A DORSET theatre has launched an appeal to 'help it survive the coronavirus crisis'.

Swanage's Mowlem Theatre initially closed in March as part of the UK's first nationwide lockdown, only reopening again six months later.

Upon reopening in October, a programme of musical screenings and family cinema was announced.

Theatre supporters were looking forward to the Mowlem's first live event in November, but the second national lockdown put and end to this.

The Mowlem has now opened again, with a December programme including a live Christmas show, but Tier 2 restrictions – which were recently extended for the region – have impacted the numbers of seat available.

Now it is hoped £5,000 can be raised through a crowdfunding campaign to help the theatre cover the costs of the pandemic.

Mowlem trustee Paul Angel said: "I joined the board in January with several new trustees and we ended up spending the lockdown planning a complete rejuvenation of the theatre.

"We also renovated all of the public spaces and audiences really noticed the improvements.

"The November lockdown and the restrictions now in place mean that ticket sales don't really cover our costs, so every penny donated is really appreciated."

A theatre spokesman explained that theatre visitors can only sit with members of their households or support bubbles.

"If you already have tickets booked with friends or family outside of your household or support bubble, please email us on boxoffice@themowlem.com and we will make any necessary changes to your booking.

"All of the previous safety measures remain in place – sensible social distancing in all parts of the building, hand sanitiser stations for your convenience, and a reminder that masks must be worn for the duration of your visit."

Visit crowdfunder.co.uk/mowlem-coronavirus-appeal to make a donation.