Live theatre is coming back to Belfast next week for the first time since the coronavirus crisis brought the curtain down on live performances throughout the UK.
But the Kabosh Theatre Company are implementing strict safety measures to ensure that Covid-19 regulations are observed at the one-man show in a former bank in east Belfast.
The socially distanced audience will all be wearing masks and using hand sanitisers with numbers restricted to just 22 people for each performance of the play, the King of East Belfast, written by and starring actor Stephen Beggs.
He will keep a three metre distance between him and the audience who will sit well apart in chairs on a floor marked out in one-metre squares.
The audience will file out singly from a door opposite the one they come in.
Stephen said: "We are taking every possible precaution but for me it's going to be strange playing to an audience who will all be masked. But I can't wait to bring a live show back on stage.
"It's only a small step. But though things aren't looking good, we can only hope that theatres can safely open in the not too distant future.
"The lockdown which has shut venues across the world has been devastating for them and actors and technicians."
Caoileann Curry-Thompson, drama and dance officer from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland welcomed the Kabosh move.
"We have waited a long time to get back to live performance, and I can think of no artist I would rather return us there than Stephen Beggs, and no better company than the ever-inventive Kabosh."
The 45-minute show tells the story of Clark Groves, who helped to make gambling legal in Northern Ireland and who sponsored a summer football tournament that attracted thousands of fans to Wilgar Park in east Belfast, including a youthful George Best who attended games with his father Dickie.
Stephen Beggs' father-in-law is a grandson of the late Clark Groves who fought in the Battle of Jutland and used his demob money to set up a bookies' business that operated under the radar from a terraced house at the Holywood Arches.
The play will be staged in partnership with the EastSide Arts Festival just across the road in the former Danske Bank unit at the Connswater Shopping Centre, on the site of the old Ropeworks.
Kabosh's Paula McFetridge who is directing the play said many of Groves' customers would have worked at the Ropeworks.
And she added: "The play gives a unique insight into how society operated in East Belfast in the 1940s."
Stephen said Groves was renowned for his benevolence as well as for his business acumen.
He added: "He went out of his way to help people and wouldn't let them go hungry if they owed him money."
The King of East Belfast will be staged at the former Danske Bank unit at the Connswater Shopping Centre from August 7-9 and from August 12-16, 2020