FOREST Forge Theatre in Ringwood is reopening its doors after a sixth month closure due to Covid-19.

The theatre company says the pandemic has proven a “challenging time” but it is “delighted” to be opening again and launching its autumn programme which includes the return of their participation groups to the building and more online courses.

During the pandemic, the theatre has been unable to offer face-to-face participation groups, but has adapted to offer digital courses and workshops online, free video talks, and support for their participants and associate artists online. For more than 37 years Forest Forge Theatre has been delivering work to rural communities as well as working with these communities. Over the last six months it has had to find new ways to engage with people online.

And Forest Forge Theatre’s Youth Theatre has been running for more than 21 years, giving ages seven to 21 the opportunity to learn theatre skills in a professional theatre environment.

Creative learning director Lucy Phillips said: “It’s been the most challenging experience of my career. Our participation groups offer so much to people of all ages, although we have fun there is also an element of providing a safe outlet for them to express themselves and work through emotions, it really helps their mental health and as much as we have done our best online, you cannot match the energy of face-to-face. So, we have been working hard behind the scenes to make sure measures are in place and the building is safe for participants to return, and we can’t wait.”

The Youth Theatre returned to Forest Forge Theatre today (September 30) September, with the adult drama group Act Your Age to follow soon.

Forest Forge Theatre is also continuing to run a programme of online courses including a Level 2 Improv Course with Pete Courtenay which starts on October 6. For more information about the theatre and forthcoming events and online courses go to