Shakespeare told us that “the rain, it raineth every day”. He was all-too-familiar with open-air theatre. Luckily he was mostly bald so the rain didn’t mess his hair up too much and he famously carried a chamois leather around with him to give his head a buff after a downpour*.
Obviously it is a risk when performing outdoors and here is The Pantaloons’ policy for wet weather performances:
1. We very rarely cancel a performance before the time it is due to start. We often find it can be tipping down in the lead up to a performance and then entirely stop for the duration of the show. So we will usually make the call at the time the performance is due to begin.
2. We will only cancel/stop a performance if the conditions become genuinely unsafe. If the performance area has begun to flood or if there is a lightning storm we will cancel/stop the performance.
3. We will carry on the performance in light to medium rain. In heavy/torrential rain downpours we will halt the show (hopefully allowing everyone to find shelter somewhere) before continuing when the downpour has stopped. This is due to the fact that the show will not be audible in heavy rain! If the heavy rain is persistent (which is surprisingly rare) then the performers may make the call to stop the show entirely.
4. If the show is cancelled before it begins or stopped before the interval then we will transfer tickets to another available show or a postponed performance at the same venue and offer refunds if alternative performances are not suitable. If the show is stopped after the interval we cannot offer refunds but are able to transfer tickets to another performance where available.
5. Some venues are lucky enough to have a wet weather alternative, whether a large hall or marquee, and we will move the show under cover in those circumstances. We are sometimes able to secure an indoor alternative venue nearby to the original venue ahead of the performance if we have enough warning of severe weather.
*May not be historical fact.