Sleepless, the new musical based on Sleepless in Seattle, has announced it will implement rapid-response COVID-19 testing on a daily basis for cast, crew, and theatre staff throughout rehearsals and during the run of the show at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre in the U.K. Performances will begin August 25 before the limited engagement officially opens September 1.
The tests, from Polish biotech company GeneMe, are known as FRANKD, standing for Fast, Reliable, Accurate, Nucleic-based Kit for COVID-19 Diagnostic Detection. Samples are collected on-site via throat or nasal swab, with results sent within one hour to individuals through an app developed by Yoti, a tech company working with the NHS. GeneMe claims that tests are “100 percent specific to COVID-19 and 97 percent sensitive.”
The system is currently in its trial phase in Europe, and is being tested with U.K. airports, sports teams, and various multinational companies and government departments.
As previously reported, the musical eyes a fall bow with numerous safety measures in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including eliminating physical contact between staff and audiences, and enforcing face masks and temperature checks for theatregoers.
Featuring a book by Michael Burdette and music and lyrics by Robert Scott and Brendan Cull, the romantic comedy stars Jay McGuiness and Kimberley Walsh as Sam and Annie. Joining them will be Daniel Casey as Walter, Harriet Thorpe as Eleanor, Tania Mathurin as Becky, and Jake Sharp as Rob, as well as Charlie Bull, Colin Burnicle, Christie-Lee Crosson, Laura Darton, Leanne Garretty, Matt Holland, Ross McLaren, Gary Murphy, Dominique Planter, Annie Wensak, and Benjamin Wong. Theo Collis, Mikey Colville, Jobe Hart, and Jack Reynolds will share the role of Jonah.
Performances are currently scheduled through September 27.