you may be playing each exercise in the same group of 3 all evening. This system will also be phased out from 19th July.
Since September we have been running at reduced class sizes to enable social distancing in the audience and during exercises. The exact class sizes have varied depending on room size.
Class sizes will stay at reduced numbers over July and August as these courses were already sold out or already underway.
From September we will be going back to normal class sizes but still about 2 under our previous maximum to be on the safe side. Again exact class sizes will vary with room size.
This can also be easily rolled back to reduced class sizes if needed.
Audience capacity gradually increasing from 19th July
Since September we have been running shows with a decreased audience capacity. At first it was 20 (instead of 75+) and then recently up to 30. The cabaret style table seating has been working well and we’ve been having a great time.
From 19th July we’ll be gradually increasing audience sizes again, it won’t be happening all at once though.
We’ll be sticking to 30-35 audience capacity over July, then increasing to 40 capacity over August.
Towards the end of August we’ll then make a decision, based on wider covid information, about whether we go back to our original capacity of 75+ with theatre style (non-table) seating.
Over the summer we’ll be sticking to pre-booked tickets to prevent overcrowding, and seated tickets only with a bit of space between seats.
The old days of standing shoulder to shoulder around the back and sides of the venue won’t be back for a while.
Temperature checks are stopping after 19th July
Since September we’ve been running at-a-distance temperature checks on arrival at workshops. These will be stopping from 19th July.
You don’t have to wear face coverings in classes or shows, but if you want to that’s ok too and you will still be able to take part.
Staggered start times may remain
We’ve been staggering start times of workshops in our busiest venues to prevent over crowding. This works quite well and makes arrivals much easier, so we’ll probably keep this in place longer term.
Improved cleaning staying
Having cleaner nicer venues is good for everyone, so we’re keeping that longer term.
Hand washing staying
We’ll be making sure there are good hand washing facilities longer term.
Track and trace
Track and trace will still be in place longer term.
As before you’ll still have full booking flexibility on classes and shows. So if you ever want to reschedule a booking just get in touch and we’re happy to do that.
What happens if I book something but want to reschedule?
That’s ok, just let us know and we’re happy to reschedule any class or show booking for you at no extra cost.
I’m not ready to come back yet, is that ok?
Yes that’s ok and we totally understand. People are in different situations but don’t worry we won’t forget you! So if you’re an improviser, student, teacher or performer and aren’t ready for real-life improv things yet that’s ok we’re happy to stay in touch and see you when you’re ready.
Are you still running online?
Yes we’re going to be running our online workshops each season in parallel to real-life things. We’ve been a bit slow getting them up on the website this season as there was so much to get ready with reopening, but there should be more up on the website soon.
What happens if I’m on a course but have to self-isolate?
Just let us know and we’re happy to set you up with either some online training or a real-life drop-in once you are back to replace any workshops missed.
Will I ever have to provide vaccine status to attend a workshop or show?
No. The only time we would do that would be if legally obliged to do so.
Will it be possible to ask the rest of the class to wear a face covering?
Sorry but no.
What happens if the Covid situation gets worse or if restrictions or lockdowns come back?
We’ll be keeping an eye on things over the summer and we’ll be staying up to date with both official and independent guidelines. Our hope is that things continue to get better but we don’t really know what the future will hold. If covid things do get worse again we have various safety measures that we can reintroduce such as social distancing, temperature checks, smaller working groups and more. We’ve been running like that since September so are well practiced and improv is still really good fun with full safety measures in place.
If the absolute worse happens and we have to go back into restrictions or lockdowns then we will be rescheduling real-life courses to a later date, and will keep you up to date and involved in those decisions. If that happened we would again put on unlimited free online drop-in workshops for anyone with a rescheduled booking, so you can still have some improv fun and socialising during lockdown. This is the system we had in place during the last lockdown and it seemed to work well for everyone.
As always you also have full flexibility on bookings so could move a booking to any date and also move any booking to an online course instead.
We don’t want that to happen, but at least there is a plan in place should restrictions and lockdowns come back.
Thanks again to everyone for all your help and support over the past year and more.
If there is anything else we can do to help of if you’d like to chat about anything here please get in touch.