Watford Palace Theatre has announced it will not be reopening in September.

The theatre, which is located on Clarendon Road, has said today (August 3) it is not "viable" for it to reopen ahead of its autumn season of productions.

It also added that there will be no public performances in the theatre before December.

The show The Merchant of Venice, which would have taken place in October, has been postponed and all live screenings have been cancelled.

But pantomimes are currently being reviewed and an announcement is expected at the start of September.

The theatre said it has made these decisions to ensure its "financial survival" and have to keep its technical team on furlough to this until the scheme ends in October.

Read More:

Artistic director of the theatre , Brigid Larmour said: "These are difficult times for all businesses and families, and readers may have heard about the specific issues facing theatres, which rely on bringing large groups together in one room.

"To ensure our survival at Watford Palace Theatre, we have had to furlough most of our full time staff, and keep our stage dark and our doors closed. We are incredibly grateful for all the support and donations we have received from the community so far, and are working hard to build our resilience for the future.

Watford Observer:

Watford Palace's youth theatre rehearsing on stage before lockdown. Credit: Watford Palace Theatre

The theatre will then do essential safety checks to make sure the building is Covid-19 secure.

Ms Larmour added that the reopening of the theatre will depend on the status of the pandemic as well as on the government guidance.

If you have purchased tickets for any of the cancelled events, the theatre said a member of staff will be in contact this week.

Throughout the pandemic the theatre has been able to offer furlough for its freelance workers such as actors. But it will now also be signposting freelance workers via social media to new Arts Council support for individual artists.

To find out more about the council's funding for freelancers click here.

A live online event will take place on October 18 to celebrate Black History Month where people can share poetry, music, paintings and photography.