Planning Your Visit and Covid-19 Information

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On this page we’ve set out some notes and tips about your visit to The Swallow Theatre.  In particular you may have questions and concerns about returning to the theatre in relation to coronavirus.  We are doing everything we can to make your visit safe.

We have been granted the use of Society Of London Theatre & UK Theatre’s ‘See It Safely’ mark. The mark certifies that we are complying with the latest Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, to ensure the safety of our performers and audiences.

Below are frequently asked questions about the measures we have been putting in place ready for your visit, and what you will need to know beforehand.

If there’s anything we’ve missed please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01988 850368 or info@swallowtheatre.co.uk.

On the day of the show we are usually busy with the performers and getting ready so we often cannot answer the phone or pick up messages, so it’s best to contact as early as you can.

Our aim is to make The Swallow Theatre a magical, unique, COVID-safe destination for everyone to enjoy.

How do I buy a ticket?

Tickets are available to purchase online, and must be purchased in advance.

The booking system will show you a socially-distanced seating plan.  You will have an allocated seat.

Tickets are available in fixed groups. Groups of 1, 2, 3 or 4 tickets are seated together and each group is distanced from the other groups.  If you require a grouping that is not on the seating plan, please call us.

For the purposes of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system, at the time of booking we require you to provide the name and mobile phone number of all the people in your group.

If later you wish to change the people in your group, this is fine, but you must email us with the change of details.

Tell me about your no-quibble refund policy?

So that you can book your ticket in confidence and as soon as possible, we are offering a no-quibble refund policy.  

If you or anyone in your group cannot attend, for any reason, and you email us at least 24 hours before the performance start time, we shall provide you with a refund of the price you paid, less £1.50 per seat to cover the box office and payment card fees we will have already incurred.  

If we as a venue have to cancel the performance ticketholders will be given an automatic full refund.

For those who wish to, there is an option to donate some or all of the ticket money to the theatre and the performers, but this is completely optional and not expected.

Please allow us 72 hours to process the refund, which will be made back to the card you used to make the payment.

How do I get to the theatre?

The theatre is located down some narrow lanes – download the directions here. Please allow plenty of time to find us.  Some satnavs take you down a farm track – this is not necessary and really not a good idea unless you have a 4×4.  You can get to the theatre on proper roads!

There is no public transport to the theatre, and the nearest bus stop is about 3 miles away.

You are welcome to arrive by bike, however please note that we do not have bike-racks or changing facilities.

Please allow plenty of time for your journey.  Latecomers may not be admitted if the show has started.

Please consider the latest Scottish Government rules on travel and transport:-

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-travel-and-transport/#travellingaroundscotland

In particular, separate households should not share cars.

You can check the level we are in here: https://www.gov.scot/check-local-covid-level/

Our postcode is DG8 8DR.

Where can I park?

Audience car parking is in the field opposite the theatre.  

Please drive slowly and carefully in the field. If the weather has been wet or there is a heavy evening dew fall the field can become a little slippy and muddy. On some occasions areas may be closed off – these will be clearly visible. Over the last few years we have invested in a large area of grass mesh which means that cars should not get stuck in mud.

Please be aware of other vehicles and the need to stay physically distanced when getting in and out of vehicles.

From the car park it is a short walk along the lane to the theatre site.  The lane can get muddy in wet conditions so we recommend stout and waterproof footwear.  Please be aware of traffic.

In the dark you may wish to bring a torch as there are no street lights near the theatre – but there are excellent stars on a clear night!

Do you have disabled parking?

We have an area of hardstanding disabled parking for two cars on the main theatre site, and you can also drop off people at the main gate.

Please email or phone us in advance to let us know if you need to park in the disabled spaces so that we can co-ordinate requirements.

What is the ticket check procedure?

The check in position will be at the gate to the main site.  

We shall ask you to state the names of all the people in your group.  

We shall check you off our list of attendees and record your arrival time.

The site will be open from 45 minutes before the performance start time.

We ask you to be in your seat at least 10 minutes before the performance time.

Will I need to have my temperature checked?

We shall not be checking temperatures unless this becomes a mandatory requirement.

If you or any of your group develop a temperature that is 37.8C or higher, or show any other symptoms of coronavirus, please let us know and do not attend.

Will I need to wear a face covering?

For outdoor events, you will not need to wear a face covering when in your seat.

For indoor events, it is mandatory to wear a face covering when inside the auditorium, unless you are exempt.

We ask you to wear a face covering when checking in at the site entrance, when in the toilets, at the refreshment collection point, and when in any queues.

If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, we would please ask that bring an exemption card, or that you tell us the reason that you are exempt. Physical and digital exemption cards, and the list of exemptions permitted by the Scottish Government are available here:http://exempt.scot/

What should I bring?

Please keep your belongings to a minimum, and keep them with you at all times. 

We do not have cloakroom facilities.

You may like to bring with you a cushion, a rug, insect repellent, sun cream and a torch.  It could get very cold, so please bring suitable clothing.

Please note that chairs are provided for all performances, both indoors and outdoors.

Please do not bring picnics into the theatre site.  You are welcome to eat a picnic in the car park; please allow sufficient physical distancing from other groups.

Dogs are not allowed on the theatre site, except for assistance dogs – please notify us in advance.

Will I be able to buy pre-show and interval refreshments?

We offer a small selection of refreshments including wine and beer, luxury soft drinks, Fairtrade filter coffee and tea, biscuits and Cream o’ Galloway ice cream.

The menu will be available on our website shortly, and a few days before the show we shall email ticketholders to invite them to pre-order refreshments.  If requested, your drink can be served in a compostable disposable cup.

Refreshments will be available from a designated outdoor collection point.  There will be a one-way system and queuing system in operation.  For pre-orders, we can deliver your order to your seat on request.

