Keen theatregoers who went to a show at the Wyvern after lockdown restrictions were lifted, said they felt less safe because other members of the audience refused to wear face masks.

Pam Pellatt from Grange Park said: “We went to the Wyvern to see Looking Good Dead on Thursday evening, which we thoroughly enjoyed, except for the lack of people wearing face coverings which made us feel less safe.

“The Wyvern does state that they ask customers to be considerate of fellow audience members but while I was there I heard people comment 'We don’t have to wear them so why should we'.

“We did wear ours," she said. “I will add that staff were wearing face masks or shields the entire time and I did ask one staff member why the audience didn’t have to, their reply was 'We can’t make them but we have to wear them'."

“Also, there appeared to be no encouragement to get people to wear them, no signs or announcements made either.

“When we left the theatre it was a bit of a free-for-all as well, people were congregating together quite a lot and weren’t distanced on top of not wearing masks.

She said: “It isn’t easy to enforce it because it’s not a legal requirement anymore, I understand that, but it would’ve been better for me if they tried to encouraged people to wear masks more.”

A Wyvern spokesperson said “Since reopening the theatre on August 26, we have been following all of the current government guidelines for venues and doing all we can to ensure that the safety, comfort and enjoyment of our patrons remains our top priority.

“While we are able to operate at full capacity, we have put in place clear messaging and guidance on our website and in our communications out to customers in advance of visiting us, as well as posters and banners around the theatre, several of which specifically encourage mask wearing.

They explained: “Our front-of-house announcements also ask patrons to wear their face coverings inside the theatre unless eating or drinking. We encourage testing before visiting the theatre, and all of our staff and volunteers are testing at least twice a week.

"It is also mandatory for our staff and volunteers to be wearing face coverings.

"We are encouraging patrons to do the same but are unable to enforce this as a condition of entry.

“We have introduced hand sanitising stations throughout the theatre, extra cleaning, fogging of the auditorium after each show and touch-free tickets.

"We are also now a cashless venue, ensuring that transactions onsite are quicker, reduce contact and are more secure.

“Unfortunately, when we have a busy show, social distancing is not always possible around areas of the building such as foyers, bars, corridors, etc because of the limited space that we have.

"It is now our policy to have the auditorium open as early as possible before the show in order to try and help reduce congestion and queue build-up, and we also monitor queues to see if it’s possible to disperse to other areas or bars that may be less busy.

They added: "Nevertheless, we appreciate that at times these areas still become very busy and that can be uncomfortable for some people.”

The legal requirement to wear face masks for indoor public spaces was lifted on July 19, although people are still being encouraged to put them on.