Coronavirus takes bite out of Badapple’s Elephant Rock tour, postponed to autumn

“The health and safety of the team and our audiences always comes first,” says Badapple Theatre Company artistic director Kate Bramley

BADAPPLE Theatre Company are postponing their spring premiere of Elephant Rock amid the creeping spread of Coronavirus.

The “decline in audience confidence for travelling to events following confirmation of Covid-19 as a global pandemic” has prompted Kate Bramley’s company, from Green Hammerton, York, to call off the April 16 to May 31 tour, now re-arranged for the autumn.

Badapple Theatre Company in 2016 production The Last Station Keeper. Picture: Karl Andre

“These are unprecedented times and while the current advice is for events to continue as normal, we are conscious this could change at any point,” says Kate.

“The financial risk of the project for us and our partner venues has become prohibitive. Postponing now, before our actors are in rehearsal, is much less stressful for them as they can plan more effectively around their own families.”

Kate continues: “Of course, the health and safety of the team and our audiences always comes first, so we understand people’s reluctance to book tickets for shows scheduled in April. We have already managed to rearrange most of the tour performances for September and October 2020, so we look forward to seeing our audiences later in the year.”

Badapple Theatre Company’s Theatre On Your Doorstep logo

Purveyors of “theatre on your doorstep”, Badapple were to have toured Elephant Rock to 30 venues to mark their 21st anniversary with founder and artistic director Bramley’s 21st original script for the North Yorkshire company.

Badapple’s previous shows have toured to predominantly rural areas, all written and directed by Bramley, who was born in Yorkshire, grew up in Cornwall and worked as associate director for Hull Truck Theatre before embarking on her own theatre business.

Danny Mellor and Anastasia Benham in Badapple Theatre’s 2019 Christmas show, The Snow Dancer. Picture: Karl Andre

Not only has Bramley sustained a long career as a playwright and a director, but she also has built a company that employs three permanent members of staff and countless actors, musicians and technicians every year.

In a sector that relies heavily on external funding from Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery UK and charities, more than 50 per cent of Badapple’s tours are self-funded, meaning box-office sales speak for themselves. The company had been offered project support of up to £15,000 towards the spring tour.