Please pay by contactless card.  Receipts will not be issued: if you require a receipt let the server know and one will be emailed to you in the 72 hours following the show.

Only drinks purchased from us are to be consumed on the theatre site – by buying a drink from us you are helping support the theatre.  You are welcome to bring your own water bottle.

Do you have toilets?

We have two audience toilets, both unisex. One is a large cubicle with wide access and grip handles.

Wash basins are located within each cubicle and paper towels are provided.

Hand sanitiser is available on entry and exit.

There is a one-way system to and from the toilets and a marked queueing area.

What happens if I feel ill and can’t use my ticket(s)?

We will be ensuring that you have maximum flexibility by allowing tickets to be refunded up to 24 hours prior to the performance – so if someone in your party feels ill, there’s no need to worry. 

Please do not attend the venue if you :

  • believe you may be infected with COVID-19;
  • have experienced symptoms in the last 14 days;
  • have been in close proximity to anyone who has experienced symptoms in the last 14 days;
  • have arrived in the UK within the 14 days prior to your visit to the theatre and are not covered by the exemption rules relating to self-isolation; or
  • have been instructed to self-isolate.

Any individual who considers themselves to be clinically extremely vulnerable or who is in the same household or support bubble as someone who considers themselves to be clinically extremely vulnerable is advised not to attend.

What should I do if I become unwell after my theatre visit?

All venues are working with the Government to ‘Test and Protect’.

If you display COVID-19 symptoms, follow the instructions at NHSinform.scot.

What else are you doing to make my visit safe?

We have undertaken a full COVID-19 risk assessment, in addition to our normal operating risk assessments.

See it safely logo

We have signed up to the See It Safely scheme organised by Society Of London Theatre & UK Theatre, and also supported by the Federation of Scottish Theatre. This means we pledge to follow the latest Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines as well as additional requirements set by the scheme. We have lodged our covid risk assessment with the scheme and agreed to spot-checks.

To keep you safe, we will be cleaning the venue before every performance and regularly disinfecting.

We have created a one-way route around the site in order to minimise your contact with others, and the theatre hosts will guide you.

Please use the hand sanitiser stations when you enter and exit the site, and outside the toilets and refreshment collection point.

Following the performance, please maintain social distancing as you leave the site and return to the car park.  

Please be aware of staying socially distant from our performers if you wish to talk with them after the show.

Performers will be following the UK / Scottish Government Guidance for the Performing Arts sector, and will be in bubbles to allow them to perform and be accommodated together. 

What is the outdoor performance space like?

Most of our events this summer will be held in our new outdoor performance space.  

This is a cluster of three marquees, one for the performers and two for the audience.  The audience tents will have two sides open, thus being classified as outdoor.  

In good weather we may open more sides.  The audience tents will be positioned at least 2 metres from the performance tent.  

The marquees are made of high quality strong flame-retardant material, and are designed for use in all weathers.

Artist impression of tents on the lawn
Artist’s impression of the outside performance area

The performance will continue outdoors whatever the weather, so please dress appropriately, and be aware that the seats against the open edges may not be protected from the rain.

The audience tents are called ‘Ravenstone’ and ‘Castlewigg’ after the two hamlets nearest to the theatre.

We are providing audience chairs within the marquees (but you may like to bring your own cushion).  The chairs will be cleaned between performances.

If you require a wheelchair space or you have mobility problems or other requirements please let us know in advance and we shall do our best to help you.

What is the indoor theatre space like?

In very inclement weather we may need to move the performance inside.  

This will only happen if it is unsafe to continue outside, and with agreement of the theatre company, and if capacity rules at the time of the performance means that it is viable to do so.  

We shall contact ticketholders group by group in order of booking to ask if they wish to switch their ticket to inside.  

If we are unable to contact you we shall leave a message if possible to do so, but we shall continue to contact other ticketholders in the meantime.

Please note that tickets to an outdoor performance do not guarantee seats at an indoor performance. Full refunds will be issued to ticketholders who cannot be accommodated inside.

We shall allocate seats for indoor performances and guide you to the appropriate seat.

All possible ventilation channels will be open to maximise ventilation in the space.  

The theatre is a converted byre.   Pre-COVID we used to close all the air vents and run the heating so it is quite cosy, but with additional ventilation we expect it could be chilly so please wear warm clothing or bring a rug.

What is the garden like?

When here for a performance you are welcome to enjoy the theatre garden.  

Please note that after wet weather there is a large pond so young children and vulnerable people should be looked after.  

We run the garden as much as possible on an organic and wildlife friendly basis.

Our address is ‘Moss Park’ and in Scots the word ‘moss’ means bog.  

We are surrounded by cattle fields.  And we have a nature pond.  So we do tend to have a few midges flying around on warm still nights.  They are a bit annoying but they don’t bite much.  We recommend you put on some of your favourite anti-insect repellent before visiting.  

Overall the site is approximately 3 acres.  We have lots of plans for the space, which if we are honest, are beyond our current time availability, budget and skill level!  But they give us immense pleasure and we hope regular visitors will enjoy following our progress.  Current projects include:-

  • ‘The Long Border’ – straight ahead as you walk onto the performance lawn, behind the Castlewigg Tent, this used to be an area of rough grass and wildflowers (some would say weeds).  We are slowly converting it to a herbaceous border.
  • ‘The White Garden’ – the tiny triangle on your right as you enter the performance lawn.  The plan is for an area of white flowers which will look magical at dusk.  OK not really working yet, but we’ll get there.
  • ‘The field’ – the triangle behind the card park now has four fruit trees and more will be planted in autumn.  We are mowing more of the field each year in preparation for planting. 

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