WEYMOUTH Pavilion is preparing to reopen its doors to audiences - and will launch straight into its Christmas pantomime season.

The theatre was forced to close for a second time as the country was plunged into a second national lockdown at the beginning of the month.

Staff remained hopeful that they would still be able to go ahead with Rapunzel as their Christmas pantomime - and today they announced the show will go on.

The theatre will reopen its doors when national restrictions are lifted on December 2, with the pantomime running from December 4 until January 4.

The run will include four grown-up only performances.

Theatre bosses are excited to welcome audiences back inside and will continue to utilise the safety measures they put in place during their summer pantomime, including temperature checks and a one-way system.

A spokesman said: "The safety and comfort of our customers is paramount, especially during these uncertain times.

"As seen over the summer during our summer pantomime, Pirates of the Pavilion, each performance will be socially distanced, with a one-way system in place, hand sanitiser available, temperatures checked upon arrive, strict cleaning regimes in place and more.

"We kindly ask that all guests wear a face mask unless medically exempt or under the age of 11."

In October, the theatre received £573,413 as part of the Government's £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. The money has been used to fund ongoing monthly costs during the second lockdown, including essential repairs and upkeep of the fabric.

A new air filtration system has been fitted in the auditorium and in the Ocean Room, new anti-viral fogging equipment has been put in place ahead of the pantomime and there is new plaster work in the foyer.

The theatre is also appealing for new volunteers to assist the team over the Christmas period. Usher and kiosk positions are available, as well as backstage opportunities for anyone looking to gain some experience and insight into working in a theatre.

All ages are welcome to apply and no experience is required as training will be provided for all roles.

To apply, email volunteers@weymouthpavilion.com