NEWS: Arcola Theatre to Collaborate with Imperial College London to Understand Airflow and Viral Transmission in Venues

The Arcola Theatre have confirmed that it is working with scientists from Imperial College London to explore air quality in theatres and how this affects aerosol transmission of viruses such as Covid-19.

(c) Lidia Crisafulli

The Artistic team from the Arcola Theatre have joined up with scientists to examine the quality of air that flows around its venue to help determine how this affects the transmission of viruses.

It has been announced that the main aims of this new project is to:

  • Explore ways in which Arcola can increase airflow in its indoor performance spaces.
  • Use this exploration for facilitate conversations about airflow with other venues.
  • Inform the development of Arcola’s new performance space, Arcola Outside, an outdoor performance space which mitigates the risk of Covid transmission among audiences.

Set to start this year, the project will allow the Arcola Theatre to continue to explore how theatres and venues can learn and adapt from the pandemic in a long-term way.

This announcement follows on from the theatre’s recent news of Arcola Outside, Arcola’s new theatre space, due to open in spring this year, which has the benefits of full outdoor airflow, thereby reducing the risk of both aerosol and droplet transmission of Covid-19. 

Talking about the news, Dr Ben Todd, Executive Director, Arcola Theatre said: “Since the pandemic began, we have been trying to understand how the cultural sector can respond innovatively to the difficulties we have faced in bringing people together to enjoy culture in a safe way. We are delighted to be working with independent scientists from Imperial College London, through Imperial Consultants, to understand how airflow affects viral transmission in theatres, which will turn the challenges of the past year into learning and ideas for both Arcola and the wider theatre sector.”

To find out more about the Arcola Theatre visit:

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