AFTER a year and half of darkness, the bright lights of Swindon’s biggest stage are set to shine again this week.

The Wyvern Theatre is preparing to open its doors for the first time since the pandemic forced them to close in March last year.

The town centre venue will be welcoming theatregoers back with a bang as the first performance scheduled is a sold-out stand-up show from controversial comic Russell Brand tomorrow. 

Brand’s new show, entitled ‘33’, will be taking place at 6pm. It will be based on the strangeness of the last 18 months, what we have and haven't learned and what can even be considered ‘normal’ going forward. 

While the clamour for tickets to see Brand highlights that people are keen to get back to the theatre to enjoy everything the arts has to offer, it’s the first of many shows on offer at the Wyvern in the coming week. 

On Saturday popular comedy duo Flo and Joan will be gracing the stage, followed by Pop Princesses on Sunday, a magical show for children where princesses become Popstars and perform some of the most popular pop hits. 

Psychic Clinton Baptiste and a Total 90s tribute show will follow the reopening weekend on Thursday and Friday next week.

Also coming up later in September are The Steve Harley Acoustic Band, The Simon and Garfunkel story, The Drifters, Andy Hamilton, Rumors of Fleetwood Mac and a run of the Peter James crime novel stage adaption Looking Good Dead. 

The theatre was one of the many entertainment venues across the country that was heavily hit by the coronavirus pandemic as the government's lockdown restrictions forced any venues where there might be a large crowd to close. 

The Wyvern shut its doors on March 20, 2020 and has remained closed until now. 

A statement from the Wyvern on their website says: “We’re excited to reopen with events at full capacity and have a fantastic live-entertainment programme through summer, autumn and beyond. 

"Your safety, comfort and enjoyment remains our number one priority. 

“We’ll be following all government guidelines and this page will be regularly updated as things change. Please check again before you visit for the latest information. We will also email you before you attend. 

“Thank you for your ongoing support – we can’t wait to welcome you back! 

Visitors heading to the Wyvern this week are encouraged to take a NHS lateral flow test before attending and anyone who needs to self-isolate or is feeling unwell is asked to stay at home.

Masks will not be mandatory but guests are encouraged to wear them.